GET TO KNOW

YOUR USA PROGRAM, CURRICULUM & STAFFING DIRECTORS

ACEY BLANCO

ACEY BLANCO

Name / Contact E-mail:
- Acey S. Blanco / Ablanco@varsity.com

Position/Title:
- Drum Major & Band Leadership Program & Curriculum Director
- Program & Curriculum Director, Varsity Athletic Band

History with the USA/Professional Experience:
- Acey began his journey with the United Spirit Association in 2009 when he attended his first Drum Major camp at UC Santa Cruz. After attending camp for several years, Acey later joined the USA Drum Major & Band Leadership Instructional staff in 2013 as an Instructor where he taught training camps throughout the Western United States. In 2016, Acey was appointed as a Head Instructor where he oversaw curriculum development for USA's Parade & Spinning programs, and in 2017, Acey was then appointed as Program & Curriculum Director where he now manages the entire USA Drum Major & Band Leadership Program with a world-class team of instructors from across the United States. Outside of the USA, Acey is an active adjudicator with Peacocks American Competitions where he judges Drum Majors in both parade and field show competitions throughout the state of California. In addition, Acey plays an active role in collaborating and partnering with both the Northern California Band Association and the Southern California School Band & Orchestra Assocation where he works to further support and enhance the student experience throughout the activity. In 2018, Acey, in partnership with both NCBA, SCSBOA, and Peacocks American Competitions, founded the California Drum Major Championship that brings together Drum Majors from both Northern and Southern California in the spirit of competition.

Personal Info:
- Having been born and raised in the Monterey Bay, Acey is a California native who enjoys traveling and meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds. Acey has traveled to the People's Republic of China, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Spain where he immersed himself in the culture by connecting and working alongside locals as well as indulging in new foods and traditions. Outside of traveling, Acey also enjoys spending time with family and friends, particularly at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, as he is a Disney fanatic! Now living in Northern California's Bay Area, Acey spends time road-tripping through San Francisco and the Napa Valley, but only after a thorough workout.

Titles/Accolades/Accomplishments:
- 3x USA All-American Drum Major
- Military Masters Champion (undefeated), Northern California Band Association
- 2x Hardest Working Award, United Spirit Association
- Leadership Award, United Spirit Association

CARINA CLENDENIN

CARINA CLENDENIN

Name / Contact E-mail:
- Carina Clendenin cclendenin@varsity.com

Position/Title:
- Songleading/Pom and Pep Flag Program Director

History with the USA/Professional Experience:
- Carina’s journey with the USA began in high school when she attended USA camps and competed in USA regionals and USA Spirit Nationals. In 1996, she was hired as a Songleading/Pom instructor and was awarded rookie of the year that summer. She continued teaching on Song/Pom staff, Jazz staff, college camp staff and became a head instructor. Her second year on staff she became involved with Program Development, helping to choreograph the material taught at Song Pom camps and today she continues to have a love and passion for Song Pom and choreography. In Fall of 2003, Carina stepped into the Program Director role for the Songleading/Pom and Pep Flag Programs. She graduated from California State University Long Beach, where she danced and choreographed for a hip-hop team, PAC Modern. She has choreographed for multiple NBA and NFL dance teams including the Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, San Diego Charger Girls and the NFL Pro Bowl Cheerleaders. Carina is a former member of the Los Angeles Clipper Spirit, was a dancer in the movie ``Bring It On: Fight to the Finish,`` and was also performer for Disney at the historic El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA. She has had the privilege to judge and teach internationally in Japan, London, Colombia, Mexico and Australia. In addition, Carina has had the honor of being a dance judge at the World Cheerleading Championships for the International Cheer Union (ICU) and has been a dance legality official at the Dance Worlds.

Personal Info:
- When she is not working, Carina enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 year old daughter. They are beach lovers, enjoy camping/glamping and visiting their extended family in Las Vegas and Northern California.

