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New dance teacher’s goals are en pointe

Dancers preform at their annual Celebration of Dance. Photo by Zach Fink.

As teachers come and go throughout the years, Bear River is sad to let dance instructor and English teacher, Joyce Gouveia, go. In her stead, Gabriella Blaney will be taking center stage as the newest addition to the Bruin family as next year’s dance instructor.

Ms. Blaney was the assistant director of Nevada Union High School’s dance program as well as the adviser of the NU dance team. She added some extra facts about herself.

“I have been dancing since I was nine years old, and before that I was a competitive gymnast,” she said. “ … I went to UC Irvine for college where I majored in dance and minored in education … [and] from there I moved to New York city where I lived and danced professionally for six years.”

Some of the dance students expressed how they felt towards the transition from Mrs. Gouveia teaching to Ms. Blaney.

“At first I was nervous, … thinking that it might be awkward meeting her,” Sophomore Klaire Wolford states. “But she was very nice, and she was good. She made sure to ask us what we wanted, and made it seem like it was going to be our program too.

“I was a little bit skeptical, but I think that it’ll be good for our class,” said Junior Noelle Rivett. “I think we can see a lot of improvements. But I enjoy dancing with Gouveia a lot.”

“She was my dance teacher at Sierra Dance Institute … so I knew her before the audition,” said Junior Jenna Laplante. “[Despite this], I feel kind of conflicted about it, because I’m excited we’re going to have something kind of new, but it’s also really sad that she’s [Gouveia] leaving.”

Ms. Blaney explained her upcoming plans for the dance program.

“I’m really hoping to be able to expand the program for the next few year and create a Dance 3 class, … so we have a clear beginning, intermediate, and advanced level,” she said. “… There’s fourteen girls that want to choreograph this year for the student choreography showcase, so we’re [also] going to be adding two more shows, so we’ll be having three student choreography shows”

She also described how her jobs at Nevada Union could also influence how next year’s dance class will go.

“You know the dance community is so small that I would love for the girls to get to know the NU program, and for the NU dancers to get to know the Bear River girls,” she said. “I would love to have some sort of partnership with the NU program.”

Rivett elaborated on how next year could be slightly different than what dancers this year would be used to.

“I think that it’ll be more technical,” she said. “… It’ll be a little bit more strict probably which I’m sure it’ll be good for us. It’ll just be different, but I think that it’ll be beneficial for us … I feel like we do a lot of general dance [right now], but I think Gaby will be able to help us improve our personal skills and everything.”

Some girls carried on to provide Ms. Blaney with some pieces of advice.

“To make sure the girls know everything that we’re doing, because it’s new to us too,” said Wolford. “Just to get to know us and bond. We’ll all get close, I’m sure.”

“I think just to have patience probably, because not everyone went to a studio,” said Rivett. “It’s a school environment, so not everyone is up with their skills. But, there are a few that did go to studios, and they are really good. So just be ready for different levels of skills.”

Ms. Blaney shared what she was most excited about teaching at Bear River.

“I am most excited about running my own program … and hopefully creating a lot more opportunities for the Bear River dancers,” she said. “I want to … let them experience different dance styles … and show them to love dance as I love dance.”

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New dance teacher’s goals are en pointe