Dance with all your Hart: teen uses dance to cope with all her problems

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For some, the thought of speaking or performing in front of others is terrifying. Haley Hart, a competition dancer at Victory Talent in Marshville, N.C., uses her dancing as a safe place and somewhere she can influence others. 

The 14-year-old Hart has been dancing since her mom put her in dance when she was two. Her mom thought she would be so cute in her leotard and tights. But as Hart got older, dance became a part of her weekly life. She uses dance to cope with stress and a way to express how she feels when there are no words to explain. While dancing, Hart uses facial expressions and fluid body movements to show how she is feeling. “Dance is like my second home and when I go there I know I can be myself,” said Hart.

Hart began competitive dance when she was 9-years-old. This is where Hart and her group of dancers put together 3-4 different styled dances and compete with other dance studios from all around the United States at regional competitions like StarPower and Showstoppers. There is even a national at Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Hart says this year her studio is going to Kannapolis, N.C. to perform at a High School. “On the side of the stage at competition it is kind of nerve-racking, you’re just standing there waiting, watching all these other people compete. But when it is time for awards and when you hear your studio’s named called, it is the best feeling ever,” said Hart.

Hart really values the people at Victory talent. The people at her studio are all like family to her and really help her through everything. “The teachers and students are always trying to help, if we don’t understand a certain dance move or combination, they are all willing to stay after class or set up a time during the week or weekend to help,” said Hart.

When Hart is not a student at Victory Talent, she is a teacher working with 3-year-olds on technique and tumble classes. “I mostly stay in the gym and teach the tumble classes and I will spot back tucks, back handsprings and aerials,” said Hart.

Hart teaches because she wants others to use dance in the way she does. Yes, it is fun, but it can also be used to manage adversity. “I try to impact my students by getting them to do the right thing, stay in line, follow directions, because if they don’t when they face hard things in life they won’t know how to cope with it,” said Hart.

Not only is Hart proud of what she does, but is very appreciative of her second home and the people in it. Dance has not just put her in the spotlight, it has given her the confidence to take the center stage in life.