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About Us

Our Story…

The Hayward Team

Following A Successful Career In The World Of Ballet And Theatre, Rachel Hayward Returned Home And Was Given The Opportunity To Open Hayward Dance Academy In Warrington, Cheshire.

In 2014 Rachel moved the academy to the heart of Warrington into a purpose built facility with a fully equipped studio, reception and changing areas. Student numbers grew exponentially and in January 2020 a further studio was built to accommodate the expanding curriculum of classes and student numbers.

Rachel working alongside her team of industry professionals maintains the academy’s standards of excellence. With her passionate leadership every child’s journey is carefully guided by the H*P*A team and students are able to enjoy success at all levels of training and development.

From humble beginnings the Academy has flourished into Hayward Performing Arts offering students of all ages, from two years all the way to adulthood an exceptional and inspirational home to develop and discover their Chance To Shine.

Rachel Hayward

FISTD; Cecchetti Examiner
Ex London City Ballet; Cert Ed

Rachel is an ex-professional ballet dancer who has enjoyed a varied and exciting career in dance. Rachel danced with ‘Ballet Creations of London ‘directors Ursula Hageli (formally principal dancer with the Royal Ballet now Ballet Mistress to the Company) and Richard Slaughter (principal dancer with the Royal Ballet company and Stuttgart Ballet). Rachel also danced with ‘London City Ballet’ before embarking on a successful career in commercial theatre.

Rachel holds Fellowship teaching status with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance and gained the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma in 2003. She holds a Certificate in Education from Chester University. Rachel has lectured at John Moores University and writes and delivers educational courses that enable children and young people with special needs to access and enjoy dance.

Rachel is the founder and has been the director of the ‘Hayward Performing Arts’ since its opening in 2000 and prides her school with happy, confident students who possess an excellent level of technique and performance quality.

Rachel has frequent engagements as a guest teacher at many prestigious academic and vocational schools and colleges throughout the North West and teaches on both the Cecchetti and the British Ballet Organisation Scholars and Associate courses which further the tuition of talented, young dancers.

In 2016 Rachel was appointed as an examiner for the Cecchetti branch of the ISTD and travels throughout UK and Europe in her role as an examiner.


Senor level Dance Tutor ( LISTD C.B M.B)

Alix trained at KS Dance studying ballet; tap; modern theatre dance; flamenco; jazz; contemporary and musical theatre and was tutored by Miss Hayward during her three years at college. Alix performed in all of the annual performances and toured with the school’s `Allegrodance’ company. Upon graduation, Miss Sutch gained Advanced two certificates in ISTD Tap, Modern Theatre Dance and Ballet (Cecchetti method).

Miss Sutch has taught extensively in the North West area and has continued to develop her teaching qualifications gaining Licentiate teaching status in Ballet. Miss Sutch enjoys the Flamenco styles of dance and makes frequent visits to courses both in the UK and Spain expanding her knowledge and developing her passion for this style of dance.

Miss Sutch has been a member of the ISTD since 2009.


Contemporary Dance Tutor (Professional Choreographer and Dancer AISTD)

I began dance training in ballet, tap and modern at KS Dance LTD. This is where I also completed my teaching qualifications and Advanced 2 in Cecchetti Ballet.

I then completed my 3 years undergraduate training at London Contemporary Dance school, gaining a first in my BA Hons in Contemporary dance. (2014-2017). Following my studies, I worked professionally with Theatre St Gallen, Switzerland (2017-2018) performing roles in operas, musicals, original contemporary pieces, and on site specific locations. I also had the opportunity to assist choreographers, in creating text/dialogue and dance material for specific pieces.

In 2019, I completed my MA in Contemporary Dance gaining a first. Since leaving Switzerland, I have been working in Germany and the UK as a Free Lance Dance Artist, teaching, choreographing, creating, performing, and working on small projects. Some of these have included music videos and projects I have created myself.


Vocal and Drama tutor Senior Stage School

Sam holds a degree in Drama from Manchester University and is an accomplished female vocalist. Sam’s passion is teaching and she has devoted her time, talents and skills into developing projects which enable the next generation of your performance artists to reach their full potential. Sam teaches across the North West in many schools and is founder of The Performers Project which gives aspiring performers the chance to take part in a full-scale productions regularly throughout the year.

Sam is looking forward to working with our incredibly talented Senior Stage School students, since her recent appointment to the role in May 2022.


Vocal and Drama tutor Junior Stage School

Hi I’m Poppy! I’ve been performing since I was two years old and I have performed in over 30 Musical theatre productions throughout the North West. I love to sing, dance and act – my all time DREAM role would have to be Rino Sweeney in ‘Anything Goes’ as it combines my adoration for tap dance and my love for performing. In addition to being an ISTD Intermediate tap student at H*P*A, I’m so excited to be teaching the Junior stage School. I am highly experienced in teaching drama and musical theatre to children and I can’t wait to carry on my passion for teaching at H*P*A and share skills and most importantly FUN through singing, acting and dancing!

Holly Darnton

PA to Miss Hayward and H*P*A secretary

Holly is a Primary School teacher with over 20 years experience. Holly has incredible organisational abilities and her customer service skills are fantastic. Always on hand to deal with any queries you may have. Holly is available every Saturday.


Our Partners




"A great place for kids to learn to dance to a very high standard, feel welcomed and safe. My daughter has danced here for 3 years now, her technique has improved so much and she has made some lovely friends. Highly recommend."


"Our daughter has joined the ballet classes couple of months ago after someone recommended us this place. We have noticed a big improvement since she started. She has been doing ballet since age 2 and she is 5 now. Mrs. Rachael teaches with kindness, firmness and professionalism all at the same time. She is a great teacher."


"My son has joined this wonderful establishment in their senior stage school, excellent tuition given in a fun and friendly environment teaching all aspects of performance and dance."


"Our daughter has excelled in her time at this outstanding performing arts school. The high standard of teaching staff and opportunities to work with current professionals is exceptional. Our daughter has achieved a Distinction in all her ISTD Dance Exams to date in Tap , Modern and Ballet. This is down to the sound knowledge and expertise of the school principal Miss Rachel Hayward who ensures classes are taught to a consistent high standard for all grades. My daughter also attends Stage School and vocal coaching sessions at HPA where the students get the opportunity to progress in their acting and musical theatre skills . We are so happy to have found HPA and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for an exceptional Performing Arts school."


"Exceptional performing arts school in centre of Warrington. They have a variety of classes available to cater for every child of every standard. My 2 daughters ages 13 & 10 have been attending since they were both 2 years old and still love attending their classes each and every week."

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