As a member of New York City Ballet, Douglas danced numerous roles for stage and television performing in many countries around the world in ballets including Fancy Free, A Midsummer Nights Dream,The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Stars & Stripes, The Magic Flute, Bournenville Divertiments, and many others too numerous to mention here.
Mr. Hay began his studies at age 6 with his mother, a dance teacher, in New Hampshire. At age 13 he was invited to study in New York City with world renowned teacher Margret Craske. At 16, Mr. Hay was awarded a scholarship to the School of American Ballet in NYC and subsequently was invited by Artistic Director George Balanchine to join the New York City Ballet in 1977.
Mr. Hay retired from performing in 1987 and has pursued careers in photography and computer software design. He is currently co-owner of the Dance Arts Cherry Hill.
DA: When did you first begin to dance?
I began my training as a young boy with my mother, a former professional ballet dancer who, owned and operated a dance studio in New Hampshire. At 15 I moved to NYC to continue my training and wound up a member of New York City Ballet at the age of 17.
DA: When did you first begin teach?
After leaving the New York City Ballet in the mid 1980′s, I began teaching -its just that it wasn’t dance. I began teaching people to use computers -mostly in the publishing industry, in New York City and my clients included American Express, Food & Wine Magazine, Sports Illustrated and Time Warner Inc. I just fell into it. A lot of us had Mac’s in NYCB. Macs are lots of fun and enable creativity in all sorts of ways so we really embraced them in the early days. We even used to take them on tour with us, and I’m talking the big desktop ones, there were no laptops yet. Anyway, one day a friend approached me as asked if I would come to his office and show his co-workers how to use a new Mac they had just acquired. The rest is history. I tell this story because It was then I learned that besides knowledge I had a knack for what it took to be a good teacher -patience.
I began teaching in 2001.
DA: What styles of dance are you trained in?
My expertise is ballet. Although as a ballet dancer, especially a professional one, I was expected to be able to dance any style when necessary. That is the strength of the ballet dancer.
DA: What is your favorite aspect of teaching dance in the classroom?
I like passing on what was handed directly to me by the greatest in the art form. It’s a way to give back.
DA: What do you hope your students take away from your class?
I hope they take with them the realization that its all up to them, and, if they choose to, they can try to achieve anything. Ballet is physically demanding and the reward is deeply personal, you don’t receive a trophy -you earn a deep sense of accomplishment and the physical transformation is lifelong. From a subtle, difficult movement to a physically demanding combination of steps to a deeply personal challenge, they learn they can do what seems to be impossible. I hope they “get” that.