Tiala Taylor Dances Her Way To The Top of 2015 Teen Talent Competition

By Bryggen Korte
In Culture

Among 12 finalists participating in this year’s St. Louis Teen Talent competition, Tiala Taylor was crowned champion. The 17-year-old Fort Zumwalt North High School senior has been dancing since she was 3 years old, and although skilled in jazz, modern, hip-hop and ballet, Taylor says her heart belongs to contemporary dance. Her performance possessed grace and poise and demonstrated both athleticism and artistic ability—qualities necessary of a strong contemporary dancer.

“The story I tell through dancing can vary from audience member to audience member,” Taylor says. “The dancer has to create a strong enough bond with the audience as if we were having a mute but vibrant conversation.”

Kevin Lowder Photography St. Louis Teen Talent Competition

Kevin Lowder Photography

Taylor’s April 24 performance on the The Fabulous Fox stage sold audience members and judges alike. Her winning piece, entitled “A Mother’s Love,” expressed her personal story of an unexpected pregnancy and the challenges a young mother faces initially receiving the news.

“(The dance) symbolizes the moment in time I believed my dream of dance was gone. But toward the end, it reveals that I was blessed with a beautiful baby who gives me the strength to never give up,” Taylor says. She dedicates the dance to her daughter.

For Taylor, winning the competition means that young mothers’ lives “do not have to end at their earlier-than-socially-accepted” pregnancies. She wholeheartedly credits God and her family, particularly her mother, for the strength to chase her dancing dreams.

Taylor hopes to establish a name for herself in the dancing community before going on to teach those normally unable to afford dancing lessons someday.

The St. Louis Teen Talent Competition is sponsored by the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, which aims to cultivate talent by granting scholarships and opportunities to young people within the St. Louis community.

For more information about the organization, visit foxpacf.org.

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