Hayden Hopkins – Judges’ Choice July 2014

I am so grateful to have won the scholarship! I have been responsible for paying all my dance expenses since I was 15 - I come from a single parent home and I have a very talented younger sister who is a US junior Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics. Expenses for dance have become so much and this scholarship will help me greatly. 

Westlake Dance Center in Seattle, WA is my main studio. I study ballet, jazz, modern, hip hop, musical theatre, tap, ballroom - I love it all!  I have been dancing since I was 2 years old.  I have been choreographing since I was 10 years old. It's been a great way to challenge myself and find my strengths and discover weakness. I've been lucky enough to choreograph for dancers in the US and Australia. I hope that choreography will be a big part of my dance career when the time is right. 

I started competing when I was 6. The last few years I have been focusing on my own growth in technique and less on competitions. I've had some amazing experiences because of dance competitions. I've been able to work with choreographers that I admire and been able to travel and make special friendships with other dancers while gaining valuable stage experience.

I would like to acknowledge Kirsten Cooper. She has been teaching me since I was 11. She is very supportive and always encourages me to really consider all my options when making decisions about any opportunities that come up. I also have worked with Emily Shock for the last 2 years and I really admire her honesty and creative mind.

I just turned 17 in July and will be heading into my senior year in high school. I hope to attend an East coast college, possibly NYU. At this point I'm weighing all my options and am just trying to surround myself with people who share the same passions as I do.

Thank you again,