Kelsey Freidel Nelson to Coach Competitive Cheer and Dance

January 17, 2019

It’s been just over a year since Mount Marty College (MMC) announced the addition of competitive cheer and dance team to its roster of athletic offerings. Now, a new coach has been hired in anticipation of the team’s inaugural season; Kelsey Freidel Nelson will take the reins of the latest Lancer athletics team starting in the fall of 2019.

Freidel Nelson has a long history of success in the world of dance. She started dancing as a high school student and continued to dance through college; first at Augustana University and then at the University of South Dakota. During her time with the USD dance team she did choreography for the teams, attended four national championships, and in 2008 she was in the winner’s circle when the USD team took first place in the college hip hop division and second place in the Jazz division at the West Coast Championships in Los Angeles, CA.   

After college Freidel Nelson’s love of dance transitioned into coaching and teaching, she continued to aid in coaching and choreography for the USD Dance team, was the sideline cheer coach at St Thomas More High School, and was the assistant dance coach/choreographer at Vermillion High School. In 2015, Kelsey became a dance instructor at Balleranea Dance Studio and was the competition team coach from 2014-2017. She has also been a certified SDHSAA Cheer and Dance Official since 2011 and was voted the 2015-2016 NFHS South Dakota Competitive Spirit Squads Official of the Year.

Though she is now leading the next generation of dancers, Friedel Nelson also continues to study. She has taken classes at Balleraena for seven years and is in her fourth year as a cast member of the LiRa Dance and Theatre Company of Sioux Falls.

Today she is excited to take on the head coach role for the Lancer Spirit Squad, “I am honored and excited to bring my love of cheer and dance to MMC,” she said. “The Spirit Program will expand our athletics offerings, enhance participation in campus activities from students, and improve the overall game day experience.”

For MMC Athletic Director Chris Kassin the excitement is two-fold. “We are very excited for the debut of our cheer and dance team. Our athletes will have the opportunity to compete regionally and will play an integral part in building excitement at MMC sporting events throughout the year,” says Kassin, “and we are thrilled that Kelsey agreed to take on the role of head coach. Her passion and knowledge of dance will be a tremendous asset to the team, our department, and all of Lancer Nation.”

On top of teaching, judging, and coaching dance – Kelsey is the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at Mount Marty College, and lives in Yankton with her husband Joey Nelson and dog, Libby.

For more information about competitive cheer and dance at MMC contact Kelsey Friedel Nelson at For general information about Lancer Athletics visit