Mustang Coaching Staff

Head Coach Alisha Steckler

Phone: 712-274-5350

Alisha Steckler was hired as Morningside's competitive cheer & dance head coach in April 2016.

Steckler enjoyed a highly successful first season at Morningside when the Mustangs were crowned the cheer champions and finished as the runner-up in dance at the 2017 GPAC Competitive Cheer & Dance Championships. The Mustangs finished second in both cheer and dance at the 2017 NAIA Competitive Cheer & Dance Northwest Group Qualifier Tournament and the dance team finished sixth nationally at the first-ever NAIA Competitive Cheer & Dance National Championships.

Steckler came to Morningside from Briar Cliff University, where she was the Chargers’ competitive dance coach and cheer advisor for the previous four years. She started both the competitive dance and cheer programs at Briar Cliff and guided the Chargers’ dance team to an eighth place finish at the 2016 NAIA Competitive Cheer & Dance National Invitational.

She was an assistant coach at Grand View University during the 2010-11 academic year. She helped lead the Vikings to a first place finish in Pom and a second place finish in Jazz at the collegiate state competition, a second place finish at regionals, and a fourth place finish at nationals.

Steckler is a 2011 graduate of Grand View, where she was a four-year member of the varsity dance team. She was team captain as a senior for a Viking dance team that finished first in both Jazz and Pom at the state competition.

She also served as a team captain for the Southeast Polk RhythAMette dance team during her prep career at Southeast Polk High School.


Assistant Cheer Coach Dakota Van Hauen

Dakota Van Hauen, a 2016 Midland University graduate, is in his second year coaching at Morningside.

Dakota has done cheer for six years and coached 1 year as well as coaching gymnastics and tumbling. In Dakota's first year as assistant cheer coach, Morningside Cheer got 3rd place at the North Region Qualifier in 2018.

While at Midland, Dakota was part of a three time GPAC Conference Champion cheer team in 2014, 2015, and 2016. In his time at Midland, Dakota helped lead his team to be three time North Region National Qualifier Champions in 2014, 2015, and 2016 along with being Bronze Champions at the NAIA Cheer & Dance National Invitational in 2014. Dakota is also a two time Bronze Champion at the NCA College Nationals in Daytona Beach, FL in 2015 and 2016.

In Van Hauen's time at Iowa Central Community College he was a competitve squad team member from 2012-2014 along with a National Runner-Up at Cheer LTD Nationals at Canam. 

Other awards Dakota has earned at United All-Stars gym in Fort Dodge, IA are Chicago Live! Champion in 2012 and National Champion at America's Best in Kansas City, KS in 2012. COA National Champion in Kansas City in 2013, Valentine Classic Grand Champion in South Dakota and Grand Champion at JamFest Omaha in Omaha, NE in 2013. Dakota was a National Runner-Up at JamFest Super Nationals in Indianapolis, IN in 2013 as well as a National Runner-Up at Cheer LTD Nationals at Canam in Myrtle Beach, FL in 2013.

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