The Creativity Issue: Q&A with Dance Dynamos Taylor and Reese Hatala

These two talented sisters get inspired by music — and each other.

By
Ingrid Simone, Toca Magazine Executive Editor
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Taylor and Reese Hatala positively exude creativity. Hailing from Alberta, Canada, the talented sisters have more than 16 years of dance experience between — and they’re only 13 and 10. Big sister Taylor has appeared in viral dance videos, performed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and toured with Janet Jackson. Toca Magazine asked them about their lives as young dancers.

Toca Magazine: Taylor, you’ve been dancing since you were 3. When did you realize that you had a special talent and that dance would be more than just a hobby for you?

Taylor: I was around 6 years old when I did my very first hip-hop solo. I had already been dancing for three years, but I had just started hip-hop, and I was super nervous to go on stage. As soon as I got out there, I knew that this was more than just a hobby. I fell in love with dance.

At age 11 is when I got the amazing opportunity — from a viral video — to perform on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. It was the biggest turning point in my career. Ever since then, I’ve been working in the industry. It’s been a blessing.

Toca Magazine: Reese, you also started dancing really young! It must be great to have a big sister to look up to in dance. Does she inspire you?

Reese: I started when I was about 3 years old. I was doing competitive gymnastics and dancing at the same time. Around 8, I knew I wanted to pursue dancing, so I only did dancing — seven days a week. My sister is an inspiration to me because she always pushes herself and works hard.

Toca Magazine: Taylor, we know you work with amazing choreographers, but you also do your own choreography. What is your creative process like?

Taylor: First, I have to find a song that I am in love with. That way, the movements come more naturally to me. After that, as long as I have an open space so my movements aren’t limited, I think it just goes from there. I like to think of my choreo as my freestyle, so that way there’s more creativity involved in it.

I’ll usually listen to the song days or even weeks before, so I kind of have an idea of what I want to choreograph. And so from there it just kind of takes off. It’s a natural process that you can’t really create a routine to.

Toca Magazine: Who are some of the artists who inspire you?

Taylor: We admire many choreographers, artists and other dancers. Some of our favorite choreographers are Janelle Ginestra, WilldaBeast and Alexander Chung. And if we were to name three artists that are our favorites of all time, they would have to be Beyonce, Missy Elliot and Taylor Swift. We are obsessed with them!

Toca Magazine: Taylor and Reese, what advice would you give to parents who have super-talented kids who want to do big things? How can they best support them?

Reese: Always believe in your kid.

Taylor: Yeah, in any general circumstance, the best thing that parents can do is to believe in their children. Because with that, they can go anywhere. Even if you can’t afford to fly to L.A. and be a part of the industry, as long as you believe in your kids, they can go anywhere and reach for their dreams and goals. And knowing that your parents are proud of you is the best feeling in the whole world.

Photos courtesy of Teresa Hatala.

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