Carmel Valley teen shares love of dance with Virgin Islands


Torrey Pines High School sophomore Brianna Haire brought dance classes to local kids on St. Croix and the surrounding Virgin Islands this past month.

Brianna joined forces with some of the locals, plus choreographers from New York, Florida and California, for two weeks, teaching more than 200 kids ranging from ages 4 to 18. They taught ballet, contemporary, improv, jazz and hip-hop.

“Most of the kids that showed up were so excited to dance and had raw talent,” Brianna said, “but lacked technique that comes from years of practice.”

Brianna started dancing at age 4, but her dance career really took off last year after winning Season 1 of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, which aired on the Lifetime Network Channel. Brianna was crowned the winner and was awarded $100,000 and a lifetime scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet in New York City.

Since the show, Brianna has been giving back, working with charities like Dance For Diabetes and The Make A Wish Foundation. But this summer’s experience “was a life changer,” she said. “Being able to share what I love with kids from another country was rewarding beyond words, and to watch them grow and learn about dance for the past two weeks will be something I will remember forever.”