Meet Haleigh Brooks: An inspiring dancerBy Kasey Carty-Campbell
Photo by Melissa Ray
When dance student Haleigh Brooks describes her involvement in the Kennesaw State University Dance Company, her face beams with the passion and excitement that she has for dance. It is easy to see why she has been described as having a “magical stage presence.”
Entering her second year as a member of the KSU Dance Company, Haleigh lights up when she talks about her time in the dance company. After high school, Haleigh broke her foot and was forced to take a year off from dancing. She felt a hole in her heart without dance, but it was finally filled when she transferred to Kennesaw State and auditioned for the KSU Dance Company. “I came to KSU so I could dance,” says Haleigh.
“Haleigh is a real team player and knows when to blend into the ensemble, yet is not afraid to succeed as a soloist,” says Assistant Professor of Dance Emily Yewell Volin.
Entering the company with a competitive dancing background, Haleigh’s eyes have been opened during her time at KSU to the world of dance as an art. “Haleigh has really embraced everything the program has to offer,” says Volin. “When she encounters something new, she responds with ‘I may not know what that is yet, but I’m going to learn from it.’” All of this hard work has paid off: “My body has started to move in ways I never knew it could move!,” she says.
Although Haleigh has excelled during her year in the program, she truly celebrates in the success of her classmates. The ability to work with other talented dancers has been a highlight of her time in the program. “I can’t say that anyone is better than another dancer, because each of our strengths and weaknesses balance each other,” she says. “We are a unit, and I love having this group of friends around all the time.”
A marketing minor, Haleigh hopes to use her well-rounded KSU experience to fulfill her passion of teaching children. She hopes to open up her own dance studio where she plans to share all that she has learned at KSU, particularly the appreciation of dance as an art, with her future students.
Haleigh currently teaches nine classes a week at a local studio and describes the “proud parent” feeling that she has when her students, some as young as four, have the courage to perform.
Meeting Haleigh would encourage any child or adult alike to step out onto the stage and dance.