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Canada Sherwood Park girl dances her way onto Jackson tour

22:31  13 june  2018
22:31  13 june  2018 Source:   edmontonjournal.com

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While most 12-year-olds find themselves back in school this week, Sherwood Park 's Taylor Hatala experienced her first show dancing in Janet Jackson 's

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While most 12-year-olds find themselves back in school this week, Sherwood Park’s Taylor Hatala experienced her first show dancing in Janet Jackson’s tour that runs across North America and Japan.

Speaking on the phone from Calgary on Tuesday, fresh off her first tour bus ride, Taylor said the opening show in Vancouver was “unforgettable”

“I don’t think any words can describe how I felt. Doing something I love on that stage and living my dream while doing it,” she said.

Taylor got her first big break when a YouTube video of the then-11-year-old dancing to Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda with choreographer Laurence Kaiwai went viral in September 2014. A few months later, the duo danced on Ellen DeGeneres’ show.

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Sherwood Park ’s Taylor Hatala is sharing a stage with Janet Jackson on her Unbreakable tour , which launched in Vancouver this week. The 12-year-old hip-hop dancer has been in Los Angeles in June 18, rehearsing five days a week to prepare for the world tour .

After that, Taylor started making frequent trips to California chasing opportunities that popped up along with her new-found fame.

But the chance to dance with Janet Jackson is one she almost didn’t get.

The day before the audition, Taylor was in Palm Springs and said they weren’t sure if they should make the long drive back to Los Angeles. But they decided to go for it and woke up early the next morning to make it on time.

When they arrived, Taylor said there were about 130 other kids trying out and she started feeling nervous.

“After a while I started to relax and told myself just to be myself as I was auditioning, because that’s always the best thing to do,” she said.

She got called back for a second audition later that afternoon. After that, there was no news for seven weeks, but eventually she was asked to go in for a final audition.

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“Lots of waiting, lots of not knowing,” Taylor’s mom Teresa Hatala said, “It was kind of her first official audition and it was a big one, so it was a little overwhelming.”

At the third audition, Jackson herself walked in.

“Everyone’s jaw dropped. We just stopped what we were practising and everyone stopped what they were doing and just stared at her,” Taylor said.

Taylor said after that she was “cut,” but then called back again an hour later and told by Jackson’s choreographer that she had been selected.

“The whole world just brightened up and my heart grew two times bigger,” Taylor said.

She has been in Los Angeles since June 18, rehearsing five days a week to prepare for the tour.

Jackson’s North American tour has dates running into March 2016, but Teresa Hatala said that could be extended up to two years.

Taylor said she’ll be doing three hours of school work every day and that a teacher is travelling with the tour who works with her and another young girl dancing in the show.

She said the crew of adult dancers and other staff working on the tour look out for the two younger dancers.

As for the pop icon herself, Taylor said Jackson is thoughtful and has been a great boss.

“She’s extremely genuine and kind,” she said.

Whenever Jackson’s tour wraps up, Taylor knows exactly what she’ll be doing.

“Just keep on dancing,” she said.

Jackson — and Taylor — will perform Friday at Rexall Place.

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