Big screen opportunity leads to a new life for Dansville's Haley Derrenbacher

Dansville native, CTE Center student assisted with hairstyle designs, makeup on Rochester movie set

Special to The Express

When Haley Derrenbacher was asked to work on a movie set, she never thought that this opportunity would be life-changing.

In the spring, this ambitious young woman, who was a Dansville senior and Cosmetology student at the Mount Morris Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center, interned at Icon Salon & Spa on the Shore located in Canandaigua. She was mentored by Daisie Nichols-Stanley, the owner of Icon Salon & Spa. When Stanley approached Haley about assisting on a movie set to create character hairstyle designs and help as a makeup artist, Haley jumped at the chance.

“I’ve never done work like this before but I knew that Daisie was depending on me and I wasn’t sure if I would get to do this type of work again,” Haley said.

The movie, called "Ask Me to Dance," was filmed in Rochester. The movie was mainly filmed at the Hyatt Regency Rochester Hotel; the backstage area was also located at the hotel. It was there that Nichols-Stanley and Haley worked to make the actors look like their movie characters.

“The filming took place over two days. A wedding scene took place in a local church and a wedding reception scene was at the Hyatt. On the set, we had a small bag filled with combs, makeup, hair spray and other hair and makeup tools. We waited until we were called to do ‘final looks’ meaning touch ups,” said Haley.

Haley Derrenbacher shows the dress from the movie Ask Me to Dance as she stands in the Mount Morris CTE Center Cosmetology salon.

Haley had no idea what work she would be doing and didn’t know what to anticipate.

“When I first arrived on set, I was very nervous, but after the pace picked up, we quickly got the actors’ hair and makeup done. Everyone on set were great to work with. Daisie kept telling me that I was doing great work, so that helped me to feel more confident. I did makeup and hair for one of the bridesmaids who was in the wedding scene. When I was finished and she saw herself, she couldn’t believe how she looked and was so happy,” Haley said. “Knowing that I made someone feel so good about themselves made me feel sure about my work.”

Not only did Haley gain valuable work experience, she also can claim recognition for working on the movie set. Haley’s name is included in the movie credits, plus she was given a dress that was worn in the movie, something she will treasure.

Yvette Seils is the Cosmetology Instructor at the Mount Morris CTE Center. When she assigned Haley as a student intern at Icon Salon & Spa, Seils knew that Haley would have great opportunities because of Nichols-Stanley’s reputation.

“Daisie operates an upscale salon and has high standards for the hair stylists who work for her. Haley made great strides in the Cosmetology Program so I was sure that she was ready for this next step. She is a student who is dependable, creative in her work, and someone I can always count on to give 100 percent,” Seils said. “I knew that she would be a perfect fit for Icon Salon & Spa.”

After the movie set experience, Haley was offered a full-time position at Icon Salon & Spa, which she accepted. This recent Dansville High School graduate plans to find an apartment and move to Canandaigua to start her new life. This movie set experience has led to a new beginning and a new life for Haley Derrenbacher.