By Shaneli Mirpuri
The cheerleading and dance teams bring endless amounts of entertainment to Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) whether at the pep rallies or football games, yet this school year both teams have introduced new coaches .
Subsequently, the dance and cheer teams are undergoing several positive changes as these great new coaches make their mark.
Chrissie Leong, the new dance teacher, is certified by the American Ballet Theatre and taught at the famous Joffrey Ballet School in New York before joining the GHCHS family. In the few weeks since school has started, Leong has already introduced a lot more technicality into all of her classes.
The dance team is going through some changes. This year, they will be performing at a different dance competition, West Coast Elite, and at more basketball games to show off their latest hip-hop routines.
In addition to the annual spring dance show, Leong is currently organizing a new fall show on November 20 with a faculty favorites theme where all the dance classes, as well as the team, will perform.
Leong also hopes to bridge the skill gaps between the introduction and intermediate classes by teaching them new choreography and perfecting their dance technique. Her passion for teaching dance motivates her to grow GHCHS’ dance program by introducing ballet and yoga electives in future years.
“I love dance so much and I think the best way to share dance is to teach it,” Leong said.
GHCHS’ new cheerleading coach, Jessica Moorehead, has been part of cheer teams since junior high school and is also currently a cheerleading coach at Santa Monica College.
Moorehead hopes her previous cheer experience will help bring about a natural transition between the junior varsity and varsity teams’ tumbling and stunting levels. Moorehead aims to establish a fun and positive environment in which the cheerleaders reach their full potential where she coaches them to the best possible level.
At the 2014 USA Cheer Nationals in Anaheim, junior varsity cheer took first place while varsity took fourth place and then fifth place the following year. Both teams plan to compete and place once again at the USA Cheer Nationals in spring 2016.
New uniforms, pom-poms, and improved cheer routines are just the beginnings of changes this school year for the cheerleaders to be at the top of their game. However, Moorehead believes that there is always room for improvement.
“We’re going to push them as far as they can go and when they get there, we’re just going to push them harder,” Moorehead said.