Hayley Meier

River North Dance, Rochester City Ballet

I started at Draper Center when I was 11 years old. I think it was one of the best decisions I ever made as a dancer, especially at that age. Draper taught me so many things, not only did Draper give me the ballet technique that I so desperately needed in my training, but it taught me discipline, hard work and dedication.

It is not easy going to dance every single day after school, but I wouldn’t take it back for a single second. Draper Center as well as Rochester City Ballet gave me the chance to perform in full length concert works at a very young age. I also had the opportunity to compete in competitions, which was always a lot of fun for me growing up.

After I graduated, I attended the University of Arizona on a Full Dance Scholarship. The four years I was there I was able to use the ballet training I had and apply it to other genres of dance. I think this is what really helped me excel at the University, having that strong ballet technique going into school gave me the edge that I needed to get noticed in such a big dance program.

When I graduated from U of A, I accepted a contract with the Rochester City Ballet for two years. I was thrilled to be dancing with them again. I had made some amazing friendships at Draper and it was nice to be able to dance with my best friends again. I am so glad that I made the decision to come back home and be a part of Rochester City Ballet. They had grown so much in the four short years that I was away and it was nice to be a part of something like that again. In those two years I had some pretty amazing performance opportunities. Not only did I get to perform classic pieces such George Balanchine’s “Serenade” and Gerald Arpino’s “Valentine”, but I was also able to be involved in the creation of Jamey Leverett’s “The Blood Countess”.

For the past year I have been dancing with River North Dance Chicago. It is a jazz/contemporary company located in the heart of Chicago. Already this year I have had the opportunity to travel all over the United States and part of Europe. I will also be traveling to Russia for a 4 week tour all over the country. It will be quite an experience! I’m really looking forward to the next coming years of my career and can’t wait to see what other opportunities are presented to me.