From dancing to acting, it is clear that Haley Lu was born to entertain. This young actress is making a big splash in the industry and we at imagista got the chance to chat with her.
Imagista: How old were you when you first started acting? How did you get into it?
Haley: Well… that’s a long story. I kind of did something that a lot of people found stupid, I didn’t really do much acting before I moved here and I moved here when I was sixteen. I did community theater when I was really young in Arizona and even then, I couldn’t get the main roles in the plays. I played these random roles that no one cared about like an old woman that was pretty much an extra, that had one line in one play. So I did that when I was very young in Arizona, then I got into dancing. When I was eight or nine I started competitive dance, it was very different from acting obviously but it’s similar in that it’s entertaining and telling a story and emoting, it’s a form of art and performance. I did that until I was sixteen.
Imagista: What style of dance was it?
Haley: I did contemporary, jazz, lyrical. I trained in everything, I did tap and hip hop as well but I kind of sucked at those. I was part of a competitive company at the studio that I went to in Arizona and even though we were all kids, all the kids were expected to take it very seriously. I don’t know if you watch shows like Dance Moms or something, but it’s very similar to that, its super hardcore on the mind and the body. All the girls are so long but you are treated like a professional dancer because the stakes are so high. When you are passionate about something, there is no other option than to make it your life.
Imagista: That’s cool.
Haley: Yeah, then when I was fifteen or sixteen a lot of my friends in dance were realizing that it was something they did more for fun and they didn’t want to make a career out of it and I was always one of the girls in the dance company that took it more seriously than others. There are only a few routes that you can take in becoming a professional dancer, you can go around and be part of a classical ballet company, which I couldn’t do because I’m really short and don’t have the body for ballet. You can be in a contemporary ballet group, in a traveling modern company or you move to Los Angeles or New York where you can be on broadway or in music videos. So I was just picturing myself doing that and I honestly felt like I might get a little bored of it. Then when I first moved to L.A., I was getting back into the acting thing and that hadn’t really clicked yet, so I got back into dancing and got a dance agent to make money and get a chance to see what it was like to work in L.A. and be a performer. I was dancing in video games and in parades and really random things and I was realizing that it wasn’t fulfilling. Backup dancing is very different than dancing alone in a studio and doing something that really moves you, very rarely can you get an opportunity like that where you are doing something that is really fulfilling as a backup dancer.