Dancing with the Stars pro Jade Hatcher revives her career with a winning performance & successful new business

Northern Beaches local Jade Hatcher captured the hearts of the Australian public when she appeared as a professional dancer on the TV show Dancing with the Stars in 2008 dancing with TV personality James Tobin. Read our interview with this talented and very brave local hero…..

Jade Hatcher had a highly successful run on Dancing With the Stars and even won in 2009 but tragedy struck in 2013 when she was dancing with model Zac Stenmark during rehearsals for the Channel 7 show and he accidentally dropped her.

This brought not only Jade’s TV career but also her dancing career at that time to a stop.  She tore the cartilage in her right hip joint during the splits, an injury which led to multiple surgeries and years of painful rehab just to get back on her feet.

Happily, after more than 3 years of surgeries and medical treatment, Jade has made a successful comeback on the dance floor,

opening her own dance studio for adults “HatcherDance” earlier this year in Dee Why.

And she has returned to the limelight recently in the inaugural Stars of the Beaches fundraiser at Dee Why.

Jade was amongst the professional dancers at the gala fundraising event where local celebrities, business leaders and everyday heroes were teamed up with professional dancers for a night of entertainment which saw nearly $80,000 raised for Cancer Council NSW.

And the winner was….

Well of course it was Jade, with her flamboyant partner Brett Luhrmann from Seaforth, the businessman brother of movie mogul Baz. They quite literally had the entire room on their feet during the finale of their winning dance and were well deserved winners.

We recently had the chance to speak with Jade about her glittering career and its ups and downs.  Read our interview below …..

NBMS: Many of our Mums will remember you well from your time on Dancing With The Stars, and for many the memories might be the drama caused by your sad and sudden exit.  But there must be so much more positive tales to tell from your time on the show. 

Could you perhaps share some of the more fun stories from back then?

Jade: Dancing with the Stars was an incredible show and I was so fortunate to enjoy 5 wonderful seasons as a Professional Dancer. For a Ballroom Dancer and performer, it really was the dream job! I have never been challenged so much as a choreographer and a dancer.  

As an 18 year old just out of school, I was pushed to my limits and thrown in the deep end learning about TV production, choreography, teaching, costume design, music and more. Plus meeting each of my celebrity partners and celebrity casts was a journey in itself.

Every series was different to the next. It was amazing to meet so many Australian icons and get to know them as regular people. Seeing their performance rituals or witnessing their competitive edge & pre-show jitters.. back stage was always so entertaining, it could have been a show in its self!


NBMS: You’ve been very open about the battle you endured whilst recovering from your injuries.  Was there ever a time when you thought you’d really never dance again? And what was it that really got you through those very difficult times?

Jade: It was terribly saddening when I sustained the injury. I lost my career and passion all in the same second and it broke my heart.

Between the 2 surgeries, I was told that I would never dance again. However due to my family, a wonderful surgeon, some great post-operative treatment with various physiotherapists and a lot of hard work and determination, I have made a pretty decent recovery. Although I will never be 100%, I am thankful to be in the position now and lead a very active life.


NBMs: You opened your own dance studio for adults, Hatcher Dance this year. How is that going?  And what was it that made you open a school for adults in particular?

Jade: The story behind opening my studio is related to my injury. During the past 3.5 years, I learnt so much about my body, both physically and mentally. I was so desperate to maintain a healthy body and mind while being absolutely crippled and unable to do anything physical, so I did lots of research into rehab and nutrition.

Not being physical affected me the most as dancing and sweating it out was my therapy for so many years. For me, the rush of endorphins after exercise is irreplaceable. So, the classes in my studio are based around what I did to rehab my body after injury. Focusing on cardio, strength and flexibility while ensuring these same elements are equally balanced within the regime in order to get the most benefit.

There are many kids schools in the Northern Beaches but I found a big gap in the market for adults. It’s just as important for adults and mum’s especially, so I’ve kept my studio exclusive to adults!

At HatcherDance, you will find everything to do with sweating, stretching, dancing and all in between.

Absolutely no experience needed when coming to a HatcherDance. All classes are designed to have fun, meet others in the community, get fit and learn something new. Plus we know you’ll have such a great time that you’ll come back after your free first class 😉


NBMs: Do you think you’ll ever return to our TV screens, so many of us still miss Dancing With The Stars?

Jade: I would absolutely love to if there is ever an opportunity again. We all miss the show!


NBMs: Dancing is clearly more than a job to you.  Can you tell us a bit more about when you first started to dance and also how you ended up as one of the youngest dancers on Dancing With The Stars?

Jade: Dancing is my life, I live and breathe it. I started dancing ballet at the young age of 3. But coming from a dancing family, I was in the Ballroom Industry practically since birth. I was honoured when “Dancing with the Stars” head hunted me for the show just as I was finishing school. Surprisingly, it wasn’t something that I had thought of doing until they asked me.


NBMs: Stars of the Beaches was such a wonderful event and it raised nearly $80,000 for Cancer Council NSW.  Why did you decide to get involved with the show? And will we see you back again next year?

Jade: There were a few reasons for signing up for Stars of the beaches. Firstly, I’ve had several family members effected by the terrible disease and had a scare of my own when I was 21. Luckily my tumour was benign, however going through the process of so many tests, Doctors and surgery, all the while asking 100’s of questions, I learnt how little we really know about this insidious disease that takes so many lives.

My other (slightly more self indulgent reason), I was coming to a point in my injury rehab where I was ready to perform again and I couldn’t think of a better opportunity. Have a dancing comeback within the same format of Dancing with the Stars and raise as much money as we could for the Cancer Council. Above all, I got to meet an absolutely wonderful family – the Luhrmann’s. Brett and Lori particularly who are an inspiration for Love & Life and Lori especially, a cancer survivor and an incredible inspiration.

Next year – absolutely!

Find out more about Jade and Hatcher Dance here


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