Dowling Dedicated to Dance


Anna Belculfine, Staff Writer

It all started at the age of 3 for freshman Hailey Dowling. Ever since she could walk, she was dancing in the aisles at her sister’s dance competitions. Growing up, she looked up to her sister and was constantly watching her dance.

But back then she never knew the impact that dance would have on her life.

With 20 dance classes a week and spending at least 21 hours at her studio, Dazzle Studio of Dance, she is kept very busy. She balances school and dance while maintaining her good grades.

“I make sure I have time to finish all of my homework and study before dance or while I’m on break, but if I absolutely have to I’ll stay home for an extra hour to finish any of my work,” she says.

Even though Dowling takes so many classes, she does have her favorite and least favorite types of dances. A few of her favorite types consist of contemporary, classical jazz, and lyrical. She is able to pick up any style of choreography, however she is able to show her stage presence a lot more with her favorites. Her least favorite dance is tap.

“Tap. It’s a little more difficult and is so much more intricate,” says Dowling.

Along with types of dances, she also has favorite and least favorite types of dance steps/moves. “I can’t even count, there’s so many moves that are my favorite,” she says. Her top two favorite dance steps/moves are tilts or side aerials. She doesn’t care to do scissor rings because they’re difficult for her to do and they hurt her back.

Dances that she can be involved in include solos, duets, trios, or group dances. No matter what dance she performs, she enjoys having the ability to be able to dance alone and with others.

“I love to dance amongst my dance friends and colleagues because we dance amazingly together,” she says. “but when I dance on my own I can really show off what I can do,”

Hailey isn’t just a dancer whose busy with a bunch of classes, she’s a competitive dancer who competes at various amounts of competitions throughout the competition season. She began competitive dancing at the age of four, after her dance teacher asked her if she was interested.

Competitive dancers not only go out of town to compete, they could go out of state as well. But for Hailey at the age of eight, her and her company went all the way to Germany for the World Dance Showcase Championships. The team got invited because of a competition they attended called Headliners. At that competition, judges called out dances that had high scores and that they liked the most. “We all decided we wanted to go so we raised a lot of money to fund for the trip,” she says. Dowling and her team competed against thirty-two other countries and were able to meet a vast number of different people.

Dowling has received numerous amounts of awards, trophies, and crowns at her competitions throughout her 12 years of dancing. “I have gotten over one hundred trophies, ten crowns, and I have so many special awards that I can’t even name them all,” says Dowling. A few of her favorite awards are “emotional excellence,”“truly beautiful,” “simply an angel,” “Broadway bound,” and technical perfection.”

All dancers can relate to having their worst and best onstage moments and experiences. Dowling tripped and almost fell on her face at Dance Ovations National Dance Competition but she kept going. “It was really funny,” she says.

Her proudest onstage moment was in 2009, when she was crowned Petite Miss Dance Ovations. It was one of her proudest moments onstage because she had finally achieved one of her goals.

After high school, Dowling is planning on continuing her dancing while she’s attending college.

“Dancing is my passion and I can’t just stop once I get to college,” she says. She does teach a few dance classes now, but she sees herself still teaching a few classes in the future and taking less dance classes.

Auditioning to be a parade dancer or a Disney princess for Disney World or becoming a New England Patriots cheerleader are all things that she sees herself auditioning for in the future. “I would want to become a cheerleader for the Patriots because it would be a fantastic experience and because I want to meet Tom Brady,” she says.

If her big dreams do not work out, she hopes to fall back on teaching dance at her own studio. “I want kids to have the opportunities that I had growing up, along with the ones I have now,” she says.
Dance is something that she calls her life since the start at the age of three. She says that dance is the one thing that relieves her stress and it’s a way she can release her emotions and be free. To maintain her flexibility, she does daily stretches for at least an hour. She recently got a ballet barre, hardwood floors, and mirrors in her basement. “I usually practice my solos and group dances down there to keep them fresh in my mind,” says Dowling.

Dowling as a young dancer.
Dowling as a young dancer.
A few of the many awards and trophies she's received.
A few of the many awards and trophies she’s received.