Family Over Everything

Family Over Everything

Deb Yearsley is starting her 14th year coaching the Lakes High School Dance Team. Lakes Dance Team boasts an impressive 11 state and nine district trophies for their performance of Pom and Hip-Hop.

What is their recipe for success? Deb’s answer is “We take time to set team goals and individual goals. The team bonding and goal setting kick-start our year and help us have a successful dance season when we begin competing in November.” Their theme this year was F.O.E., or Family over Everything. Deb defines the ‘F’ as “I put my needs and desires second to what is best for the team family. I accept my role on the team. My actions and behavior reflect well on my team family. I hold myself and my team to high standards. My sense of honor is greater than any situation.”

Their Casey retreat activities included workshops for achieving better dance techniques, team-bonding activities, and lots of time choreographing dance routines for their fall performances at football games and other community events. The Casey gym served as the perfect practice area.

When asked why they chose Casey for their retreat, Deb responded, “The highlight is always the beauty of Camp Casey and Whidbey Island.” She added that she appreciates Casey is a nonprofit, and the retreat costs are affordable for school teams that don’t have a lot of funds. She also emphasized that it is a relaxing place to get her team away from the general public, “free from the everyday STUFF.” Deb says staying at the Quartermaster’s Building is ideal for “accomplishing our retreat goals of team bonding, goal setting, developing dance techniques, and choreographing dance routines.”

The Quartermaster’s Building is located on the Crockett Lake side of Casey’s south entrance. With five bedrooms, the facility is suitable for 16–29 people, and ideal for groups who want to keep their varied activities under one roof. It contains spaces for groups to meet, cook, eat, and sleep. The large meeting rooms include seating for 30 and is outfitted with a digital projector, wall-mounted screen, whiteboards, and laptop connections.

For more information about the Lakes High School Dance Team, visit