Hayley Erbert on the "Dancing with the Stars: Live!" tour (Jordan Jobeth Photography, courtesy Hayley Erbert)

Ballroom Star Hayley Erbert Writes a Letter to Her Teenage Self

Hayley Erbert's star quality has dazzled television and stage audiences alike. Erbert competed on Season 10 of "So You Think You Can Dance," landing a spot in the Top 6 before she even turned 20. After dancing alongside Julianne and Derek Hough on two of their tours, she entered the "Dancing with the Stars" universe, dancing in the troupe for six seasons, serving as a mentor on "DWTS: Juniors," and joining the "DWTS" team on four live tours. Follow her on Instagram @hayley.erbert to find out where you can see her dancing next. —Cadence Neenan

Erbert at age six (courtesy Erbert)

Dear Hayley,

First and foremost, dance always has been and always will be your superpower. It is how you will inspire, reach, and connect with others. But more importantly, it is how you will connect with yourself on the deepest level. Dancing is so much more than just your job. It is your passion, and still, to this day, it's how you freely express yourself.

The best piece of advice I can give you is to always believe in yourself. You will have the most amazing support system throughout your journey, but remember: YOU are enough! When you are struggling or feel lost, return to your love of dance, and you will find yourself again.

Lastly, your body is your instrument—treat it with love and compassion. Your mind is the driving force. As hard as it may be at times, throw your insecurities, comparisons, and doubts away. There is no one like you, so embrace and continue to fine-tune your unique qualities. You are so special, and you have no idea the impact that you can have on the world. Through the difficult times, have faith in your journey and in yourself. You are exactly where you're meant to be. Know that everything will be OK.

I'm so proud of you, and even more excited for you to experience the beautiful future you have ahead of you.

All my love,


Latest Posts

Photo by Joe Toreno. Hair by Marina Migliaccio and makeup by Lisa Chamberlain, both for the Rex Agency.

Sienna Lalau: The Dynamite Dancer and Choreographer Helping BTS Make Magic

At just 20 years old, Sienna Lalau is the living definition of "dynamite dancer": bold, confident, almost addicting to watch, and, at her core, overflowing with pure passion. From her work with The Lab Studios to Video Music Award–winning choreography for BTS, there's no stopping this starlet from bringing her love of dance to the global stage.

"Dance is something that can truly connect people," Sienna tells Dance Spirit. "It's a universal language. We may not speak the same language physically, but when we dance, there's a connection where we understand each other on another level."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Beat the Cheat: Combat Incorrect Jump Landings With These Targeted Fitness Exercises

As dancers, we all have our vices—those little technique cheats that we know are incorrect, and we try our best to fix whenever we can remember...but at the end of the day, we just can't seem to banish them for good. After all, these cheats usually appear to help us: They can get our legs higher and our petit allégro a little faster, not to mention help us crank out that one extra rotation in a turn we dream about. Unfortunately, cheating proper technique also sets dancers up for a myriad injuries caused by improper alignment and undue stress on the body.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Heights Digital, Courtesy Marideth Batchelor

Viral TikTok Couple @cost_n_mayor Are the Dance Mom and Dad We All Need

Coming across a @cost_n_mayor TikTok on your "For You" page is like meeting a new bestie at competition: You instantly connect. From creating (and crushing) viral dance challenges to sharing the #relatable struggles of dancers (and couples, and dancer-couples) everywhere, the social media duo appeals to pro dancers and amateurs alike—and it shows, considering their 1.5 million-and-counting following on TikTok.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search