EMORY, Va. - Mary Hannah Garber has been selected as the head cheer and dance coach at Emory & Henry College, College officials announced Tuesday.
Garber, of Franklin County, Virginia, comes to Emory & Henry from the Roanoke Children's Theatre, where she served as a teaching artist and choreographer for the past year.
Garber has over 20 years of training and experience in the fields of dance, cheer and theatre. This past spring she served as an assistant varsity cheer coach for sideline and competition squads at Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, Virginia. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a focus on musical theatre from Virginia Intermont College.
"We are extremely excited to bring Mary Hannah to Emory & Henry College to help us grow our cheer and dance teams," Interim E&H Athletic Director Anne Crutchfield said. "I've known her for several years and she is such a positive person, and I can't wait for her to get to campus and mentor our student-athletes."
Garber has previously worked with the Seaworld Entertainment group as an assistant director and choreographer for productions at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va. In addition, she spent several years working as a performer and dancer in theme park productions.
"Dance has been my life since I was three-years-old, its second nature to me," said Garber. "I was a cheerleader all throughout high school, and this job is a dream come true as it combines two of my passions. I look forward to creating teams that are passionate about performing, but that also serve as role models and leaders across the Emory & Henry campus."
This will be the second season that the College has participated in competitive cheerleading and dance as a non-NCAA varsity sport. Both programs are coed and are also part of the College's Affinity Program.
"I am really excited about the energy and enthusiasm that Mary Hannah brings to the cheer and dance program and I am looking forward to where she will take the program in the future," said Dr. Matt Frederick, assistant vice president of Affinity.
In April, the Emory & Henry College Dance Team finished the season with a National Champion performance at JAMfest Sevierville Nationals held at the Sevierville Convention Center. The Emory & Henry College Cheer Team took first in the Open Coed Hip Hop Division at the CHEERSPORT Knoxville Grand Championship at the Knoxville Convention Center earlier in the year.
Emory & Henry College currently sponsors 22 varsity sports with nine NCAA men's sports (baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track & field), nine NCAA women's sports (basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, volleyball), competitive cheerleading and dance, and the Intermont Equestrian IDA and IHSA teams.