Introducing DJ Hayley Wheatley
I started ballet and tap dancing at the age of 3. Following in my mum's footsteps who had learnt ballet alongside Wayne Sleep as a child. My mum became a Line Dance instructor in 1995 when I was 11. Although she often had me attending classes with her, it took me a while to finally get on the floor. I started with Elvira and slappin' leather. It didn't take me long before I was hooked.
When I was 15 my mum insisted it would be good if I could take a teaching qualification to help her out at classes. She roped me in and in 2000 I gained my first line dance instructors qualification and passed it with a commendation. I decided to go on to take a choreographers certificate too which I also received with commendation and a a special note from the examiner who said she felt I had a natural talent. My first dances went to print in 1999 in my maiden name "Hayley Kennedy".
My mum was asked to host a class for Hartlepool Borough Council which she was unable to accept. She put my name forward instead and this became my first class. I was only 16, a council employee and finding my own feet. But I never looked back.
I continued to dance and at 18 moved out to Ontario, Canada to work for a music studio, where I also taught Clarinet and Saxophone.
I performed as a dancer in some musicals at the time and spent some time in America too.
In 2003 I came back to the UK for what was meant to be a visit and to take a temporary dance job. But things were to change for good when I met the man who was to become my husband. Phillip and I married in 2004 and three beautiful children were to follow Luke, Ella and Ava Rose.
When the children were small I managed to continue to teach line dance classes and also managed my own dance school, teaching all genres of dance, within my local community. I ran this for nearly a decade before finding that line dance was quickly overtaking everything for me.
I eventually moved to line dancing full time and have since had the pleasure of being invited to teach in 14 different countries and hosting weekend events for wonderful UK companies such as KingsHill Holidays, BC Events and Isle Of Wight Tours.
In 1995 I also joined Hartlepool Hospital Radio as their youngest member and had to apply for honorary acceptance because of my age. I was too young to host my own shows but it was an honour to be accepted as part of the team and I loved the learning experience.
In 2010 I became a dance pundit for BBC Radio Tees commenting weekly on dance media alongside radio hosts Neil Green and Diane Youdale (aka Jet from the Gladiators).
Linedancer Radio will be my first experience of hosting my own show and I'm very excited and thankful to be welcomed to the team.