Auckland Instructor

We're chatting with Tayla, who most recently took on our second course in Auckland - Saturday mornings in Epsom!  Laying in the sun on the beach at Mission Bay (with burgers and pizzas because we couldn't choose one), we hit her with the heavy questions.  Like "CATS OR DOGS, GO."  Read on!

So tell me Tayla, how did you become involved with SUAD? 

To start with, I saw the interview on Seven Sharp and thought the idea was amazing.  I wanted to join straight away.  However, at that stage classes were only running in Wellington, but then my friend Halecia (shout out) tagged me in a post on Instagram saying that Shut Up & Dance was expanding to Auckland.  I got myself to the Instructor Auditions and the rest was history.

What do you love most about being a part of Shut Up & Dance?

I love the inclusiveness!  I feel like I am a part of something special, almost like I've now got a second family, where we all love life and and love dancing. The thing that drew me in initially was the freedom of the whole thing; being able to express yourself through dance, nothing serious or technical - just having fun!

Whats your Guilty Pleasure dance track? 

Definitely Dancing in the Moonlight! No matter where you are, it's guaranteed to get everybody dancing and grooving and that's what I love to see and be a part of.  Right now though, it's Shout Out to My Ex by Little Mix.  It's soooo catchy and I can't get enough. 

If you were to be stranded on a desert island and you had to take one person with you, who would it be and why?

Thinking logically, probably my Dad. We don't always get on but I would trust him with my life and he always knows what to do. If it was an island with a beach, we'd be swimming all day everyday too - my family loves the water!

What would you say is your biggest achievement yet?

Getting through two years of university!  They have been so tough and pushed my mental and physical strength to the extreme.  There's definitely been lows but the highs have been amazing.  Overall, it's been an experience I won't forget because (without getting heaps cheesy) it's shaped me and helped me really find myself.  Now I'm more than half way through with only one more year to go!



What's your favourite quote?

"Be who you are, and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Good ol' Dr. Seuss. 

Vegemite: Yay or nay?

YAY! I'm a very big advocate, although change it to Marmite and I'm an even bigger supporter.  Gotta support the kiwi brands. 

If you were a cake slice what would you be and why?

I'm chocolate.  Nothing flashy, but it's a classic and something (mostly) everybody enjoys. 

If there was a film made about your life, what's the song that plays on it's trailer?

"I Wanna Dance With Somebody" Whitney Houston.  I first listened to it properly when it featured on Glee (I know that's terrible) and ever since then I don't even want to know how many times i've listened to it.  The lyrics resonate so well with me because let's be honest, dancing is life.  Anybody that loves to dance automatically becomes my best friend. 

Cats or dogs?

I've never been good at this question!  I have both a dog and a cat picking one over the other breaks my heart.  Both are cute and fluffy and that's a winner in my books.  No comment.

Something you're really good at?

Pulling the peace sign in photos. It's gotten to the point where when a camera is pointed at me, it's like an automatic reaction.  Some people love it, some hate it, but I do it anyway and everybody is all for peace right? Also, eating a whole tub of my mum's brownie when she sends it up for me. I think about stopping and trying to save it for my flatmates, but then I remember how good I am at finishing the entire tub on my own.  Cheers Mumma Brown. 


Want to spy on Tayla's life?  You can follow her on Instagram or check out her other Instagram page, Tayadventures which features her epic photography skills!

Abby Damen