Dancer Hayley Butcher – Kent Life's Bright Young Thing

Hayley from Whitstable tells us about her passion for dancing, how it helped her cope with bullying, and what teaching means to her

Dancer Hayley Butcher - Kent Life’s Bright Young Thing

Hayley from Whitstable tells us about her passion for dancing, how it helped her cope with bullying, and what teaching means to her

Tell us about yourself

My name is Hayley, I’m 20 and currently living in Chestfield, near Whitstable, with my family and my two lovely labradors Mia and Mae. I grew up in Whitstable and went to The Archbishop’s School in Canterbury.

I’m a dancer and have been dancing since the age of five at The Deborah Capon College in Whitstable. I love performing and being on stage - there is nothing more thrilling! I have performed in a wide range of shows, from The Sound Of Music, Chicago and Sister Act to the TV show Britain's Got Talent.

As I grew up dancing I competed in loads of national competitions and festivals and in 2004 I won the All England Dance Competition semi-finals. At school I became a victim of bullying and dancing was always an escape from any troubles I had and I was able to gradually build back my confidence through dance.

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Last year I suffered a nasty injury which unfortunately I am still struggling with. Dancing can be painful, and this is one of the many hurdles I face every day when training.


What are you doing now?

I'm studying at The Deborah Capon College to gain my teaching qualifications in danceAs the course is private, I am not entitled to student finance, which means I also work at The Clothes Horse in Whitstable after college every day to fund my course. I work really hard seven days a week in order to complete my course and secure my future. It can be tiring, but it’s worth it and I also love fashion, so that's a bonus! I'm also currently in preparation for a choreographic competition which is being held in February when I will be choreographing two solos and a group piece.

Your future ambitions?

After performing professionally, I aim to be known as a major artistic director and choreographer and be able to inspire others. I love choreographing and it is something that comes naturally to me. I also aim to explore urban dance more. I'm naturally balletic, but in the past few years I have started to experiment with street and hip hop styles and absolutely love it. Being trained as a ballet and lyrical dancer, the two styles are complete contrasts so it's a big challenge adapting myself and my style. I'd love to duet with Charlie Bruce, winner of UK's So You Think You Can Dance, she's so agile and versatile and would be fabulous to choreograph for.

I would have loved to have toured with Michael Jackson as a dancer, he was and continues to be a massive inspiration to me, not only for his amazing talent but for his message of peace. I am so passionate about sharing this artform and I truly love the satisfaction that teaching brings.

There are so many things I'd love to explore as well. I want to see the world, possibly get into some acting, maybe writing, I'd love to do something along the lines of fashion as well.

What’s best about Kent?

I love the countryside and nature, the peace and beautiful landscapes. Aside from dance, I studied art and photography at school, so I love taking photos outside and  painting and drawing landscapes.

Your main hobbies?

Aside from dancing & choreographing I love music, fashion, socialising and art - I paint and draw at every given opportunity! I am a huge book worm and love shopping with my girlfriends and spending time with my boyfriend Cairo who is a huge support.

The last book you read?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I love reading, I wish I had more time to read. I love books by Jill Mansell, she's one of my favourite authors.

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