Meet the Ballerina, Hailey Hamblin
Nickname: Hailz, Hayze, Ham, H
Birthday: May 20
Hometown: Burlington, Ontario
Dreamtown: New York
Current Netflix Binge: Mindhunters
1. So you’re a ballerina! (HOW COOL) How and when did you start dancing?
I had a fairly typical introduction with dance as most young girls and boys do… I was the classic little kid with too much energy who could never sit still so my mum enrolled me in dance classes when I was 4 years old and I’ve been dancing ever since!
2. What other types of dance do you do?
When I was younger I danced competitively in various styles of dance. Jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, lyrical, you name it, I tried it. It wasn’t until I was 12 years old that I auditioned for Canada’s National Ballet School, was accepted into the Professional Training Program and decided to dedicate myself solely to training in the technique of classical ballet.
Now that I have graduated from Canada’s National Ballet School, my training regime is still primarily focused around the technique of classical ballet but I have also taken a deep interest in exploring more ‘neoclassical” or contemporary styles of dance, too.
3. How many pairs of ballet shoes have you gone through?
Truthfully, I’ve lost count. If I had to guess I’d say somewhere around 80 pairs of pointe shoes, if not more! Unfortunately when you train as much as I do, your shoes don’t last very long and have to be replaced frequently.
4. How many days a week do you train (or if you were more active in the past, what’s the craziest dance schedule you’ve ever had?)
When I was in school I was training/rehearsing anywhere from 5-7 hours a day, Monday through Friday. We would also take class on Saturday mornings for an hour and a half, with the possibility of rehearsals following in the afternoon.
Now that I am out of school, I still train daily, 5 days a week, for about 3 hours a day. I’ve also incorporated other types of physical activity into my training schedule to help maintain my body and keep it as healthy as possible.
I find that cardio based workouts, strength training and pilates classes have all played a big role in maintaining the strength and endurance my body needs in order to keep up with my training/dancing.
5. What’s the hardest part about dance for you?
I think the most difficult part about dance is the constant strive for perfection, and most dancers would back me up on this. We are always striving for the unattainable, to be the best we can be and although this is our motivation for improvement, it can also be harmful and discouraging at times. Everyone is their own worst critic.
6. What’s your advice to people who want to start dancing but have never done it before?
I think my best advice would be to just go in with an open mind, remember to be patient with yourself and most importantly, dance because you love it. It’s an incredibly difficult profession to pursue if you don’t have the heart for it.
7. Does ballet hurt? Please explain. It looks painful sometimes.
Ballet definitely hurts. I think people underestimate how much strength and dedication it takes to be able to do some of the things that ballerina’s can. We train intensely for long hours daily, to maintain and progress our art form to the best of our abilities. We are just as much athletes as we are artists.
8. How do you rest your body?
Well if I’m being ruthlessly honest, my favourtie way to rest my body is to lay in bed, with a pint of Ben&Jerry’s and binge watch Netflix! I also try to see my physiotherapist frequently to treat any aches and pains I may be dealing with and going for deep tissues massages when I can.
Soaking in a hot bath with epsom salts is also a really great way to soothe any aches and pains or sore muscles. That pint of Ben&Jerry’s often finds its way into the bath with me too ;)
9. Do you go to college or university? If so what are you taking? If not, what is something you would like to learn about?
I am not in college or university but if I were to go back to school I think I’d really enjoy exploring the world of fashion and design. It’s something I’ve always taken an interest in and I think it would be really interesting to explore something outside of dance that still involves a lot of creativity!
10. What makes you the happiest?
Probably just being able to spend time with loved ones, wether it be friends or family. I find that as I mature into adulthood, life gets busier and can really take over at times which makes it difficult to link up with friends and family. But when you do get to reconnect with those people it makes those moments so much more special. And of course any time I get to dance/ perform!
11. What’s your morning routine?
I normally start my day anywhere between 8:30 and 9am (with the possibility of hitting the snooze button a few times). I’ll brush my teeth, wash my face, do my make up, get dressed, and organize my bag/room before I have to leave the house. I’m surprisingly good at getting ready within a reasonable time in the mornings, usually within 30-45min (good for me, ok?).
I usually grab breakfast/coffee (shout out to Tim Hortons) on the way to my morning ballet class and that’s about it.
12. Tell us about your favourite dance moment ever:
Probably when I performed at the Palais Garnier for the Paris Opera Ballet School’s 300th Anniversary Gala in Paris, France. I was only 16 at the time and the youngest of 5 students who were chosen to go. It was such a surreal experience and a memory that I will cherish forever.
13. What’s your favourite thing about December?
CHRISTMAS, duh! And just the general feeling of the holiday season. Everyone’s spirits seem so much higher despite the dropping temperatures.
14. Any New Year resolutions?
I want to continue to carry on a path of self love and empowerment and to actively strive to be the best possible version of myself.
15. What are you most proud of about yourself?
I am most proud of my resilience. No matter how many challenges life throws your way or how many obstacles you encounter, you just have to keep pushing forward and believing in yourself. It’s not always easy, but I find that the struggle is always worth it in the end.
16. Who’s your biggest dance idol?
Isabella Boylston… the girl is a total badass. Look her up and see for yourself.
17. What do you want people to know about you?
I think I want people to know that although being a dancer is a term I use as my identifier, there are so many other qualities to me that makes me, me.
1. Favourite Christmas movie:
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
2. Favourite holiday beverage:
3. Favourite place to go in Toronto:
Bloor W Village and West Queen West area
4. Favourite colour to wear in the winter:
Dark Green, Hot Red and Winter White :p
5. Favourite Christmas song:
All I Want For Chirstmas Is You