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By Val Horvath Davidson
Photograph by Val Horvath Davidson
The Shreveport Times
September 24, 2013

Tray Taylor, 11, rehearses at Power & Grace School of Performing Arts (photo by Val Horvath Davidson) 2013[Shreveport, Louisiana, USA] – Sometimes it isn’t easy to be the only boy in dance class, especially when it’s ballet and you’ve just started the sixth grade. But Tray Taylor doesn’t care. “It makes me happy,” said the 11-year-old, who wants to be a professional tap dancer in New York when he’s older. “My mom told me that people will laugh, but they’re just mad cause they can’t do it.”

He is currently in a performance group at Power & Grace School of Performing Arts in Shreveport, where he has breezed through a number of classes despite only being involved in organized dance for less than two years. Before that, he learned some moves by mimicking videos he watched on You Tube.

“I love the kid. He’s super, super cute,” said Power & Grace owner Christy Holden, who says that boys are few and far between at her school. “He’s extremely coordinated for such a young boy.”

If it wasn’t for the Salvation Army, Tray might not be where he is today. They discovered him and his passion for dancing after he attended a few after-school programs at a local Boys & Girls Club, and eventually decided to foot much of the bill for his classes.

His mother, Angela Taylor, is probably his biggest fan. She is a single parent who cuts men’s hair for a living when she’s not shuttling Tray’s fraternal twin brother Javawyn back and forth to football practice and Tray between dance activities.

“I think (dancing) is a gift that God gave him,” she said. She used to do it herself at church when she was younger, but now just sings in the choir. “He picks it up real quick.”

Tray is also in a dance group at church, the Praise Temple Liturgical Dancers at Praise Temple Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral. Between their performances and his time at Power & Grace, there aren‘t many days per week that he’s not on his feet expertly maneuvering around a dance floor.

“He loves to dance,” Angela said. “It’s something that’s just in him.”

Copyright © 2013 Shreveport Times

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