Hayley Matthews Biography

Hayley Matthews. Image Mahshid Torkan .jpeg

Hayley Matthews Biography

Hayley is a contemporary dancer and choreographer and a Rolfer (Structural Integration Practitioner). Her parents tell her she first started dancing at 1 years old, as she climbed and tumbled while her twin sister sat and read books.
Hayley believes she dances to find the I that is not a twin, she uses dance and movement in order to know who she is.   

Hayley first strode into being an artist to study Fine Art at London Guildhall, later pulled into academia she received a First Class degree in Material Culture, Architecture and Museum studies at Leeds University and a final year award winning essay (while dancing and choreographing with Leeds Stage Musical Society). She made it back on her contemporary dancing path with two mentorships 2006-2009 with Adam Benjamin (UK Founder of Candoco) in Plymouth, Cork and London and with the late fierce Francis Nii Yartey and Noyam Dance Co on polished stone floors in Accra, Ghana. Hayley has since danced, choreographed and taught at and for CoDa Dance (London/Essex), Cando2 (London), Sadlers Wells, East London Dance, Out There Festival (Great Yarmouth), Tanzfabrik (Berlin), Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Dance Umbrella (London) P.A.L/Stressfree (London), National Theatre Ghana (Accra), The Cockpit (London), Brighton Fringe Festival, The House of St Barnabas (London)  and at ActOne with Suzie Birchwood (Hertfordshire). She very nearly died coming off her bike on Shepherds Bush Road in 2010 and didn't dance for a few years. Hayley founded Ensemble,  the company that house her choreographic work in Norwich in 2015 and became a certified Rolfer in 2017. .  

Her work pulls from all these things, she is interested in health, function and movement, and in curating experiences that give the public a bridge into contemporary dance and time to contemplate.  And  in how we can get home to who we really are, and meet people from there; to learn to be vulnerable, intimate, fierce, functional and well and how performers and Rolfers can show people the way in this. 

ENSEMBLE is the company of Contemporary Dancer and Choreographer Hayley Matthews. We sever dividing lines between dance and audience, dance and health, dance and life. We do this by creating powerful, touching, intimate, often multi-discipline performances and happenings that explore movement sound, and visuals. Our shows and projects build deep, intimate relationships with community, reach and touch audiences; calling them to connect to dance and contemplate being human among role models that have honed their craft in expression and function.

"It was a unique experience. Thank you. Thanks for keeping in touch with us - the audience"

"Having been a fan of Leigh Bowery in the 90s and Michael Clark it was nice to see something ‘out there’ again"

Hayley trained and continues to train with many other artists alongside Rolfing, making and performing including Russel Malipant (UK), Rosas (Brussels), Kirsty Simpson (UK), Ben Duke (UK), Chisato Ohno (UK/Israel), Tere O’Connor (US), Anton Lachky (Slovakia), Jordi Cortes (Spain), Miranda Tufnell (UK), Deborah Hay (UK), Lauren Potter (UK), Yael Flexor, Charles Linehan (UK), Gary Carter (UK), Matinacola (Germany), Rick Nodine (US/UK), Rosalind Crisp (Australia), Siobhan Davies (UK).


Hayley has taught, choreographed and performed with East London Dance/Sadlers Wells/English National Ballet as lead artist on The Mossbourne Project (London 2018 ); The House of St Barnabas, Soho, Brighton Fringe Festival, Norwich Arts Centre, as performer in Home Solo (2018), CoDa Dance, as performer on ReWired (London/Suffolk 2018); Norwich Arts Centre, Wells Maltings, Sheringham Little Theatre and 8 Norfolk Libraries, as choreographer for Still in the City (Norfolk (2016);   Noyam Dance Company as dancer and apprentice (Ghana 2007); Dance Umbrella as group leader on Overture 2012 (London 2008); Green Candle Dance Company as artist and youth dance leader (London 2009); Theatre Venture as assistant choreographer (London 2009); ActOne with Suzie Birchwood as lead artist with children with and without disabilities (Hertfordshire 2009-2010); Creative Partnerships as lead artist on schools projects (London 2009); Hemihelp as choreographer (London 2009); PAL and StressFree as dancer and choreographer (London 2010); Cando2 as dancer (London 2008-2009); Happy at Home as lead artist with family projects in Hackney (London 2010); Abingdon House School as resident dance artist with children with learning delay (London 2009-2012); Camden Fringe Festival as performer and choreographer (London 2015); Tanz Fabrik as performer and choreographer (Berlin 2015); National Theatre Ghana as dancer in In that Midsummer (Ghana 2016); The Cockpit as dancer and choreographer (London 2015); OPEN Ealing as dancer and choreographer (London), Norwich Art Centre and Dove Street Studios as performer and director (Norwich, UK 2015-2016); Norwich Puppet Theatre and Wells Maltings (Norfolk UK 2016); Sheringham Little Theatre (Norfolk UK 2016)