Corrie Lothrop attended the Utah from 2011 to 2015 following a successful career as an American elite gymnast that led her to being named alternate to the 2008 Olympic team. An eight-time all-American, inaugural Pac-12 all around champion and 2015 uneven bars champion, Lothrop was a major contributor to the Utes throughout her five seasons. She later pursued a master’s degree in Communication at Auburn and helped out with the gymnastics team. She is still very much involved with the Utah team and is pursuing her passion for dance and choreography.
College Gym News: You graduated from Utah in 2015 and have been an assistant at Auburn this past season. How did that come about, and have you done anything else in between graduating from Utah and finding yourself at Auburn?
Corrie Lothrop: I was a graduate assistant at Auburn and was told I wasn’t allowed to coach but could make “suggestions,” so I didn’t actually coach during most of my time there. The whole thing came about because I interned with Utah’s marketing department, and it felt like it was a career path I was interested in pursuing. It was recommended that I get my master’s to be considered by future sports marketing employers when I interned the year in between graduating from Utah (May 2015) and starting my master’s at Auburn (August 2016). I emailed Jeff Graba to see if he needed a graduate assistant, he said yes and there I was. I also took a stab at retail and worked at Lululemon during most of that in-between year and surprisingly really loved it.
CGN: How did it feel to be in the SEC after being in the Pac-12 for your collegiate career? Your status was obviously different (competitor vs. coach), but are there any major differences between the two conferences?
CL: The SEC is so different from the Pac-12, and it was really interesting to see how things ran there as opposed to how we do things at Utah. I think one of the major differences between the two conferences is the conference championship—SECs is on podium and Pac-12s isn’t! It would be amazing for Pac-12s to eventually get on podium if at all possible in the future. I’m grateful that I got to be a part of two great universities and experience two different conferences.
CGN: You are looking into working in shows in Las Vegas. What made you decide on pursuing that opportunity, and can you talk to us more about what you will be doing exactly?
CGN: It’s not a for sure thing just yet, but I’m waiting on Le Rêve. I remember being at Auburn last April which is around when they hold their open auditions, and Jeff had gotten an email from Le Rêve casting. I actually never thought I wanted to get into those types of shows because toward the end of my gymnastics career, my body felt like it was barely hanging on, and I didn’t think it would stay together if I went from college gymnastics right into a show. I randomly heard about it and decided to try out because I felt like my body could handle the training—plus I’m finally done with school! I would love to pursue anything that mixes gymnastics with dance/performing, so now I’m just waiting to hear back.
Editor’s note: At the time of the interview, Corrie Lothrop had not heard back from her audition. She later notified us she had not been selected. She will wait to audition again next year, and in the meantime is going to become Barre and Pilates certified so she can teach and continue doing choreography.
CGN: How was the audition process for Le Rêve, and what did you have to show for them to consider you?
CL: The audition process has been long but fun! For me, it was mainly getting myself into the best physical shape I can so the gymnastics skills come back easily. Even after retiring, the air awareness is still there, so once I was in good physical shape, flipping came back naturally. The first step I took was emailing casting my résumé and a highlight video that my friend put together for me, and I’ve been making strides ever since.
CGN: Would you go like to get into coaching eventually?
CL: I love gymnastics, but I’m not interested in coaching. Maybe collegiate but I think the gymnastics world can benefit from my choreography instead. I really enjoy choreographing and teaching floor routines now and have been doing that each summer since I’ve graduated from Utah. Dancing is one of my passions. I find it so fulfilling when I teach floor routines to gymnasts who think they’ll never be able to get it and all of a sudden they are dancing queens! I even launched my own choreography website.
CGN: Did you happen to choreograph any routines at Utah or Auburn that fans maybe know? And did you do your own choreo for your floor routines as well?
CL: When I was starting my fifth year in the summer of 2014, I dabbled with choreography and one routine fans might know is Georgia Dabritz’ for the 2015 season. It was so fun to make hers because it was kind of a summer experiment where we were playing around with moves and eventually we had a floor routine that she liked and the coaches even approved, which was the most nerve-wracking! I also “colleged-up” Kari Lee’s 2015 routine as well as some others.
I never made up my own floor routines, but once I got more comfortable with actually dancing—I didn’t always have rhythm and sometimes I still don’t (laughs)—I started playing around with the dance and then my routines never stayed the same. Looking back, I kind of wish I could’ve tried choreographing my last routine, but I seriously loved all of my routines and added some of my own flair in there eventually.
CGN: What were some of your favorite memories competing in college?
CL: My favorite memories from competing in college are definitely the friendships and bonds I was able to make with people from all over the country. Our team was always pretty small, which created an immediate bond and camaraderie between us all. My most favorite memory was when we brought back Utah’s first Pac-12 championship title in 2014. I had just come off of an Achilles rupture from 2013, so I wasn’t doing all around but was a co-captain. I have never been more proud of my team than I was at that meet. That is something I’ll never forget, and a lot of my teammates from that year would say the same.
CGN: What made you choose the Utah?
CL: Utah’s enormous fan base is what drew me in first. There’s nothing that compares to competing in the Huntsman. Whether it’s 8,000, 10,000 or 16,000 fans, the Huntsman is never quiet and us athletes feed off of that energy. It makes us want to do even better because we know we have this huge community of fans watching us and pulling for us to do well.
Coming in a close second, I fell in love with the entire gymnastics staff and overall team culture and atmosphere. I loved the fact that not only was the team a family, but the coaches were 100 percent part of that family too. It’s like having a few more moms and dads looking out for you, molding you into a better person and getting you prepared to start “adulting and life after gymnastics” when it’s time to graduate. I loved that the program not only cares about you while you’re on the team but when you graduate, they still genuinely care about you. This program wants everyone to succeed not only in gymnastics but in life, and that is something that I will appreciate for the rest of my life. Sometimes even the fans remember you after you’ve graduated! Gymnastics is a way of life at the Utah.
CGN: From your Instagram account it looks like you’re still involved with the Utah gymnastics program and that you were at the summer camp this year. Do you get to help out with that every year?
CL: Yes, I’ve been working camp since I was on the team! I coach a little bit, but mainly I choreograph and teach different group dances. It’s so fun because I get to help gymnasts loosen up—I so wish I had that as a young gymnast. My dances are strictly dance; no gymnastics, no flips. The girls learn about a minute of choreography and then work to add their own flair. Every year there are always girls who surprise me and can legitimately bust a move. We get a lot of repeat campers too, so it’s fun when you see the progress year after year. I love it because it feels like home.
CGN: What do you miss most about college gymnastics and about gymnastics in general?
CL: I miss the overall camaraderie the most. Every team out there is working hard day in and day out, and no one can understand the “daily grind” as well as your fellow teammates. College gymnastics isn’t easy, but the amazing thing about the collegiate level is you always have your teammates. We can all relate to each other when things get tough, and now that I’m graduated, we reminisce about the good old days together.
I honestly missed performing and the feeling of flipping, which is why I’m trying to get into a show in Vegas! I want to keep performing for as long as my body will allow, and I felt like now was the right time for me to get back into it.
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