The Royal Ballet principal has joined the cast of Universal Pictures and Working Title's film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats. Photo by Nathan Sayers for Pointe.

Francesca Hayward Is Headed to the Big Screen

The Royal Ballet's Francesca Hayward is no stranger to collaborations outside of the dance world. The principal ballerina has modeled for Vogue (on more than one occasion), created her own clothing line with Lululemon, and up next, she'll star in the film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Cats.


Hayward as Princess Aurora in "The Sleeping Beauty." Photo by Bill Cooper, courtesy of the Royal Opera House.

Sharing the news in a November 2 press statement, The Royal Ballet didn't reveal which character Hayward will be playing. If we had to place a bet, our money is on Victoria, the balletic cat previously played on Broadway by New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin (plus, The Daily Mail is reporting Hayward in the role of Victoria).

And Hayward isn't the only Royal Ballet connection joining Cats. Resident choreographer Wayne McGregor is set to choreograph the film, which will be directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper.

Hayward as Alice in "Alice in Wonderland." Photo by Bill Cooper, courtesy of the Royal Opera House.

Hayward also shared her excitement about the news to her Instagram page, reassuring Royal Ballet regulars that she'll be back on the Royal Opera House stage for the spring season.

According to Playbill, we can expect to see Hayward make her big screen debut alongside Hollywood actors Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba and pop star Taylor Swift in December 2019. And we really can't think of a better gift for the holiday season.


Latest Posts


Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB

NYCB's Maria Kowroski Reflects on the Challenges, Joys and Mysteries of Balanchine’s "Mozartiana"

The first time I was called to learn Mozartiana, I didn't think I would actually get to do it. It's a coveted ballerina role in the company, and I was still early in my career. But I got to dance it once or twice, and then not again for many years. The ballet isn't in our repertoire that often, so each time we've performed it I've been at a different level as a person and as an artist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Ask Amy: How Can I Overcome My Fear of Pirouettes on Pointe?

I have a terrible fear of falling when doing turns on pointe. I sometimes cry in class when we have to do new turns that I'm not used to. I can only do bad singles on a good day, while some of my classmates are doing doubles and triples. How can I get over this fear? —Gaby

Keep reading SHOW LESS
xmb photography, Courtesy The Washington Ballet

The Washington Ballet's Sarah Steele on Her At-Home Workouts

Ballet at home: Since she's not preparing for any immediate performances, Steele takes ballet barre three to four times a week. "I'm working in more of a maintenance mode," she says, prioritizing her ankles and the intrinsic muscles in her feet. "If you don't work those muscles, they disappear really quickly. I've been focusing on a baseline level of ballet muscle memory."

What she's always working on: Strengthening her glute-hamstring connection (the "under-butt" area), which provides stability for actions like repetitive relevés and power for jumps. Bridges are her go-to move for conditioning those muscles. "Those 'basic food group'–type exercises are some of the best ones," she says.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks