Princeton teen prepares to dance with dreams

Contributed photo A model ballerina... Along with being selected to dance with TokyoTheCompany2, Haley Meade is also a ballet model for Curtain Call’s Costume catalog. 

PRINCETON — For as long as she can recall, Haley Meade has dreamed of dancing on a grand scale. To professionally choreographed pieces. For enormous audiences. In places where her hopes may soar.

Soon, the STARZ ambassador will get the opportunity to go on tour, studying under a legendary master teacher and award-winning choreographer, Tokyo Kevin Inouye, visiting various places in the United States with Tokyo the Company2 during the 2018-2019 dance season.

The Princeton Senior High School Dance Team member is no stranger to the spotlight. She has been dancing and studying the art intensely for the last 11 years, five of which have been with STARZ, where she studied with Gabrielle Colombo Massie. 

Meade was awarded the title of Miss StarQuest 2018 at StarQuest Dance Championships in Knoxville, Tenn., earlier this year. 

She also earned the highest score at the senior level of the solo competition there, making her the StarQuest Senior Solo Champion 2018.

In April, Meade received the Studio Institute Scholarship at Artists Simply Human (ASH) Dance Convention, valued at $1,000. There, she was also chosen as an apprentice runner-up, receiving four additional scholarships, including full payment to the 2018 ASH Nationals in Orlando, Fla.; $150 off the 2018 Summer Intensive in New York City; a half-scholarship for the ASH 2018-2019 Regional Convention Season; and the opportunity to audition at The Dance Project Nationals to become a 2018-2019 ASH assistant.

Meade was also accepted to the Joffrey Balley School’s Summer Programs and invited to study at NYC Jazz Intensive and a host of other programs. She also recently posed as Curtain Call Costumes newest ballet model for the 2018-2019 costume catalog.

In short, she’s on her way to becoming a southern West Virginia darling of the dance world, but it was on a lark that she even submitted two video audition tapes for the Tokyo The Company2 program.

The high school student was scrolling through websites one day and saw the opportunity to submit video auditions. With the deadline fast approaching, the idea to send in her two dances hit her.

“I did it!” she said recently, acting before she had the chance to doubt or before anything could get in her way.

She had videos of herself dancing to two contemporary pieces STARZ owner/operator, Massie, had choreographed for her. So submitting the pieces was simple.

Those fateful pieces were named “Luminous” and “Song for Viola.”

And, they could hold the keys to her future.

“I’m really excited, of course, but it’s new,” Meade said.

The way the program works, one weekend each month for the next dance season, Meade will fly to the dance destination and spend a weekend learning and performing the dances for that specific program. Then, she’ll fly home and go about life in Princeton and Green Valley — until the next month.

It’s a jet-set life, that her southern West Virginia family is hoping the community will support with sponsorships and dance scholarships. 

“We think it will probably cost about $20,000 for the whole year,” Haley’s mom, Jeanette said. 

Anyone interested or willing to help support Haley along the way to her dance dreams is welcome to send support to Haley Meade at 1660 Pisgah Rd., Princeton, WV 24739.

— Contact Tammie Toler at ttoler@ptonline.net