For Adelaide “Addie” Hayden, dance is much more than just fun.
“It is who I am,” declares the 12-year-old, who will be a seventh-grader at Ahern Middle School this fall. “I do it as part of my life. When you love something as much as I love to dance, it’s part of your life like another home and another family.”
Addie competed on many small and large group teams this year and as a soloist. She won first place for her contemporary dance solos at all six of the competitions she entered in her age group.
Addie also received multiple training scholarships this year, including one from the Boston Ballet (she was unable to attend due to her competition schedule), and has been invited to perform in the 2019 Macy’s Day Parade.
Her training includes weekly classes in jazz, hip hop, tap, lyrical/contemporary dance and ballet.
“After working with Addie for multiple years, she has shown me how dedicated and gifted she is,” said Tatum Mahoney, her teacher at Edge Studio of Dance in Canton. “She sets goals and pushes herself past them. She is committed, hard-working and humble. The potential she possesses is endless and I cannot wait to see what her future holds.”
Addie was born in Baltimore. Her parents, Sarah and Corey Hayden, moved from Canton to Foxboro six years ago.
Addie started dance at age 4 at Edge Studio and a few years later her parents thought she needed more ballet training so they enrolled her in Foxboro Classical Ballet Academy.
“We noticed her passion as a baby,” Sarah said. “She was walking at 9 months old and dancing soon after. When she started formal classes at 4 years old, she had great musicality and focus for her age.”
This summer, Addie trained at Generation IV Dance Intensive at Smith College in Northampton, and was taught by some of the top choreographers in the country.
“On stage, her being comes alive and she becomes a storyteller,” Sarah said of Addie. “To see your daughter engage with an art form as Addie does makes you aware of your responsibility as a parent to support them in their love of dance and in accessing training opportunities, to give them credit as artists even at a young age.”
Addie says her favorite style is contemporary dance because it “requires technique but the movement can be creative and unexpected.”
This year, she danced the role of Clara in Foxboro Classical Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.”
“Addie has been our student for many years, working on her ballet technique for her competitions,” academy director Eve O’Reilly Keddy said. “She is a beautiful, hard-working dancer, with the skills and acting ability to take her as far as she wants to go, including Broadway.”
Sarah described Addie as mature and organized but also fun-loving with a great sense of humor and a love for reading.
“We hope that Addie pursues this passion wherever it may take her in life,” Sarah said. “She has been able to make so many connections through dance, both peers and mentors. Not every dancer becomes a professional but we hope that her love of the arts continues to enhance her life well beyond these early years.”
Addie will be performing the role of Jane Banks in LRC Stage Productions’ “Mary Poppins” on Aug. 29th (2 and 7 p.m.) at the Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center.
Addie also plays viola in the Ahern Middle School orchestra and piano, and is a member of the Girls Who Code club at school.
Asked what she wants to be when she grows up, Addie said she is interested in body prosthetics.
“I’m always intrigued by their design,” she said. “I’d love to be a doctor who works with people who have prosthetics. Maybe I could work with people who use prosthetics to train them in dance. I am interested in combining dance with medicine somehow.”