Meet Whiz Kid: Haley McDaniel

Gifted dancer sets sights on working with kids

Name: Haley McDaniel, 16

Schools: St. Pius X,

Accomplishments: This young performer put on her dancing shoes 13 years ago and has no intention of taking them off any time soon.  Haley dances in Decatur City Dance’s Apprentice Ballet Ensemble and the Jr. Rhythm Keepers.

She is also a member of St. Pius X Dance Company where she
attends school. The elite, 17-member group attends daily dance class and performs ballet, modern and jazz throughout the school year. During a typical week, during school and after, she spends about 15 hours perfecting her dancing skills.

Although she hopes to dance throughout college and earn a BA
in dance, she would also like to work with children in pediatric medicine. She is a straight-A student and is especially gifted in math and science.  “Those subjects come to me a lot more naturally
than others,” Haley said.   

For three weeks this summer she attended Camp High Harbour,
a YMCA-based camp near Lake Burton where she worked as a junior leader coaching kids in different areas such as water sports. Next year she hopes to advance to a counselor in training.

She also spent a week touring the state of Texas in a youth
choir performing in homeless shelters, youth centers and nursing homes.

“Haley is extremely self-motivated,” said her mother Angela.
Describing her daughter as a kind of “old soul,” her mom added, “From the age of three, she knew how to organize her day and what we were going to accomplish each day.”  

Haley is a great student and gifted performer, said her mom.
“When she dances, she really lights up the stage.” 

Haley and her mother have shared the stage in several
musical productions at Oak Grove United Methodist Church including “The King and I” and “Bye, Bye Birdie.”

“When I dance it helps me let out the stress of everyday life,” said Haley.


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