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Former Peterborough girl Hayley Sanderson is currently in the midst of another series of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing as one of the four singers in the house band.

Hayley was brought up in the city and trained at The Key Theatre and local dance schools and has become a regular singer on the prime-time show.

ESP’s Luke Tyler caught up with her to talk ballroom and bands – her own that is, The Stylophones!

Luke: How is Strictly going for you this series?

Hayley: “It’s been crazy busy but a lot of fun! Not had too many nightmares so far…”

We’ve got our favourites here in the ESP office, but can you tell us how you think the girls remaining in the competition are getting on?

“I adore Abbey, she’s so sweet and I love the fact she’s not a performer as such by trade, yet she’s doing wonderfully. Natalie, Susanna and Sophie are doing pretty amazing things too. Although the boys seem to be improving with speed at the mo!”

They’re all very good. Would you be brave enough to get on the dance floor yourself?

“I think you couldn’t pay to get that amount of hours worth of training from anyone of our pro’s standard. It’s a lot of time learning a new skill, in some cases by world class competition winners. You’d be crazy not to do it!”

What’s your favourite song you’ve had to perform this series?

“It all seems to have flown by at such a fast pace I can barely remember what we did in week one now! I ALWAYS enjoy the traditional standards. The Band sound immense on the old swingers and it’s always a pleasure to sing those.”

Which types of songs have you found less appealing?

“Anything where I’ve had to rap! It’s happened TWICE so far this series… I won’t forget that in a hurry!”


You’ve been on the tours as well of course. How does that compare to the live shows?

“It’s great as you get to spread your wings a little. We go out onto the stage and actually perform whilst we sing…  It must be a shock for the audience, I don’t think most people know what we look like!”

Having performed for several shows now, could you possibly pick a favourite series, or are there some performers that remain fresh in your mind?

“I always remember Camilla’s show dance with Tom Chambers. She was in a clown outfit, I was singing a song from Sweet Charity (which I LOVE) and their routine was just really unique and unexpected!”


Being with The Stylophones too, your band seems to have a lot of influences, but who are among the biggest for you?

“We’re influenced by anything from Tarantino, Lichtenstein to Neil Young, Bowie, Bette Davis (the actress and the singer). I think in general, music, films or books that have strength either visually, lyrically or sonically. You have to FEEL something when you hear music or watch a film, it has to be a statement or evoke sadness/happiness/memories etc… Resorvoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction are perfect examples of visuals and music marrying perfectly!”

Is performing with The Stylophones a better chance for you to show your energy without worrying about distracting from anyone dancing?

“It definitely allows me to be as creative as I like. I get to work with a choreographer how I want the dancer (our Styletta’s) to interpret my music, rather than the other way around! I love writing music and The Stylophones gives me that freedom!”

After releasing Just Songs in 2009, can we expect another solo album from you?

“All my concentration is going into The Stylophones at the moment… however, I’d never say never!”

Photo: Abbey Clancy – BBC/Ray Burmiston


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