Staff

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Veronica Burton, Executive Director

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Coach Veronica Burton has over 25 years of cheerleading, dance and gymnastics experience.  Her coaching experience includes serving as Head Coach for the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Washington, DC; Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, MD; Maryland Cheer Magic All Stars in Largo, MD; and Crimson Heat All Stars in Forestville, MD.  She has coached teams to over 1500 Local, Regional and National Championship Titles.

Veronica is USASF Levels 1-5 Certified in Stunts, Basket Tosses and Gymnastics and she is First Aid and CPR Certified.  Her coaching philosophy is “every child is a star; each of them has something unique and special to add to your program – with the right amount of love, support and guidance, each of them will shine”.

She was awarded the 2016 IEP Award for Integrity, Enthusiasm and Passion, the 2011 Jamfest Coach of the Year Award, 2010 and 2007 Maryland Top Coach Award, she was a National Coach of the Year Finalist and she was a Community Service Honoree for the Grant My Wish Foundation.  Veronica also works as a Senior Managing Consultant for IBM.

Michele Houston, Asst. Director

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Coach Houston has over 26 years of cheerleading and dance coaching experience.  She coached the Bunker Hill Elementary School in Washington, DC for 21 years.  During her tenure, She was successful in winning 9 DCIAA Elementary Championships and the last 8 were consecutive!  She also has 13 Region C Championships.  Coach Houston has been a coach for Crimson Heat All Stars for the last 16 years. She is the Assistant Director of the Program.  She currently coaches Crimson Heat FEVER and Crimson Heat FLAME.  She is USASF Levels 1-4 Certified in Stunts and Basket Tosses, she is DCIAA Certified and she is First Aid and CPR Certified.  Her coaching philosophy is “all children can learn and be successful in all endeavors!”  Coach Houston is a Pre-school teacher for D.C. Public Schools.

Monique Smith, Chief Financial Officer

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Coach Monique has over 20 years of cheerleading and gymnastics experience.  She has served on the Crimson Heat staff for the last 16 years.  She was also a member of the University of Maryland Gymnastics Troop - Gymkana.  Monique is USASF Levels 1-5 Certified in Stunts and Basket Tosses, she is also USASF Levels 1-4 Certified in Gymnastics. Her coaching philosophy is "Teamwork is essential to a successful outcome - it's amazing what can be accomplished when team efforts are put forth generously and passionately, without the expectation of accolades in return."

Kelly Crawford, Dance Coach

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Kelly Benjamin has over 15 years dance and cheerleading experience.  In addition to cheerleading for her high school varsity team (under the direction of Coach Burton) she also cheered for 3 years during college at the Rochester Institute of Technology. During high school Kelly performed as a dancer with the Dance Institute of Washington Youth Reporatory Company, National Ballet and Washington Ballet.  While in college Kelly was a principal dancer with the RIT/NTID Dance company.   In 2006, Coach Kelly joined Garth Fagan Dance Company, who founded and served as artistic director for many years.  He the Tony Award winning choreographer of Disney's The Lion King.  After 2 years of touring nationally and internationally with Garth Fagan Dance, Coach Kelly returned home to Crimson Heat All-stars in 2009. She is USASF Levels 1-4 Certified in Stunts and Basket tosses.  Coach Kelly works as a contractor providing environmental support at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Her coaching philosophy is "Good technique is built over time, not overnight" 

Kimberly Clark, Cheer Coach

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Kimberly Clark has over 15 years cheerleading and dance experience.  She started dancing at the age of 3 and cheerleading at the age of 5.  As a freshman in high school, she joined the Junior Varsity Cheerleading Team, which was coached by Veronica Burton.  Her coaching philosophy is “If you have it in your heart and believe it, then you can achieve it.”   This will be her 10th season coaching at Crimson Heat.  Coach Kim is USASF Levels 1-5 Certified in Stunts, Basket Tosses, and Gymnastics. Coach Kim works for the Department of Defense as a Personnel Security Specialist

Tiara Jackson, Cheer Coach

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Tiara Jackson has 15 combined years of cheerleading and tumbling experience. She has cheered All-Star for 12 of those years with Crimson Heat. She was one the members on Crimson Heat's first Worlds team, 5 Alarm. She is a part-time student studying Biology/Medicine and a full time worker as an Office Assistant. Tiara's philosophy is "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." Tiara coached the first team to win a full paid bid to the 2015 Summit, small junior level 4 Fire. This is Tiara's third season coaching Crimson Heat. 

Trinika McClain, Cheer Coach

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Coach Trinika started cheering when she was 8 years old and has been in love with the sport ever since.  She cheered in elementary, junior high and high school and began her coaching career right after completing her academic studies.  She coached the #14 Boys and Girls club in the Department of Recreation for 4 years before beginning her All Star career.  While coaching under the direction of Veronica Burton and Jon Rolle, Coach Trinika has coached teams to several local, state and national titles.  Her coaching philosophy is " your team is your family and your routine is your best friend". Coach Trinika was born and raised in Washington, D.C. and works a Pre-K4 teacher at a Charter School in D.C.

Keiana Myers, Cheer Coach

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Keiana Myers has over 16 years of combined cheer and tumble experience. She cheered All Star for Crimson Heat for 13 years beginning at the age of 5. She was apart of the first Crimson Heat All-stars Worlds team 5-Alarm that placed in the top 10 in the 2012 Worlds Competition. She is a part-time student working on a degree in physical therapy and is an associate for Lord & Taylor. Keiana's philosophy is "you'll never know your limits unless you push yourself to them." Keiana Coached the 2016 U.S. Finals champions, Crimson Heat Tiny prep level 1 Flares. This is her third season coaching at Crimson Heat.

Niki Washington, Cheer Coach

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Niki Joy-Washington has over 15 years of cheerleading experience and is going into her 8th season of coaching at Crimson Heat. Before returning to Crimson Heat for season 16, Coach Niki was certified through AACCA and USASF levels 1-3. Currently holding a certification for Heart saver CPR/AED and First Aid. Her philosophy is “as coaches, we have to push kids – more correctly get them to push themselves – to reach their potential no matter the age”. Coach Niki, for the last 13 years has worked at Georgetown University Hospital as an Administrator.

Andre Blande, Dance Coach

Andre Bland III would not classify himself as a dancer, but as a performer. He has had 5 years of experience in stage performance and show production. This will be Coach Andre’s first season as an official coach with Crimson Heat after assisting with “Code Red” in the 2015-2016 season. Coach Andre has studied Baking and Pastry at the Art Institute and currently works as a an Administrative Assistant at an early learning center.