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Due to the ongoing effects of closure at the Royal Opera House, information about artists is only updated periodically during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Francesca Hayward

Principal of The Royal Ballet

Biography

Francesca Hayward in action.
Francesca Hayward in Rhapsody, The Royal Ballet © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Helen Maybanks

English dancer Francesca Hayward is a Principal of The Royal Ballet. She trained with Valerie LeServe in Sussex before joining The Royal Ballet School. She graduated into the Company during the 2010/11 Season, promoted to First Artist in 2013, Soloist in 2014, First Soloist in 2015 and Principal in 2016.

Hayward studied at The Royal Ballet School 2003–11 and while a student won the 2009 Lynn Seymour Award for Expressive Dance, the 2010 Young British Dancer of the Year and both silver medal and the Audience Choice Award at the 2010 Genée International Ballet Competition. After joining The Royal Ballet she represented the Company at the 2012 International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize and won Best Emerging Artist (2014) and Best Female Dancer (2016, 2019) at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards.

Her repertory with the Company includes Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker), Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), Manon, Giselle, Princess Aurora and Princess Florine (The Sleeping Beauty), Alice (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), Swanilda (Coppélia), Olga (Onegin), Titania (The Dream), Perdita (The Winter’s Tale), female Principal in Rhapsody, Princess Stephanie (Mayerling), Girl (The Invitation), Vera (A Month in the Country), Dorabella (Enigma Variations), Letty Mason (The Wind) and has also danced principal roles in Rhapsody, Within the Golden Hour, Infra, Jewels, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Symphony in C, Dances at a Gathering and Solo Echo. She also created Tita (Like Water for Chocolate), and roles in The Dante Project, Woolf Works and Morgen by Wayne McGregor, Untouchable by Hofesh Shechter and has also performed in Flight Pattern by Crystal Pite.

News and features

Cast changes: Manon, Spring 2018

23 March 2018
Cast changes: <em>Manon</em>, Spring 2018

Changes to Principal casting have been announced.

Watch: Francesca Hayward reveals her 5 favourite objects

8 February 2018
Watch: Francesca Hayward reveals her 5 favourite objects

Speaking to Vogue, the Principal of The Royal Ballet shares the objects that have inspired her throughout her career.

Royal Ballet Principals Francesca Hayward and Steven McRae to star in Cats

10 January 2018
Royal Ballet Principals Francesca Hayward and Steven McRae to star in <em>Cats</em>

UPDATE: Steven McRae is to be replaced by Alexander Campbell in his scheduled performances of Don Quixote.

Photos

Francesca Hayward as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, The Royal Ballet

Matthew Ball as Beliaev and Francesca Hayward as Vera in A Month in the Country, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward in 'Ondine' in Margot Fonteyn: A Celebration, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Princess Aurora and Christina Arestis as Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Princess Aurora and Alexander Campbell as Prince Florimund in The Sleeping Beauty, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Manon and Alexander Campbell as Des Grieux in Manon, The Royal Ballet

Alexander Campbell as Des Grieux and Francesca Hayward as Manon in Manon, The Royal Ballet

Alexander Campbell as Des Grieux and Francesca Hayward as Manon in Manon, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Manon and Thomas Whitehead as Monsieur G.M. in Manon, The Royal Ballet

Thomas Whitehead as Monsieur G.M., Francesca Hayward as Manon and Cesar Corrales as Lescaut in Manon, The Royal Ballet

Alexander Campbell as Des Grieux and Francesca Hayward as Manon in Manon, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Manon and Alexander Campbell as Des Grieux in Manon, The Royal Ballet

Alexander Campbell as Des Grieux and Francesca Hayward as Manon in Manon, The Royal Ballet

Alexander Campbell as Des Grieux and Francesca Hayward as Manon in Manon, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward in Cross Currents, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Swanilda in Coppélia, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Swanilda in Coppélia, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Olga and Matthew Ball as Lensky in Onegin, The Royal Ballet

Gary Avis as Dr Coppélius and Francesca Hayward as Swanilda in Coppélia, The Royal Ballet

Alexander Campbell as Franz and Francesca Hayward as Swanilda in Coppélia, The Royal Ballet

Alexander Campbell and Francesca Hayward in The Dreamers Ever Leave You, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Vera and Matthew Ball as Beliaev in A Month in the Country, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Vera in A Month in the Country, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Juliet and Cesar Corrales as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, The Royal Ballet

Cesar Corrales as Romeo and Francesca Hayward as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Juliet, Bennet Gartside as Friar Laurence and Cesar Corrales as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, The Royal Ballet

Cesar Corrales as Romeo and Francesca Hayward as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, The Royal Ballet

Romany Pajdak as Nurse and Francesca Hayward as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward

Edward Watson as Crown Prince Rudolf and Francesca Hayward as Princess Stephanie in Mayerling, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Princess Stephanie and Ryoichi Hirano as Crown Prince Rudolf in Mayerling, The Royal Ballet

Alexander Campbell as the Prince and Francesca Hayward as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, The Royal Ballet

Luca Acri and Tristan Dyer with Francesca Hayward as Clara and Alexander Campbell as Hans Peter in The Nutcracker, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward as Clara in The Nutcracker, The Royal Ballet

Artists of The Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker, The Royal Ballet