Dancer Hailey Fay ’17 Accepted into Prestigious University of Arizona Dance Program

Iowa’s first place dance soloist looks forward to dancing at the University of Arizona next year and reflects on her journey.

The national stage is home to City’s varsity dance captain Hailey Fay ‘17. The 17-year-old is well-rehearsed in many forms of dance including ballet, pointe, lyrical, silks, and jazz.

Fay’s success can be measured, in part, by the number of trophies she has brought home. Freshman year she placed fifth in the state as a soloist — an impressive accomplishment for a 14-year-old. The following year she fell to seventh but rebounded her junior year with a second-place finish. Her senior year, Fay was determined to take home the number-one spot, and her training reflected that goal.

“I had to keep trying [to win] and [had to] look up to my mentors,” Fay said.

Her hard work paid off: Fay took home a state soloist first-place trophy. College dance programs across the country noted her hard work.

Dance is like its own little world for me.

— Hailey Fay

Early this December, Fay auditioned and was accepted into Arizona State’s dance minor — a selective program for the nation’s top artists. The university accepts seven dancers into each of its individual dance categories. Fay was invited to the jazz minor program.

“I was surprised. It’s super competitive and I was incredibly happy about it,” Fay said.

Artistic skills did not come easy to the senior captain. Although from a young age Fay excelled in dance, she still fought through personal barriers to push herself to the maximum.

“I fractured my hip in the seventh grade,” Fay said, recalling her injury. “I lost a lot of flexibility from that, and it took awhile to get back in the groove of things.”

College-level dance is just another step toward Fay’s dream of one day dancing professionally.

“I want to be in a company; being in a professional company would be really amazing,” Fay said. “Dancing in California or Chicago would be really cool.”

Her big dreams will not be easy to achieve. The senior will need to excel at the collegiate level in order to earn her place in a professional company.

Staying in the groove is currently working for Fay. As she challenged herself with advanced classes in multiple categories of dance, she still found the time to travel around the country for competitions.

Fay does not dance just for awards and recognition, but also for inner peace and tranquility.

“Dance is like its own little world for me,” Fay explained. “When I step in the studio all of my worries go away and the reality of things is different than when I’m in the studio.”

I agree with the phrase ‘dance is not a sport.’ To me it is an art.

— Hailey Fay

There is some controversy over whether dance should be considered a sport. While Fay finds her niche quite physically challenging, she considers dance to be an art — not a sport.

“I agree with the phrase ‘dance is not a sport.’ To me it is an art,” Fay said. “Dance team or competitions can be considered a sport because you’re competing against other teams. But to me it’s an art, and it takes an athlete to make it look easy. So it’s an art, but it does take some serious physical training.”

Fay is thankful for all the opportunities dance has presented her throughout her life.

“Dance has taught me a lot throughout my whole life. Without dance I don’t think I would be the person that I am today. I am really thankful for it.”