|Born||July 1992 (age 27)|
|Height||5 ft 2 in (157 cm)|
Francesca Hayward was born in 1992 in Nairobi, Kenya, the daughter of an English father and Kenyan mother. At the age of two, she moved to Worthing in West Sussex to live with her grandparents, where she gained her passion for ballet. When she was young, she danced at Le Serve School of Ballet and Theatre Dance in Worthing until her teacher encouraged her to audition to White Lodge, the junior section of the Royal Ballet School. After being a Junior Associate from the age of nine, she entered the School at the age of 11 in 2003, and progressed to the Royal Ballet Upper School in 2008.
During her training, Hayward was recognised as an exceptionally gifted dancer and after joining the Royal Ballet in 2010, was increasingly cast in more prominent roles during major productions. She was promoted to First Artist in 2013, Soloist in 2014, First Soloist in 2015 and Principal in 2016. Hayward's talent and technique have received critical praise and acclaim.
In 2012, Hayward danced a pas de deux from The Flower Festival in Genzano with fellow Royal Ballet dancer James Hay at the Erik Bruhn Competition in Canada. She danced Clara for the first time in The Nutcracker at Covent Garden in 2012.
In November 2018, Hayward joined the cast of Cats. She dances the role of Victoria in the film directed by Tom Hooper, with a new song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber for her character. To allow her participation, Hayward took a temporary leave of absence from The Royal Ballet until the conclusion of filming. She returned to performing with The Royal Ballet in May 2019, dancing alongside Cesar Corrales in his ROH debut in Romeo and Juliet.
|Ballet||(Principal) Choreographer||Role, Debut Date and Reference|
|The Nutcracker||Sir Peter Wright (after Lev Ivanov)||Clara (December 2012)|
|A Month in the Country||Sir Frederick Ashton||Vera (June 2013)|
|Manon||Sir Kenneth MacMillan||Manon (October 2014)|
|Alice's Adventures in Wonderland||Christopher Wheeldon||Alice (December 2014)|
|Romeo and Juliet||Sir Kenneth MacMIllan||Juliet (October 2015)|
|Rhapsody||Sir Frederick Ashton||Lead Female Principal (January 2016)|
|The Winter's Tale||Christopher Wheeldon||Perdita (April 2016)|
|The Invitation||Sir Kenneth MacMIllan||The Girl (May 2016)|
|Frankenstein||Liam Scarlett||Justine (May 2016)|
|La Fille Mal Gardée||Sir Frederick Ashton||Lise (October 2016)|
|The Nutcracker||Sir Peter Wright(after Lev Ivanov)||The Sugar Plum Fairy (December 2016)|
|The Sleeping Beauty||Marius Petipa||Aurora (February 2017)|
|Mayerling||Sir Kenneth MacMillan||Princess Stephanie (May 2017)|
|Tarantella||George Balanchine||The Girl (May 2017)|
|The Dream||Sir Frederick Ashton||Titania (June 2017)|
|Giselle||Sir Peter Wright||Giselle (February 2018)|
Hayward has also danced as Princess Florine and Fairy of the Songbird in Sleeping Beauty, Rose Fairy in The Nutcracker, in Robert Binet's immersive work, The Dreamers Ever Leave You (in collaboration with the National Ballet of Canada). She starred in a BBC documentary film Dancing the Nutcracker: Inside the Royal Ballet, and was featured in the BBC telecast of Wayne McGregor's Woolf Works. Her performance as Clara in Sir Peter Wright's production of The Nutcracker was recorded for DVD by Opus Arte.
Awards and Honours
As a student at The Royal Ballet School, Hayward won the 2009 Lynn Seymour Award for Expressive Dance and the 2010 Young British Dancer of the Year Award. She was also awarded the silver medal and Audience Choice Award at the 2010 Genee International Ballet Competition. Hayward won the Best Emerging Artist in 2014 and the Grishko Award for Best Female Dancer in 2016 at the Critics Circle National Dance Awards.
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- "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Royal Opera House, London — review". Financial Times. 29 December 2014.
- Mackrell, Judith (25 October 2015). "Romeo and Juliet review – expressive intelligence of Francesca Hayward's giddy heroine". The Guardian.
- Jennings, Luke (24 January 2016). "Rhapsody review – heart-stopping Ashton from Francesca Hayward". The Guardian.
- Jennings, Luke (24 April 2016). "The Winter's Tale review – high drama from Soares and Calvert". The Guardian.
- Monahan, Mark (29 May 2016). "The Invitation is a fearless return to the heart of darkness - Royal Ballet mixed bill review". The Daily Telegraph.
- Mackrell, Judith (7 October 2016). "Royal Ballet: La Fille Mal Gardée review – Hayward and Sambé fall perfectly in love". The Guardian.
- "The Nutcracker, Royal Opera House, London — review". The Financial Times. 2 December 2016.
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