NPA Dancer Profile - Haily Nixon

If actions speak louder than words, you will want to watch what Hailey says.

“In order to make changes, there has to be a strong force, and I believe we are that force,” Hailey said, adding that passion and emotion are critical ingredients for change.

“To me, dance for change means dancing to spread a message. Dance for change is dancing for what you believe in and proving it with powerful movements and expressions.”

Hailey admitted that, like many of us, she struggles with talking about her emotions, but she’s found a way to tap into the adrenaline and nerves that come from performing as a way to push through her comfort zone and express what she is feeling.

“I am always happy that I pushed myself to get through it,” she said.

“My favorite part of this performance was getting to ‘dance for change’ for something that I personally struggle with. It meant a lot to me and made me dance with even more conviction and emotion,” she said, adding that she enjoyed seeing how each of her classmates interpreted the topics for themselves.

Because of COVID-19, the dancers had to be extra cautious by wearing masks and socially distancing – which was stressful. Adding to the unknown was the fact that Hailey had never danced with her classmates, and she wasn’t sure what to expect.

Hailey was thankful for the opportunity to get to know them better and just as grateful to all the people who stuck with her and helped her through these trying times.

“I found out that we actually work very well together, and I am glad I was in a group with them. I’m so thankful for the effort they put in to be there.”

Haily has been dancing, on and off, most of her life. She is a very competitive volleyball and basketball player, and she rounds out her favorite activities with dirt bikes and skiing.

What wasn’t expected was that isolation during the pandemic allowed her to slow down and reconnect with art. “I’ve been really getting into painting – it’s very therapeutic for me.”

Something else that brightens her day is when she gets other people smiling and laughing. “I enjoy making people laugh,” she said. “No matter what the circumstances.”

Three dancers in COVID masks prepare to dance.

Dance for change

Dancers Sara Stephens, Hailey Nixon and Brienne Harvey do a virtual performance called, "Recovery." This piece reflects the struggles of battling a mental illness and finding your own path to 'recovery'.