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Taylor Hatala Dances Her Way Into Our Hearts
By Sonja Grunfeld

Featured in BELLO October 2019 issue #192.

When did you discover your passion for dancing? What prompted you to pursue it as a career?

I started dance when I was three years old and got into hip hop the age of six. I fell in love with hip-hop and performing on stage. When I was 10 years old, my mentor, Alexander Chung, suggested I go to Los Angeles to train and start trying to make a career for myself within the dance industry.

What is your favorite type of dance to perform?

I feel like Dance is really just movement and more expression now than certain styles. However, if I had to choose my favorite style to perform, it would be hip-hop.

In a recent video, Netflix’s “Tall Girl” DanceOn Class | “Stand Tall” | Dana Alexa Choreography, you talk about your growth spurt. Was it difficult to reach the point where you could embrace it fully?

It was definitely difficult to embrace my height because it did happen so fast for me. I was much shorter than a lot of my friends and then all the sudden I was the tall one. I’ve learned now that my height is beautiful and that I should embrace it. It’s a part of me, and I should be grateful that God made me this way.

How do you usually take on obstacles that come your way?

Obstacles can end up being a blessing in the end and can make you comfortable with something you weren’t comfortable with before. I face obstacles every day within my career because I like to take risks and I like to challenge myself. I take obstacles on with a positive mindset and with a lot of belief in myself that I will be able to achieve what I want to and get through what I’m going through.

You have been on Ellen 4 times! What was it like to see yourself on TV (and hang out with Ellen)?

Being on the Ellen Show was the first big step within my career, and it was a DREAM come true. I was only 11 years old at the time and it was so surreal to see myself performing on National television, especially because I had never done anything like that before! Ellen and her employees were extremely nice and welcoming, and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to perform on her show 4 times. I was absolutely star-struck!

After appearing on Ellen, how did your life change?

After I made my appearance on the Ellen Show, my following began to grow over social media and I started to get more opportunities! Just 5 months after appearing on the “Ellen show” I booked the Janet Jackson “Unbreakable World Tour”! My performances on the “Ellen Show” provided a platform to get my name out internationally and helped me achieve my goal of becoming a professional dancer. I dance to inspire, spread love, and spread positivity and Ellen helped me do that.

You’ve toured with Janet Jackson twice. Tell us about going on tour at such a young age.

Going on tour at such a young age was definitely a mind blowing experience. Janet Jackson is one of the most legendary female artist within the industry, and it was so encouraging and empowering to work for her. It really helped me mature in a sense that I was working with all these extremely talented professionals who were much older than I was. Tour definitely has played a part in a role in who I am today, how I work and how I handle myself.

How did touring with Janet Jackson improve your dancing?

Well touring with Janet, I was introduced to definitely a new style of dance that I wasn’t really used to. Janet has her iconic dances that I had the amazing opportunity to learn and perform, and they were different then the dancing I was doing back home or even in LA at the time. Learning those routine, helped me appreciate what she does and her dancers that she’s had on tour before I was on. They were tiring, but they were so much fun to perform and learn. Performing on stage every night, also helped with my performance and learning how to exude different emotions throughout different pieces.

On tour, you traveled across North America, Japan, and Dubai.What was your favorite place you’ve visited on tour? Why?

I would have to say my favorite place that I’ve visited on tour was Japan. We got to go to Tokyo, which was where all of our shopping happened because the fashion there is incredible. We also got to go to Osaka, where we visited all the castles/palaces and it was gorgeous. Everyone was so nice and so welcoming. I also love Japanese food!!!!

How would you describe your fashion style?

I would describe my fashion style as random. How I dress honestly depends on the mood I’m in that day. For dancing, sometimes I prefer to wear baggy clothing and have more of a tomboy look. However, there’s other days where I love dressing like a girl, I love wearing heels, and I love dressing up. Comparing me to my sister though, I’m definitely more of the tomboy.

Where do you think your dancing will take you next?

I absolutely love to teach and I am looking forward to teach more internationally! I have taught in a few international locations and I loved meeting new people and exploring new cultures in the dance industry. I’ve also been working on acting, taking lessons and working with an acting coach! I love being able to act and model as well, because I am able to be creative and I can express myself, which is similar to dance. Overall, I am going to keep dancing so I can spread inspiration and my message to always be yourself and to spread love!

Featured in BELLO issue #193.

Photographer: STAN EVANS @stanevansphoto
Assistant Photographer: SETH MOWER @seth_ian
Creative Direction: ALEKSANDAR TOMOVIC @alekandsteph
Styling: LO VONRUMPF @stylelvr
Hair: DANNI KATZ @dannidoesit
Makeup: ERIK TORPPE @eriktorppe
Production: @BELLOmediaGroup x @MaisonPriveePR_LA x @bonnetalex18

Order your print copy HERE.