We chat to Brooke Hyland from 'Dance Moms'

The dancer turned singer gives us some tips on juggling work with school and dealing with bullying.

The dancer turned singer gives us some tips on juggling work with school and dealing with bullying.

How would you describe your sound?

I’m really into country music, that’s what I like to listen to. And I also like pop. So it’s kind of like Taylor Swift’s sound.

Are you a big fan of Taylor Swift?

Yes. She’s so pretty.

Did you always know you wanted to sing?

No, because I have always just sang around the house and in the car. My family is constantly telling me to be quiet. So I never thought I was actually going to do anything with it but I guess things change.

How did you fall into it?

Whenever I would sing in front of other people they would always compliment me on my voice but I was always nervous to sing in front of other people. Since the show started, I’ve become more open and comfortable about singing in front of people, so I guess the show kind of inspired me to do it because now I have a fan base.

Is it different putting yourself out there with dance to music? Is it a bit scarier for you?

Yes. Because whenever I dance on stage, I have choreography and I have to do what I’m told, and make sure I’m on the music and stuff. And when I’m singing I have to make sure I’m singing and moving to the music and stuff, you’ve got to do two things at once. It’s kind of like dancing and singing to the music.

How do you deal with all the pressures that come with being on a TV show?

When someone is negative and saying mean things about me I kind of let it go in one ear and out the other, because I have to do that with Abby my dance teacher. When I’m out somewhere and people recognise me, I’m still not used to it. It’s so weird but so cool at the same time. I don’t even know. It’s just so weird because I still consider myself a normal teenage girl, I just don’t realise how other people think of me.

Do your fans make dealing with the negative stuff a lot easier?

Yeah, because when I’m scrolling down on Twitter and I see ‘oh Brooke you did a really good job,’ and then I see the next one ‘oh you suck’ I’m like okay the other ones make up for it.

What is Miss Abby really like? Is she exactly the same as she is on TV as she is when the cameras aren’t rolling?

I think she is nothing less than she is on TV. I think they make her more normal than she actually is. And they make the mums crazier.

What’s an example of something crazy Miss Abby has done that hasn’t made it to TV?

It’s not that they don’t show her as crazy, they don’t show her as being as mean as she is. Like, the things she says to us in class. She told my sister one time that she needed to go to hospital and get her brain checked because she couldn’t remember her choreography. She’s just a little rude sometimes.

You’re the oldest girl on the TV show, do you feel like you have to look out for the younger girls and make sure they’re not taking it to heart?

Yes, because even with my sister, like she’ll come home crying and I’m like ‘Paige it’s okay you just got to let it in one ear and out the other’ and some of the girls do take it to heart still, even after they’ve all been dancing since they were two years old. They look up to Abby, Abby’s their dance teacher and she means something to them.

Do you have any tips that you could give to girls on how to deal with bullying?

Well I tell the girls when they’re upset, ‘You just got to let it in one ear and out the other.’ But sometimes it’s me too. We’re all just there for each other.

Have you ever had to deal with bullying?

I’ve been going to the same school since I was in kindergarten so I’m friends with the people I’ve been friends with since I was really young and before the show. People still treat me the same and I know who my true friends are, so I’ve never really been bullied or picked on. Which is lucky.

So you think dealing with Miss Abby has given you a tougher skin?

Definitely. All the mums are like ‘You know when you see Brooke cry there’s something wrong’ because I never really cry unless I’m hurt. I try to keep a smile on my face, but sometimes you can’t because some of the stuff she says is so negative.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at dance class?

I just like being a normal kid and hanging out with my friends because I never get to see them as I’m constantly travelling for the show.

Have you got plans to tour?

We’ve been talking about it but I don’t really know for sure what’s going on yet. But I’d love to tour, I think that would be super fun.

How do you keep up with school work?

We’re constantly dancing, so I go to school in the morning and then I stay there all day and get picked up and go straight to dance and I’m there until like 9.30. So I just basically do my homework whenever I can, like in between classes, after dance, sometimes I’m up until like one in the morning doing homework. We miss every Friday of school because we travel for competitions, so we have a tutor that travels with us on the road. But I’ve been keeping my grades up so that’s good.

Brooke's debut album is available now on iTunes.