Titles/Accolades/Accomplishments:
• USA Staff Award Recipient for Rookie of the Year, Hardest Working, Most Valuable Player and the Robert Olmstead Award
• 5X USA Spirit National Champion – Coach, Varsity Song Pom Advanced
• USASF Dance Rules Committee Secretary

CONNER HUBER

CONNER HUBER

Name / Contact E-mail:
- Conner Huber, CHuber@varsity.com

Position/Title:
- Cheerleading Program Director – Curriculum

History with the USA/Professional Experience:
- Conner attended his first USA camp at UC Santa Cruz in the summer of 2003. He joined the USA family in 2006 and served in the roles of cheer instructor and head instructor for seven consecutive summers. He returned to Varsity in 2015 as a State Director and currently oversees the cheer program’s choreography and curriculum in his current position as Cheerleading Program Director – Curriculum. Conner is a V!ROC Director and well known for his signature choreography style performed by teams all over the country. He is the also head coach for a nationally ranked high school cheer program.

Personal Info:
- Conner is a former cheerleader and graduate of California State University, Long Beach where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. He is originally from Northern California but currently resides in Anaheim, CA with his partner Jake and their dog, Puff. When he is not coaching or choreographing, he can be found instructing indoor cycling classes.

Titles/Accolades/Accomplishments:
- USA Collegiate National Champion
- Coach of a 17x USA National Champion high school program
- Featured speaker at Varsity University

JESA HERMAN

JESA HERMAN

Name / Contact E-mail:
- Jesa Herman / JHerman@varsity.com

Position/Title:
- Spirit Programs Administrative Director / Cheerleading/Mascot Program Director (Staffing)

History with the USA/Professional Experience:
- Jesa began her journey with USA in 1995 when she was hired as a cheerleading summer instructional staff member. She was quickly recognized as a valued leader within the program and recognized with the Hardest Working staff award in 2000 and the Leadership staff award from 2002 to 2004. Jesa was asked to join the USA Program Curriculum & Development team in 1998 and has been a vital eye in the diversity of material and routines offered at summer camps and clinics. In 2004 she began working full time for USA as the Staff Programs Coordinator and in 2008 stepped into the Cheerleading & Mascot Program Director position. For the past 13 years in this role Jesa has nurtured the growth and development of the staff and program in the western US. In 2011 she was awarded the coveted Robert Olmstead award for her work and dedication to USA throughout the years. Outside of USA Jesa has coached and choreographed for various high school teams in California. She has also produced multiple NFL, NBA and MLS pre-game and halftime performances including the NFL Pro Bowl for over 15 years since 1997. In her role in the National Alliance for School Cheerleading consortium she was nominated to a Director position for the USA Cheer Board and currently serving a 4-year term.

Personal Info:
-When she is not on a yoga mat or playing catch with her two mini Australian shepherds (Bailey & Bogey) she is visiting one of her three siblings or many nieces and nephews. Jesa finds fulfillment and restart for each week at her home church, The Well in Fresno, Ca.

Titles/Accolades/Accomplishments:
- Game Day Director for the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii, Arizona and Florida
- USA Spirit Nationals Champion
- USASF World’s Judge

MELANIE KRIEGER

MELANIE KRIEGER

Name / Contact E-mail:
- Melanie Krieger mkrieger@varsity.com

Position/Title:
- Dance Program Director

History with the USA/Professional Experience:
- Melanie’s journey with the USA began in high school when she attended USA Dance camps and competed on her nationally ranked dance team at USA Dance Nationals. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara, where she served as captain and choreographer for their dance team. She taught Dance and Physical Education for high school programs in both California and Washington, and has coached and choreographed for top ranked Dance Teams for over twenty years. She has been with the USA for 19 years serving as a Dance Staff Instructor, Head Instructor, Regional/National level judge, Competition Director and now Program Director.

Personal Info:
- Melanie loves spending time with her family and traveling to new locations – especially any beach location.

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