The Story of Micaela Taylor

How Micaela Taylor turned pandemic stillness into a creative explosion at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts This story was supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. “I had been feeling…

The Story of Micaela Taylor

How Micaela Taylor turned pandemic stillness into a creative explosion at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

This story was supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

“I had been feeling for a long time that my relationship with the music world wasn’t what it could be,” says Micaela Taylor. “I was just starting to find that out, and you feel those things with your entire life.”

When Taylor first started teaching in Brooklyn as a music teacher at a public school, her students were mostly white kids from the inner-city who didn’t know any other music. As Taylor began to develop more of a relationship with the students, she found that even her own children came in and sang together.

At the time, Taylor was a music teacher at a public school in Brooklyn. One of her students was a kid who was born with a clubfoot. “We were making fun of him, but we knew he shouldn’t be teased when he was coming from a different culture,” Taylor says. “We were trying to make him aware of other cultures, so that he would never get a negative view of those people or of their culture because he wasn’t there yet.”

When Taylor began to explore how she could use her students’ creative and musical gifts to inspire them to create, she decided to create a dance-inspired project that would bring awareness of the ongoing pandemic. She approached the dance program at her school and asked if they’d like to collaborate with her, and the two worked on a choreographed routine titled “Dancing on a Rope.”

It quickly became clear to the teachers that Taylor was serious about this idea. “In the first few months, we were already collaborating on it,” says Allison Rinaldi. “This is something that

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