SYRACUSE N.Y. (NCC News) – The COVID-19 Pandemic has created challenges for many athletes. Local teenager Nataniel Taylor is performing a balancing act as he works to keep in motion his passion for dance and success in the classroom.
Taylor said he works very hard to stay on beat during difficult times. His teacher, Charles Haislah, said dance is poetry and is a language in itself.
“Ballet is the way people express themselves. It’s what I want to do for a living,” Taylor said.
During COVID Taylor couldn’t go to school, Haislah said, but he always found a way to hit the dance floor.
“I would say it was to an advantage and it gave the kid a level up should I say. So when things open back up they were ready,” Haislah said.
Last year, like 13-year-olds worldwide, Taylor had to be homeschooled. But now that he is back in the classroom, Taylor balances dance practices five days a week, performances, and school work.
“It’s challenging but I try to get my schoolwork done at schoolwork done at school so when I get home I can stretch and do everything before ballet,” Taylor said.
Haislah said Taylor can learn a lot from this transition from COVID lockdown to now. Things like managing priorities, time, and maintaining balance will take him to places like the Boston Ballet Summer Intensive.
Those who desire to attend the summer program must audition. This year Taylor auditioned, was accepted and is among the few who earned a full-ride scholarship.
“I want to dance with Boston Ballet, their company. That’s the dream,” he said.
Taylor said he is looking forward to getting better at the summer program and that this year is his time to shine.