Central Kentucky ballerina seeks help to make dance dream come true

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023

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Dance has been a constant in 16-year-old Clark County resident Reagan Hayes’ life since she was a little girl.

“I’ve been dancing since I was three years old. My mom put me in ballet because she said that even as a baby, I looked like a dancer,” Hayes said.

Being on the stage is where she feels most like herself.

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“I don’t think about anything else. Everything else just goes away in my head,” she said about the experience of performing.

Going into her senior year at George Rogers Clark High School, Hayes, a student at Dancer’s Pointein Winchester, is trying to decide whether she wants to pursue dance professionally.

This summer, she has an excellent opportunity to experience something that will help her make that decision.

“I have a $350 scholarship to this summer intensive that is being held by the Cosmopolitan Ballet Theater in Massachusetts,” she said.

A summer intensive is a training camp where dance students hone their skills with the best instructors around.

Hayes earned her place at the intensive, which will be in Northhampton, Massachusetts, after she recently performed at the Mid-Atlantic Dance Initiative in West Virginia.

“It is a such a good opportunity, and it will probably be my last if I don’t end up having a career in ballet. It is just too good of an opportunity to pass up,” Hayes said.

There is only one catch; the scholarship does not cover even a fraction of the $3,500 cost for Hayes to dance at the session she hopes to attend starting on July 9.

Hayes is already working part-time at the Winchester Applebees and for her dad doing odd jobs. She is also applying for positions at other local businesses.

“She is working a lot right now,” said Hayes’ mother, Amanda.

But the clock is ticking for her to meet her payment deadlines on June 26 and in the first week of July.

That is where the community can help Hayes out. She has set up a GoFundMe page, which can found by searching “Reagan Hayes’s Summer Ballet Intensive.”

Hayes has raised a little over $1,000 of her goal as of Monday evening.

Amanda Hayes is encouraging her daughter to work toward her lofty goal because of the difference dance has made in her life.

“It has really helped her to become more confident. She struggled with some insecurities when we moved here from Frankfort,” Amanda Hayes said. “She has had some really great teachers, and the girls that dance with her are so supportive.”

More than anything, she wants Reagan to reach for the stars.

“I really want her to believe that this is possible and that is if this is something that she wants, she can work toward it,” Amanda Hayes said. “I want her to see that you can do the things that you dream of doing and that you don’t have to think small or have the same kind of job as everyone else.”