New teacher dances into our hearts

Megan Haflich aids current dance teacher as new year starts, helping broaden the program

Meghan+Haflich%2C+new+dance+teacher+expanded+the+dance+program+at+GBHS. illustration/BELLA KHOR

Meghan Haflich, new dance teacher expanded the dance program at GBHS.

A popular elective at Granite Bay High School, the dance program, has an annual overflow of students and only one teacher to manage the classes each year.

That is, it did until now.

Primarily teaching freshman English, Meghan Haflich, formerly known as Meghan Cole, has stepped up to teach Dance 1 this spring semester, opening up another opportunity for students to experience dance. Students who would be set to benefit from this improvement are freshmen.

It’s a common piece of advice passed to incoming freshmen to keep their hopes low for a dance class.

“When I was at Olympus, I was encouraged to join the dance program, but I didn’t, as I would never have gotten into the class as a freshman,” junior Raha Elahi said.

A circulating speculation about the apparent bias against freshmen in the dance classes is that the upperclassmen requests for dance get priority, and the numerous schedule requests for dance make it difficult to get freshman into a dance class.

“(I think) it is hard to fit into your schedule with P.E., math, and the other required courses you have to take,” said junior Gannon Gonsiorowski, who took dance as an elective last year.

“I think it’s worth it to sign up for dance as a freshman now with all the new spots in 4th period,” Gonsiorowski said.

With the customary overflow of students wishing for a dance class, there was a chance for an additional class to be opened.“(This year) the conversation came up that a lot of kids at Granite Bay are interested in taking dance, but (dance instructor Deserie Milburn’s) classes (were full),” Haflich said.

This was part of the reasoning behind Haflich’s addition to the dance program.

“The understanding that I took away from (my conversations with) Principal Leighton is that we’re going to try to (open up more classes) so we can open (the program) to all grade levels,” Haflich said.

With a lifetime of dancing experience and a passion for fitness under her belt, Haflich is well equipped to take part in the program. She is currently working on getting her teaching credentials for physical education to add to her credentials in English.

(When I was at GBHS) I joined the drill team and was the captain my junior and senior year,” Haflich added. “We went to competitions down in San Jose and competed against local high schools.

— Meghan Haflich

Haflich mentioned that she was trained in “jazz, ballet, contemporary” and other forms of dance when she attended the Northern California Dance Conservatory (NCDC), and danced her way “all throughout college” at Chico State University.

“(When I was at GBHS) I joined the drill team and was the captain my junior and senior year,” Haflich added. “We went to competitions down in San Jose and competed against local high schools.”

In addition to the drill team, Haflich was also a teacher intern for the GBHS program and family friends with Milburn. 

“(Milburn) is the genius, and she has all of the knowledge. It’s really cool being able to take all of her (knowledge) and let (it) soak in,” Haflich said.

Though she was nervous about her reception from students expecting to be taught by Milburn, Haflich’s current students are satisfied.

“I wasn’t disappointed to find out that I wouldn’t have Milburn,” said senior Leanna Neal, one of Haflich’s Dance 1 students. “No matter the teacher, I would be getting taught the same material.”

Neal didn’t know who Haflich was before taking her class this term and has enjoyed her time in the dance program so far.

“Something about Mrs. Hayflich that’s individual to her is how passionate she is about her class,” Neal said. “Not all the teachers at GB truly enjoy what they’re teaching, but you can tell that she does with the fun atmosphere she creates in her classroom.”

Although Haflich would be happy taking on more dance classes and perhaps a Spanish class she is still predominantly an English teacher.

She has mentioned that if she had the chance to move completely to dance, she “would be interested,” though with only one dance room on campus that would be a future endeavor for the dance program.

“So we’re just we’re really in this moment of like collabing and we’re not just kind of doing everything we’ve done before we’re just seeing where can we together, take the program.”