Dancing into the heart of Ellen and 30 million more, Taylor Hatala is taking the world by storm
Taylor Hatala is just like every other 11-year-old girl. She still loves playing with Barbie;s and her little sister Reese, going to school and birthday parties, shopping and hanging out with friends. Like every other tween girl that is, until the music starts pumping and all of a sudden a superstar in the making shines through. With lightening fast and unique Hip-Hop moves, Taylor transforms from a quiet, polite youngster to a girl possessed by urban beats and rhythms, and most of all, pure happiness.
And that love for dance and music has caught the world by storm. Within the last few months, the Sherwood Park student has gone from being loved by family and friends, to being loved by tens of millions of people after a video of Taylor dancing to Annaconda went viral.
Within minutes of the video being uploaded to Youtube (now at almost 12 million views), father Chad says that he got a call from Taylor’s choreographer and mentor Alex Chung, who said that social media was starting to explode. They agreed to meet to discuss the sudden explosion, and Alex told Chad that he wouldn’t be surprised if The Ellen DeGeneres Show called.
“Within 30 seconds of Alex saying that, we got an email from Ellen. It was unbelievable. And within 24 hours, every major talk show in the States had contacted us,” says Chad.
Since then, Taylor’s total views for her videos have reached almost 30 million worldwide and growing by the day, with non-stop requests for interviews, appearances, proposals for TV show auditions, music videos and more, proving that she is more than just a viral sensation.
“It still feels like I am dreaming. It just doesn’t seem and feel like real life,” says Taylor about her sudden success. “I came home from the Ellen trip and everyone was so supportive. My whole class held this huge party for me and I think it just hit me then,” she adds.
“It still feels like I am dreaming. It just doesn’t seem and feel like real life.”
“I was super nervous, but also very excited, so it was a big mixture of emotions,” Taylor says of her Ellen appearance. “But I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I just wanted to enjoy myself. Then all my nerves went away when the crowd started dancing.”
Having tried out sports like soccer and horseback riding, Taylor says she “just wasn’t any good at any of them.” Her mom Theresa was already a trained dancer, so her parents suggested that she take it up too.
“It came very naturally for me. At first I really liked it, then I loved it, and then I couldn’t live without it!” says Taylor. While she started with more of the classical dance genres, she discovered her love for Hip-Hop dancing around age six.
“When I started Hip-Hop, it just felt different and it made me want to dance even more than I did before. It just brings out something in me like nothing in this world does,” says Taylor.
After the first Ellen appearance, Taylor has launched her own YouTube Channel and calls have come in to try out for a new Nickelodeon series, various music videos, a YTV dance tutorial, a spot at The Pulse Teacher Workshop, appearances on television shows across Canada and the US, as well as a second appearance on Ellen in mid-December, in which the host admired how Taylor’s first appearance on her show had already received more than eight million views.
“I feel so grateful and thankful fir the people around me.”
Taylor is also broadening her entertainment talents by taking on acting and singing classes, as the Hatalas have realized from their time in LA that producers are always looking for that “triple threat” of someone who can sing, act and dance.
But all of this success wouldn’t be possible without all of Taylor’s hard work (with minimum practice of four hours a day, seven days a week and weekly trips to Los Angeles) and the support she has from her family, friends, fellow dancers, choreographers and more.
“I feel so grateful and thankful for the people around me. If I didn’t have those people around me make those great videos happen or to support me, then I wouldn’t have the exposure that I do,” says Taylor.
She also adds that there are many people in the world who inspire her to follow her dreams.
“It’s seeing all the other [dance] students and choreographers that are so motivated too, that it just pushes me. But even if it’s an artist or a singer, when I see how passionate they are about their craft, then that inspires me to reach the heights that they have,” she says.
As for what’s next for Taylor and family?
“I’m just really excited and curious,” says Taylor. “But I remember we were walking down a street in LA and there was a fortune teller. My mom asked me if I wanted to go inside and I said ‘nope.’ I just want to leave the future to do its own thing and not know what the future holds.”