Leaping Into SMHS With Ms. Leah


By Tate Vitiello

Math, science, and a dance teacher? That’s Ms. Leah Bagheri! She teaches here at SMHS, and I Interviewed her to get an idea on what being a part of the dance team is like, and a look behind the scenes. I asked her a few questions, and got her opinion. “How do you come up with choreography for Dance P.E., and the varsity teams.?” “It’s different for both I would say. The vocab that we learn definitely goes into it. Varsity is more open, and leaves room for them to be more creative,” Leah said. I found that she values creativity and variance when coming up with choreography. 

Ms. Leah previously told me that she used to be a math and science teacher. There is clearly a big shift in teaching for math compared to dance. I was very interested to know if she had always wanted to be a dance teacher, or if it was just a spark of interest. “I previously had wanted to teach third grade, when I was teaching regular grades. I always wanted to teach dance,” she said. I then asked her if there was anything in particular that changed her teaching goals. “I had always wanted to coach dance, and I did teach little kids, however when I was teaching the little kids, I did want to teach high school dance for a long time. They’re just a bit more mature, I don’t know why, but they can also grasp the concept, and the execution better. The little kids I taught were just having fun, but for older kids it’s more of a sport, or an activity,” she said.

I thought of how Dance P.E. and the other dance teams at our school differ tremendously and brought this idea up with Leah. “Yes. The dance teams get to be a little more free, and they also get to choreograph. However, dance P.E. also gets to be free, but we use more vocabulary for whatever unit we are doing to get more of an idea,” Leah said. Along with that, I asked if the skills and choreography are adjusted depending on the team or P.E. class students are in. “Yes. The skill levels are different, but they are a bit different in what is done,” Leah said.

We see the dance performances at football games, pep rallies, and dance showcases, but besides the dance team itself, students don’t actually know what it’s like to prepare and perfect the choreography that we love to watch. Ms. Leah gave me a great look at the variance of skill and preparation that is necessary for each team and P.E. class. Make sure to check out our amazing dance team and coaches at games and events!