Our Stories – Maria Hayday

Maria worked as a dance artist across the the UK and in the Netherlands. With DCD’s support, Maria is now an Education Manager, currently working towards an MA in Educational Leadership at the University of Bath.

"I trained for 3 years at Arts Educational School, Tring Park, followed by 3 years at The Place. In 2006, I was awarded the Robert Cohen Scholarship for Outstanding Promise and went on to do an apprenticeship with National Dance Company, Wales. I stayed with the company for 4 years and alongside performing works by choreographers including Stephen Petronio, Itzik Galili, Stijn Celis and Andonis Foniadakis, I also choreographed my own work for the Alternative Routes Season with the company. In 2011, I moved to Amsterdam to freelance for choreographers Heidi Vierthaler and Dorrottya Kiss and then joined Scottish Dance Theatre, where I performed works by Jo Stromgren and Fleur Darkin.

During my contract with Scottish Dance Theatre, I sustained an injury to my back which put me out of action and into intensive rehabilitation. Following this injury, I begun a career shift into the education sphere. I initially self-funded a CELTA qualification and found work as an English language teacher in an international school in Israel (home to my gorgeous partner and former colleague, Yuval Lev). After a series of promotions, I began managing one of the campuses of the international school and with the help of DCD, I looked into ways of furthering myself within my budding new career. I found an incredible looking MA program at the University of Bath that I could complete online through distance learning alongside my management position. The MA is in Educational Leadership and thanks to the invaluable careers advice and financial support from DCD, I am currently working towards my second module out of 5 – having completed module 1 with Distinction! Thank you so much DCD!

I think it’s so important to remember that even in the darkest moments – like living through the panic and distress caused by an injury – there is ALWAYS a silver lining if you keep your head up high enough to look for it. These days, I feel weirdly grateful that through my injury, my eyes were involuntarily opened to all the amazing possibilities lying outside of the dance world. My experiences have really made me appreciate the vast wealth of transferable skills we, as dancers, intrinsically carry with us. We are a species of resilient, self-motivated, insanely hard working and adaptable humans with enormous personal strength and with the right support, these attributes can so easily be channelled and put to use in so many different fields.”

To find out more about how we can help you, please contact Ellen Chambers, Dancer Support and Services Officer on ellen@thedcd.org.uk or 020 7831 1449.

You can support a dancer like Maria to navigate career transition through the boundless appeal


"My eyes were involuntarily opened to all the amazing possibilities lying outside of the dance world. My experiences have really made me appreciate the vast wealth of transferable skills we, as dancers, intrinsically carry with us.”

"Thanks to the invaluable careers advice and financial support from DCD, I am currently working towards my second module out of 5 – having completed module 1 with Distinction! Thank you so much DCD!"