Van Buren High School’s dance coach is retiring after 23 years.

Mari Newby recently announced her retirement from coaching the Van Buren High School Dance Team, the Pointer Prancers.

A reception to honor Newby’s years as the dance coach is set for Saturday, April 16, at Madame’s Main Attraction on Main Street in Van Buren, said Kristi Weir, a dance team parent helping to organize the reception.

Organizers are asking those who know Newby to drop in at the reception from 2 to 4 p.m. with mementos of her time as coach.

"We are encouraging attendees to bring cards, notes and pictures that she can put in an album to keep," Weir said.

Newby coached her first dance team at VBHS in the 1993-94 school year.

During her time as coach, Newby has led the dance team to win multiple grand championships at regional competitions and to the state championship in 2008.

Newby was Arkansas Coaches Association dance coach of the year in 2008 and 2012. She was chosen three times as dance coach for the all star games.

Newby will continue her work as a teacher at the high school.