83-year-old Charlotte Hafer ’59-’72M,’78M was named “Broadway’s Biggest Fan” by Andrew Barth Feldman, Renee Rapp, and Julie James on Broadway.com. Check out Charlotte’s feature at 4:30 in the video above and watch the awards!
Better known as Miss Charlotte, Hafer was a teacher for 41 years in the Chambersburg school district, where she was known as “the child whisperer.” In retirement, Hafer volunteers full-time at Grandview elementary assisting students with reading comprehension and math. She notes that, “God has a sense of humor – my classroom is on a stage [at Grandview]”.
In addition to her dedication to public school, Hafer is also the the owner and artistic director of Mar-le-Nie’ dance studio in Chambersburg. Mar-Le-Nie’ Dance Studio, Inc. is a non-profit 501 c(3) public charity organization which gives children the opportunity to learn the art of tap, jazz, and ballet dances. Founded in 1978 and the oldest dance studio in Chambersburg area, Mar-Le-Nie’ also gives students exposure to vocal and theatrical numbers.
“I love what I do in life,” Hafer said. “All the people in my life are my inspiration. Theater is my medicine, and I haven’t had a sick day in 51 years.” With her sick leave money from Chambersburg school district, she went to Broadway the weekend after her retirement and saw five shows. Hafer loves to attends shows locally, and after each performance, she gives an angel pin to the entire cast and crew of the show as a thank-you.
“I love Broadway. Broadway makes me smile. Broadway is not only that famous avenue in New York, it is everywhere, in every city and small town that produces Broadway shows for people. Broadway makes us smile. After 9/11, Broadway actors, producers, directors, ushers, crew, etc., were the first to rise up and perform, thus they made America smile again. Now when this situation passes, Broadway will rise up, perform, and this time make the world smile,” she wrote.
Mar-Le-Nie’ Dance Studio currently enrolls dancers ranging from 3 to 18 years of age. Classes are also available for adults.