Dallas dance dreams

‘Hip-Hop Krew’ member performs outside of school


In her heels class at Next Step Dance, sophomore Taylor McMillian strikes a pose during her solo performance. McMillian was a part of the “Hip Hop Krew” since July 2016 where she began to follow her goal of being a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

Melina Groso, Reporter

Practicing for Next Step Dance, sophomore Taylor McMillian struts across the floor in her wedges for her first heels class.

“I love to dance because it’s as if I’m part of a sisterhood with my teammates,” McMillian said. “I would like to join the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders one day as I dream to be apart of their amazing squad. They display all the qualities that a great dancer and woman should carry.”

McMillan has been a part of “Hip-Hop Krew” since last July.

“‘Hip-Hop Krew’ is definitely like a family,” McMillian said. “We are forced to be together three times a week and sometimes weekends and that makes us get to know each other and love each other.”

“Krew” members dance for a required minimum of five hours a week, including a ballet class, two hip-hop classes and two classes of their choice. McMillian took extra classes in jazz and lyrical.

“After practice, there are a lot of sore limbs and aching body parts,” McMillian said. “My favorite class other than hip-hop is lyrical. The movements are so free and relaxed like in hip-hop.”

McMillian believes choreography may take time to pick-up, but with practice it would be possible.

“I had to try my hardest because I wasn’t going to get it right off of the bat,” McMillian said. “If I take my time and focus, I can get through it.”

When McMillian finally understands her choreography, she feels more empowered about her skill set.

“I feel great and confident when I finally grasp the choreography,” McMillian said. “My director is pushy and such a fast teacher. When I finally understand the choreography, it’s so much easier.”

Next Step Dance had guest choreographer Eddie Morales teaches competition dances. He is know as a backup dancer for Janet Jackson, Usher, Mariah Carey and other pop-culture figures. He rarely teaches competitive routines at studios, but due to his familiarity with Next Step Dance, he helped them.

”I was at the studio with my team for two long, sweaty days learning difficult choreography for our spring competition season,” McMillian said. “The dances were hard because there were a lot of moving pieces and it was really fast.”

This competition season, McMillan and her hip-hop company will attend PrimeTime, Monster’s A-List, Revolution and Odyssey, team dancing competitions.

“My goals this year on ‘Hip-Hop Krew’ are to get through all of our competitions and conventions in one piece,” McMillian said. “They are very tiring and they drain me.”

McMillian receives support from her peers by giving each other shout outs.

“There is a lot of support in the studio when we are dancing,” McMillian said. “I am honorary member of the ‘cheer squad’ for the team.”

McMillan is called the “mom” of her group. But in times of need, her team is always there for her.

“I can lean on the team in times of sadness or disappointment,” McMillian said. “I had a rough time a few months ago and my crew was there for me.”

McMillian has made friends on her squad and become close to one person in particular.

“The dancer I am really close with is Anna,” McMillian said. “We spend a lot of time together and we push each other to be better and we have a special bond that I don’t have with any of the other girls on the team.”

McMillian comes up with ways to keep motivated when dance is difficult.

“A quote I always think about is, ‘Work for what I want and what I aspire to be,’ ” McMillian said. “I think this quote is very inspiring because it is a reminder to know I must work hard for the pay off.”