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Meet the DREAM Team


Connor Dafler



Julie Dafler

Office Manager


Alex Campbell

All Star & Class Coach

"I started all star cheer at the age of 7 and fell in love with the sport!  I continued all star through my senior year of high school and also coached at a local gym.  In college I set my focus on coaching and worked at a few all star gyms during my 4 years.  I spent so much time in high school and college planning and visualizing the DREAM and I'm so grateful not only that my childhood dream has come true, but that it has turned into what it is today!  It's only the beginning!"

Favorite Thing About This Sport:

"There are so many things I love about this sport, but here are a few...  I love the uniqueness of it.  I love that every person has a role.  Some athletes are great tumblers, some are great jumpers, some are great stunters, some are great dancers - everyone brings a strength to the team in some way and there is always an area where you can place more focus or improve.  You're never "done" - there is always more to achieve.  I love that it allows us coaches to get creative & think outside of the box.  This sport challenges you and teaches you lessons that will help you in all areas of your life.  I believe it's the best sport!"

"I have been full circle in cheer... I have been a cheerleader, a cheer coach, a cheer mom and the office manager of a very busy, growing cheerleading gym.  I like to think I am helpful to people who have questions or concerns as I have seen it from all angles.  I am the extremely proud mom of Coaches Connor and Alex and pseudo mom to anyone else who needs me.  Nothing makes me happier than my gorgeous grandchildren, Maverick, JJ and Aubrey.  I love Gamecock football, Jayhawk basketball and KC Chiefs NFL football.  I have coached Island Dream Team/Cheerabilities team for the past 18 years, usually with one of my girls."

Favorite Thing About This Sport:

"This sport is amazing because it takes a village to make a successful team.  Everyone has a different skillset and so a different job to do.  It has taught my girls to work well with others, to be accountable to the team, to be respectful of their coaches and other adults and to work hard to achieve their goals.  A successful cheerleader will be a successful employee and adult."

"I cheered for 8 years and this is my 8th year coaching.  I was a middle school coach first, for 4 years at 2 different schools, and then I moved back and became an all star coach.  This is my 4th season with CDA!  Before I became a mom I was a physical education teacher working at a middle school in Columbia.  Now, I'm living back where I grew up with my husband, 2 sons and bonus daughter (when she's with us!)."

Favorite Thing About Coaching:

"My favorite thing about coaching is working with kids.  I've always enjoyed it; even in college, I worked in daycares and as a nanny.  As a PE teacher and as a coach, I love seeing kids meet their potential.  It is so rewarding to see them achieve something they've worked so hard for.  I also love getting to be a choreographer."

Favorite Quote:

Favorite Quote:

"Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities, seize common occasions and make them great."

- Orison Swett Marden

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

- Maya Angelou


Ashley Sankowski

All Star & Class Coach

"I've been with Carolina Dream from the start, in 2017 in the back of a laundry room with Coach Connor!!  I started all star cheer at the age of 7 and haven't left the sport since.  Outside of the gym I spend most of my time out on the water with my *newly wed husband* or working on DIY projects at home with my favorite helpers - my two pups, Cash & Sloane."

Favorite Thing About Coaching:

"My favorite part about coaching is the breakthrough moments!  When you're working so hard for something either individually or as a team and all of a sudden it 'clicks' or happens.  It's such an amazing feeling!"


Katie Stout

All Star & Class Coach

"I am originally from Atlanta, GA and I moved here about 2 years ago.  I started cheering at the age of 6 and instantly fell in love.  I knew that cheering was something I wanted to do and loved doing.  I absolutely love the team aspect of it, the leadership skills it helped me gain, how you build such a strong relationship with your teammates and how they become your closest friends.  I love how it challenges us and makes us always want to be better and never settle.  Since then I cheered until I graduated high school.  I competed with Atlanta Jayhawks and Stingrays while in my all star cheer career as well as high school competition cheer and sideline cheer.  I also coached a sideline cheer team for 3 years."

Jess Gause

All Star & Class Coach

Favorite Quote:

"Stay humble, hustle hard."

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Ainsley Smith

Tumbling Coach


Addi Shrieve

Jr. All Star & Class Coach


Payton Franks

Jr. All Star & Class Coach

"I am 25 years old and I just moved here from Columbia, SC down to the Bluffton/HH area.  After cheering for 13 years I began coaching at 17.  I have coached several all star teams over the years including teams that have won Cheersport Nationals and placed in the top 5 at D1 Summit.  I was also the assistant varsity coach at Blythewood High School for the past 3 years.  Winning 3 consecutive region titles.  Coaching is something I am very passionate about and I can't wait to continue sharing my knowledge."

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