Teresa Taylor

by Shannon Luders-Manuel from MY HERO Staff

136085Teresa TaylorPhoto courtesy of Teresa Taylor

Teresa Taylor’s Global Dance Initiative created the heartwarming film “Global Dance Heroes.” The film highlights two dance programs, Free 2 Be Me and Danza Down, which exist millions of miles from one another. These programs have one important thing in common: They teach ballet to those with Down Syndrome. Taylor brought the two teachers together in Madrid, Spain, along with some of their students. The shared language of dance connects them all beyond words and cultures, bringing joy to those who watch them perform, as well as to the dancers themselves.

MY HERO spoke with Teresa Taylor about the making of her film and what she hopes to accomplish next.

136114Colleen Perry and Elias LaFuentePhoto courtesy of Teresa TaylorMY HERO: Who is your hero and why?

Taylor: I have worked in the professional dance industry for years - first as an agent, and now as a producer. Through the years, I kept encountering heroes (and ANGELS) who were using dance to heal, connect and inspire. I was compelled to find a way to shine the light on these heroes globally. In 2015, I founded the Global Dance Initiative to do just this - to raise awareness of the amazing and impactful work being done every day to improve the lives of others - using dance.  These are my heroes!”

MH: How did you first her of, and decide to connect with, Free 2 Be Me and Danza Down?

Taylor: I met Colleen Perry before I embarked on The Global Dance Initiative. She was my inspiration for taking action and forming the non-profit! Colleen, during our work together, mentioned Elias of Danza Down, in Madrid - and how it was her dream to one day meet him, and share their experiences working with Down Syndrome students, in a dance program. The minute I heard this, I knew in my heart that I had to help make this happen. The trip was planned - for Colleen to travel to Madrid, and the rest is history. The film was inspired by this meeting of hearts.

MH: Why was it important for you to share their stories?

Taylor: The Heroes work hard every single day regardless of who is watching, donating to their programs or applauding their efforts. It is critical to my mission with The Global Dance Initiative to share their stories with as many people as I can get to watch. Not only do they deserve support emotionally and financially, but I hope inspire others to use dance as a life-force, through their stories. My goal is to have a full short film series spotlighting these inspirational stories so that the light can shine even brighter on their efforts!

MH: What would you like to tell others about the Down Syndrome community, and what action do you hope viewers take after watching your film?

Taylor: I hope that the audience will see that those with Down Syndrome, when they dance, are filled with joy.  This impacts their lives in a profound way, and the impact reaches to their family, their friends, and improves their quality of life.  I truly hope that others will be inspired to start a program or recommend a student with Down Syndrome to a program (if there is one in their area), or even donate to these programs to help them further their work. If nothing else, I hope the audience will understand the power of dance as a powerful life-force in the lives of so many!

Cast your vote for "Global Dance Heroes" for the 2019 People's Choice Award here!

Voting is open through November 12.

136103Perry and LaFuente with their studentsPhoto courtesy of Teresa Taylor 

Page created on 10/14/2019 2:51:23 AM

Last edited 3/17/2020 7:29:27 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Global Dance Initiative - The official page for Teresa Taylor's Global Dance Initiative
Global Dance Heroes - Teresa Taylor's film "Global Dance Heroes - Global Inspiration!"