Hailey Hubbs

  • Hailey standing in a field with her hand on her head looking at the camera.

Hailey Hubbs

Alumni Spotlight: Hailey Hubbs, '18

“It’s amazing to me what dance can do for kids,” said Hailey Hubbs, a Class of ‘18 Dance major reflecting on teaching at Dance Xperience in her hometown of Mt. Laurel. It’s the studio where the 25 year old started taking classes at age 6, where she started teaching in 2017, and where she now also serves as Director of Student Acquisitions.

What Drew Hubbs to Rowan and What She Learned

A key factor in Hubbs’ decision to attend Rowan was an element of the audition for admission to the Department of Theatre & Dance. She recalled how the process required her to use critical thinking not just demonstrate skill as a dancer. Then as a student, she was able to incorporate an academic element to her work as a dancer and a choreographer. “Learning about research when it comes to dance gave my work more meaning,” she said. “I was learning about the intelligence behind dance.”

Hubbs has also found ways to leverage Dance to benefit the larger community beyond the single performance space. She proudly mentions one of Dance Xperience’s recitals that supported the Animal Welfare Association, another program that prepares students for college auditions, and the rewards of collaborating with other studios and artists (Rowan faculty member Paule Turner and Dance Extensions have both worked with the studio).

How Personal Experience Informs Her Artistry

The idea that she could use dance to explore emotions and substantive issues led Hubbs to develop an original work from her own observations. While visiting her grandmother, Hubbs began to see the effects of Alzheimer’s on a very active woman. This inspired The Quiet Room, a short but personal work that made it to the 2019 Fringe Festival in Philadelphia (featuring Leslie Elkins, one of her professors at Rowan). The piece earned praise (read about it here) and, in line with the service aspect of dance that she champions, raised $1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Why Dance Is Important on a Broader Scale

Performing and choreography are important elements of what she does, but Hubbs notes that “teaching has always been my passion. Working with children as young as 2 is really rewarding. Dance can really bring them out.”

“I consider dance to be a science,” she stated. “There’s mathematics involved.” She’s been excited to learn that kids in her classes have seen their grades improve since they started in dance and noted that some of her students have gone on to study scientific subjects because of dance. “Dance can help you progress no matter what you do in life.”