Michael Hayes

“My passion for dance all started back home when I was still a kid. I was born and raised in the Netherlands. At the age of thirteen I took my first steps onto the ballroom floor and I fell in love with dance immediately. Dancing was so much more than just a hobby for me. Before dancing I was an insecure boy, who got bullied and was afraid to go school. Dancing has given me confidence, friends and most importantly a smile back on my face.

Dancing was definitely out of my comfort zone when I started, but I believe because of dancing I have never been afraid to step or work outside my comfort zone. I have a degree in Business Finance, but before I even graduated I knew I wasn’t meant to sit still behind a desk for 8 hours a day. So after school my search for the perfect job started and I took on every challenge I could take. At my last job in the Netherlands, my boss wanted me to take over his company. Although I would have been set for life with that opportunity, I had to follow my heart, which eventually brought me to the United States.

In October of 2015 I moved across the Atlantic Ocean. First stop, Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. This city will always have a special place in my heart. I had the privilege to work at one of Philadelphia’s top ranked schools. During school hours I was a Lunch Aide for 5th and 8th Grade and at the After School Program I worked with Kindergarten as an Assistant Teacher. I’ve always loved kids, but working with them was a gift, not one day felt like work.

In April of 2018 I got in contact with Paul. He was the first one to invite me face-to-face and have me join some group classes after a two year job hunt. After the first class I knew I wanted to be part of this brand new studio. Safe to say that I got hired and words cannot express what it means. Not to just get hired, but to get hired by someone who just opened up his first studio, his dream, who at that point still had a lot to lose and is willing to take a risk on a guy like me. I truly will always be grateful for that. Not only was I lucky enough to get hired, but once again I have found a job that doesn’t feel like work. My personal goal is to make his studio and any other studio we’re gonna open in the future to be the best Arthur Murray studios in the world!

Dance has always been a passion and it’s an honor to share that passion with anyone who comes into the studio. Dancing is more than just a couple steps, dancing can be someone’s story. That can mean a First Dance, overcoming an depression or even saving a marriage. To be part of that story is priceless.

No matter the reason behind the lessons, everyone walks in claiming that they have two left feet and I’m here to offer my two right feet and make them feel comfortable. I love everyone’s faces when they realize that they are actually dancing after I teach them a couple basic steps.

My goal for my students is to have everyone leave the studio with a smile and have them in a better mood than they came in with.

Moving to Raleigh has been a challenge for sure, but starting, as a Dance Instructor at Paul’s studio might be one of the best things I’ve ever done. Combining my passion for dance, my love for teaching, being able to turn every class into a party and most importantly to help someone boost their confidence and change their lives for the better, it doesn’t get better than that. It’s safe to say I have found my perfect job.

Dancing has changed lives, including my own and I’m here to change yours.”