She spends her weekends in the fall cheering on our Cougars, the spring judging dance competitions and the summer teaching dance camps and preparing solos for aspiring dancers.
Spending countless hours, six days a week practicing multiple times per day, BYU Cougarette Jerra Kofford, from Alpine, just can’t seem to get enough dance in her life.
“I started dancing when I was 6,” Kofford said. “My mom put me in at the age of 2, but I wasn’t learning much, so she pulled me out until I could retain what I was learning.”
Kofford quickly became consumed by her sport. Over the years she trained at Center Stage in Orem, and she began competing and traveling to pursue what she loved.
“I didn’t always love it; I hated ballet for a long time. My mom told me that once I committed to something I could never quit. So I stuck with it, made friends and then never wanted to leave. It became my life,” she said.
As a member of her high school drill team, she served as the captain.
“Coaching Jerra was a privilege. She is a strong athlete and teammate to others. She had such a great attitude at every practice, which built the entire team up,” said Megan Hansen, the Lone Peak High School drill team coach.
Since high school, Kofford has performed on a pre-professional dance team, auditioned for shows, including Circ du Soliel in Las Vegas, and made the top 25, competed internationally, taught dance camps and created a side-job of choreographing solos for dancers.
It is clear that her dance career has already taught her many life lessons.
“I have learned to have self-confidence, to be disciplined, to be responsible and how to manage my time,” Kofford said. “I am glad I was so dedicated to my sport early on.”
Her freshman year, Kofford was in a rollover car accident on the freeway that left her with a neck injury and unable to dance for about eight months.
“If anything, it taught me to think positive. It was a gratitude lesson for sure. You don’t realize what you have until you can’t have it,” she added.
Kofford recovered and came back strong to achieve her dance goals and auditioned for Cougarettes a few months later.
Kofford comes from a long line of Cougar fans, and her BYU aspirations began early. “It was a lifelong dream to become a BYU Cougarette,” she added.
The dance talent seems to run in the family as well. Kofford’s mother was a BYU Cougarette and dance major, and this year her younger sister, Jaylee Kofford, has joined her on the team.
“I have loved being on the same team as my sister for the first time. Cougarettes is not an easy team to be on. It is very stressful at times, so it is nice to have an older sister I look up to who has experienced it for two years already,” Jaylee Kofford said. “She gives me great advice and motivation to help me be my best. I love being able to dance next to her everyday.”
The Cougarettes have enhanced Jerra Kofford’s favorite parts of dance. She enjoys being able to cheer, be artistic and be competitive all while on the same advanced team.
“The best thing about Cougarettes is incorporating the Spirit and our gospel into dance; you don’t get that at a studio. As a person and as a dancer, I have grown spiritually,” Jerra Kofford said. “Our choreography, costumes and music are very clean and uplifting.”
Ultimately, Jerra Kofford isn’t sure where she wants her dance career to take her. Overall, she is grateful for the lessons she has learned that she will be able to take with her throughout her life.
“Jerra has a lot of energy and motivation to succeed,” Hansen said. “That will take her very far.”