AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – The grit and determination of a 17-year-old Auburn dancer are making her dream of becoming a professional ballerina come true. Haley Winegarden has opportunities to continue her studies as a dancer at several prestigious institutions, including The Juilliard School in New York.
When you first meet Haley and see videos of her dancing, her poise, and grace both on stage and off stage, are striking.
“For me, ballet is very structured. It requires a lot of discipline and execution. For me, I love that within that structure it’s also very expressive, and I get to become a character and find my artistic voice,“ explained Winegarden.
Haley began The Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham as a high school freshman where she lives in the dorms, away from her family’s home in Auburn. Haley maintains all A’s and B’s while studying dance 20 hours a week. The dancer is thankful to her ASFA teachers, Wes Chapman, Teri Weksler, and Martha Faesi. Haley is also grateful for supportive parents who trust and support her as she gracefully leaps over every challenge in her way.
Haley now has opportunities to continue her studies at several prestigious dance programs like the Richmond Ballet Trainee Program, University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), Point Park University, and the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance (UMKC). Just last week, Haley became one of 24 dancers accepted at The Juilliard School in New York.
“We are excited about her opportunities. I think we are more proud of her. I think what we want for her, and all of our kids is to have something that drives them and gives them a passion for making good decisions and a dream to live for,“ said Haley’s father, Adam Winegarden, who is the head football coach at Auburn High School.
Haley says her mother and father raised her to go after her dreams, keep her eye on the prize and head firmly attached to the path she has chosen for herself.
“We are extremely proud of Haley and the work she has done. I have watched her since she first became serious about dance and the effort she put in. It’s gotten her to where she is today,“ explained Ashley Winegarden, Haley’s mom.
No matter where her love of dancing takes her, Haley’s focused on owning her path and encourages others to do the same.
“Work hard, work hard! Don’t let anyone tell you no. If it’s what you love and want for your life, do it anyway. Dreams do come true,“ said Haley.
News 3 will continue to follow Haley’s dream of becoming a professional dancer. We can’t wait to see her next move.