Auburn Alumna Shares Passion for Dance with New Generation

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PHOTO CONTRIBUTED TO THE OBSERVER

Taylor’s Dance Company to Hold Grand Opening Party Aug. 13

BY KENDYL HOLLINGSWORTH

KENDYLH@OPELIKAOBSERVER.COM

AUBURN —

For Taylor Rogers, dance is about more than fitness or technique; it’s about passion, having fun and boosting self-confidence — values she said she hopes to instill in young dancers at her own studio, Taylor’s Dance Company.

“That’s something that I love,” she said. “I love seeing them be proud of themselves and confident … and yes, I want to teach technique to children, but I mainly want to build their confidence, build their self-esteem — just give them a positive, fun environment to be themselves.”

A dancer since age 2, Rogers has a wealth of experience in a variety of dance styles, from ballet to jazz to tap to hip-hop and contemporary. As a native of Huntsville, Alabama, she grew up dancing at the Heidi Knight School of Dance in Madison, and began teaching young dancers while she was still in high school. Rogers said she anticipated taking a break when she started college, but that didn’t last long.

While she counts ballet and jazz as some of her favorite styles, Rogers said she also enjoyed practicing more hip-hop as part of the Tiger Rhythm Dance Team at Auburn University.

Rogers graduated from Auburn in 2016. Now 28, she said she is enjoying teaching at her own dance studio and watching dance enrich her students’ lives the way it has enriched hers.

The journey to opening her own dance company began in October 2021. With a goal to be up and running by August 2022, Rogers said timing was important when it came to finding a home for her new studio. The winning location, however, was closer than she thought — in the same shopping center as Orange Theory on Opelika Road, where she had previously worked.

“It was always kind of something I was going back to in my head, and just as other doors were closing, it was like, ‘OK, I think this is definitely where I’m meant to be,’” Rogers said.

Taylor’s Dance Company began hosting summer classes in June. Regular classes will start on Aug. 15, but registration will remain open through early October. There will also be a competition team. Classes are available for dancers ages 2 to 18.

“I’ve taught every age group over the years, and … honestly, they all have their specialness about them,” Rogers said.

In fact, one of Rogers’ first students recently became the first to join her staff as a teacher. Brianna Butler grew up at the same dance studio as Rogers and will teach dance classes a couple nights a week at Taylor’s Dance Company while also participating in Auburn University’s dance line.

“I taught her when she was 5 or 6 years old … so I’ve watched her kind of grow up dancing and everything, so I was super excited when she reached out to me wanting to teach and stuff,” Rogers said. “It’s really cool. She’s one of the first people I taught, now teaching at my studio. I love that.”

Current and interested dancers and families will have an opportunity to join in celebrating the opening of Taylor’s Dance Company with a party on Aug. 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the studio, located at 1345 Opelika Road Ste. 10 in Auburn.

“Even if you came for a camp, there’s still going to be little, new stuff to see at the studio,” Rogers said. “It’s kind of like your opportunity to take a big studio tour. I’m opening it up to everyone, so friends, family — anyone can come see the studio.”

Rogers said attendees will also be able to enjoy snacks, games, a balloon arch photo wall and the opportunity to learn more about the studio. All registered dancers will receive a goodie bag with a T-shirt.

Rogers said she appreciates growing up in a strong dance community in North Alabama and hopes to help build up the dance community in the Auburn-Opelika area. As she continues to grow her studio and staff, Rogers said she wants to maintain a culture of positivity and inclusion.

“The culture that I want with my studio is just a very positive atmosphere,” she explained. “I want every girl to walk in and feel like they’re at their second home. It’s their family. That’s definitely what I grew up with, and so that’s what I want to portray here: This is your second home. This is your dance family.”

For more information, visit www.taylorsdancecompany.com/ or follow on Facebook @TaylorsDanceCompany.Auburn and Instagram @taylors.dance.company.

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