WHEN a little girl took to the stage at just four years old, she discovered a passion for dancing that remains nearly 30 years later.
Hayley James first put on her ballet shoes when she attended a village dance school.
She now runs her own school in Mill Road and has achieved success abroad too.
Hayley said: “I’ve always loved to dance and as a child I started to compete.
“While I was on stage performing I had a gut feeling that I wanted to dance forever and be able to pass on the amazing feeling like I had that day on the stage.”
She said she loves how dancing brings can help people feel confident.
“It brings out great confidence and passion in people and it’s a real joy to be able to give everybody the chance to have that,” added Hayley.
Impact Dance was founded by principal Hayley in 2000.
It offers a variety of classes and styles, including street, ballet, tap, singing and musical theatre to pupils as young as aged two.
Hayley, nee Slater, said: “We want to get the best from all individuals, young and old.
“People are encouraged to be the best they can be and have fun doing it. Impact Dance has an open door to all and my mantra - ‘enjoy the dance’ - is something I live for.”
Hayley started from a small village hall with a handful of pupils.
She now has around 300 people on her register, and operates from a newly-refurbished, purpose-built dance school.
The success of Impact Dance can be put down to the belief that Hayley has in her pupils.
Since the school launched, Hayley has put on charity shows. The showcase of all the Impact Dance performers highlights Hayley’s ability to teach a variety of styles to a range of ages.
“I’ve always wanted a dance school,” she said.
“It’s great to pass on my skills and knowledge to the local talent. I do everything I can to create amazing performance opportunities for all dancers no matter what their age or ability.”
That includes children from as young as two years right up to ‘Yummy Mummies’ and recently ‘Dadversity’, who are parents who don’t want to miss out on the action.
She said: “This annual show has shown how you do not need to have a natural ability to be a dancer, just the willingness to have fun and strive for success.”
To date Hayley has donated more than £10,000 to charities, including the Air Ambulance and Cancer Research UK.
Her dance school has performed at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Disneyland Paris, Port Ventura and most recently the Royal Albert Hall, where 40 dancers showcased their talent in a performance dedicated to the build-up to the Olympic opening ceremony.
Each year Hayley has the opportunity to encourage her pupils to take part in master classes. Visits to the Pineapple Dance Studios are organised so that pupils can experience the intensity of commercial dancing.
Recently Hayley was invited to perform at the Olympic Torch Relay as it passed through Rugby. There’s more too.
“I’ve started to host fitness classes,” said Hayley.
“The latest trend to sweep through Rugby is military fitness circuits. It has well and truly landed at the Impact Dance Studio.”
It operates nearly every evening from the studio and puts people through adrenaline-pumping exercises.
For more information phone (01788) 537021 or visit hayley impactdance.co.uk.