My Life Through Dance

Olivia Taylor

Connect with Olivia:

Athletes compete, train and make sacrifices for their sport. 

Artists connect with audiences through their creative expressions.

And as a dancer, I am both an athlete and an artist.

I train as long and hard as other athletes to perform with proper technique, artistry and strength. 

Dancing is a sport that requires me to be vulnerable — to show the world who I am.

That’s exactly what I want to do with my life.

Dancing wove itself into my heart when I was little one-year-old Olivia bobbing up and down to the radio in my car seat. 

I’ve trained with many studios and performed on world stages since then, but my love of dance feels as surreal as when I tied my first tap shoes.

After performing a little solo, five-year-old me thought “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

And today, I’m dancing for Ohio State.

Devoting Myself to Dance

I’ve been dancing as long as I can remember.

I was the kid in the backseat jamming out to the music.

The kid who couldn’t hear a song on a commercial without dancing to it.

When I was two, my mom noticed my love for music and dance, so she put me in a creative movement class.

We did ballet, tap – all the basics that a little kid does.

But at a certain point, I knew I wanted to take this seriously.

I started competitive dance at the age of five and switched studios.

And honestly, that’s when my career took flight.

I trained between 30 and 45 hours per week growing up.

I sacrificed a lot of the normal stuff kids get to do.

I missed out on birthday parties, school dances, and football games. 

So many hours to perfect my moments on stage.

I grew up quicker than a lot of kids, but I don’t regret it.

I’ve been able to travel the world and experience so many things thanks to dance.

In high school, I started traveling the country for auditions at prestigious schools. I considered joining BFA programs for dance until I attended a dance clinic at Ohio State.

My visit convinced me — I wanted to be a Buckeye.

Performing on the College Stage

In the dance world, everyone knows Ohio State is amazing.

They have all these national titles, but what everyone doesn’t see is what goes on behind the scenes. 

When I visited Ohio State, I saw how insanely talented the girls are on the team, but I was even more impressed by their personalities. 

They were so welcoming and kind. 

I truly admired the way they put the team first.

Ohio State also sets itself apart from other programs because the school respects and invests in dancing as a sport. 

In the recruiting process, I did not get my hopes up about anything because it is a very selective group of people. They only pick about six dancers per year to be on this team, so I knew there was a chance that I wouldn’t make it.

The day I got the call that I made the team was the best day of my life. 

In that moment, I just knew that all the hard work and sacrifices I made growing up really paid off. 

I felt blissfully happy.

The sacrifices continue in college, but it’s all worth it now.

On a regular week at Ohio State, we practice three days with three-hour practice blocks, and we lift three days a week, too.

On lifting days, we often start at 7:30 in the morning, and then we eat breakfast at the dining hall for student-athletes.

I may be a bit biased, but our breakfasts are truly one of my favorite parts of the day.

Then it's either yoga or Pilates.





Wake up and do it all over again.

My schedule is a whirlwind, but I don’t mind. 

I’m living the dancer’s dream.