Lightning Strikes Twice
An Interview with The Hatala Sisters about being a
'Force of Nature.'
Whoever said 2020 was shaping up to be a terrible year clearly hadn't been talking to our design team! I am absolutely thrilled to announce the launch of our latest project with our collaborating partners, the sensationally talented Canadian sisters Taylor and Reese Hatala! Working with dancers to design something together is my absolute favourite thing to do and these girls did not disappoint with their first signature collection. That's right...we thought go big or go home on this one and designed not one piece, but an entire collection of jewelry! This brand new collection is inspired by their love for dance and represents what dance means to them at their very core. These incredibly creative sisters were an absolute inspiration to work with for me. Not only are they both extremely focused and hardworking, they both have a creative mindset that is well beyond their years. Getting to know them on a personal level was definitely a pleasure. Taylor and Reese are astonishingly down to earth, delightfully goofy and the bond these two sisters have on their social media presence is definitely not just for the cameras.
Their very first signature collection entitled, "Force of Nature' is dynamic, bold and full of energy, just like these dance powerhouses. Both girls were raised in Edmonton, Alberta and at the ages of 17 (Taylor) and 14 (Reese) have taken the dance world by storm for such young ages. Though they work and dance together quite often, they have both carved their own path in the dance community gaining recognition globally. There resumes boast some impressive performances including touring with Janet Jackson (Taylor), appearing on stage with Justin Bieber (both), competing on World of Dance (both), and last but not least, appearances in Disney productions, television commercials and multiple tv appearances. Not only do you need to keep your eyes open for the launch of their first line of jewelry but the girls are in an all new Netflix series, 'Julie and the Phantoms' airing September 10th!
Reese and Taylor were gracious enough to sit down with us and answer a few questions about their careers, their love of dance and of course what it was like to design their first line of jewelry!
At such young ages you have both have incredible careers. Can you describe in your own words your journeys so far and some of your favourite highlights?
My name is Taylor Hatala and I am a professional dancer. I started dancing at the age of 3 years old, in my hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, (Canada). I started training in ballet and tap and then at the age of six, I transitioned into jazz, hip hop, contemporary and lyrical as well. When I was 11 years old, one of my dancing videos went viral. The dance was choreographed by Laurence Kaiwai and was to "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj. Soon after, the Ellen Degenerous Show reached out to us and asked me to perform. From there, I continued to gain support from people, which I am so incredibly grateful for. I appeared on the Ellen Show three more times after that. I have also toured with Janet Jackson on her Unbreakable World Tour and her State of the World Tour, which was a dream come true. I appeared on World of Dance Season 1 and 2 with my partners Kyndall Harris, Season 1, and Josh Beauchamp, Season 2. I have performed at the BET awards with Chris Brown and Janet Jackson and did the VMA's with Lil Nas X. When I was 15 years old, I had the amazing opportunity to perform alongside my sister on stage at Justin Biebers concert! It was my birthday and he ended up singing happy birthday to me as well. I have also had the pleasure of working with Ciara and Missy Elliot, as well as companies like Target, JC Penny, UNICEF and now the chance to design my very own collection of jewellery with Rhythm Jewellery!
My name is Reese Hatala and I also started dancing at a young age in my hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. I'm trained in all genres, but hip hop quickly became my favourite style of dance. I followed in my sister's footsteps and started training in LA and eventually was able to break into the dance industry. I've had some amazing opportunities with my sister, Taylor, including performing on the Ellen Degenerous Show together and dancing with Justin Bieber on his Purpose World Tour concert in Edmonton. I was also a group dancer on ABC's 'Dancing With The Stars Juniors.' I have appeared in several commercials for Old Navy and H&M and have had the opportunity to work with brands like Adidas, Nike, Claire's, Cheesestrings, Sunny D and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I've been focusing on acting over the last year and love to explore new ways to express myself and I'm so excited to have had the opportunity to design this jewelry alongside my sister, Taylor!
You are both trained in multiple styles of dance but it seems that the hip hop style of dance really speaks to you. Is there a reason you feel drawn towards this particular style?
Taylor: I think we both feel drawn towards hip hop over any other style because there can be so much freedom within it. There are absolutely no limitations to the movement and we can express ourselves in any way we want to. We also appreciate learning about where the dance style came from and who we should look up to/thank for giving us this beautiful way to express ourselves. Hip hop has so much rich history behind it that we are so passionate about learning.
What is one milestone that has happened during your journey where you were like holy cow I can’t believe this just happened?
Reese: One of the most incredible milestones that I have had the opportunity to experience, was being a troupe dancer on the show Dancing with the Stars Juniors. I remember walking into the audition being so nervous because I didn't have any ballroom experience. Despite how I was feeling, I decided to just go give it my all and do the best I could. I was so excited when I was accepted at the audition! While being on the show I got to learn so many different ballroom styles and met such amazing people! It was definitely one of the highlights of my career so far!
Taylor: I think for me, booking Janet Jackson's Tour was my biggest milestone. I remember standing in the audition room with seven female adult dancers, who ended up becoming like older sisters for me, as well as Kyndall Harris, the only other 12 year old in the room. I was standing in front of Gil Duldulao, Janet's choreographer, and he said to us "Congratulations, you booked Janet Jackson's World Tour." Up until that point none of us had known what exactly the audition was for. No one had ever booked a tour like this as young as Kyndall and I were, so it was a dream come true for me.
Tell us something we don’t know about each of you that might surprise us.
Reese: A lot of people don't know that I used to be a gymnast. I used to train 20 hours a week! Also, people might not know that I really love hockey. I love to watch hockey with my family and our favourite team is the Edmonton Oilers!
Taylor: I'm double-jointed in my shoulders. My arms can reach around both sides of my head. It's so weird because both Reese and I have it, but our parents don't. I also hate ketchup. I can't really explain why, I have just never really liked it. It is kinda strange because I like tomatoes.
What is it like working and dancing together as sisters? How do you make decisions together? Do you ever disagree on choreography or what jobs to take?
Taylor: I love working with my sister on projects and choreography. Honestly, our brains are pretty connected so we are able to work efficiently and super well together. We even sometimes freestyle the exact same 8-count without planning anything out. Most of the time it is super fun and efficient, but we do disagree. It's usually about small things like little details within choreography, or what arm/foot feels more comfortable to do the move on. I'm left-handed and she's right-handed, so we disagree on that a lot. Most of the time one person just makes the change so we don't waste time disagreeing with each other. We find that to be the best way to work through it.
Do you have any words or mottos that you live by?
Reese: My motto is, "Just give it your all and remember to have fun." Under high pressure situations, I remind myself why I started dancing and the biggest reason is for FUN! From there, the pressure melts away and I just perform and I let myself get lost in the choreography. Showing my love and passion when I perform gives my dancing purpose.
Taylor: I live by the motto that everything happens for a reason and to just "breathe". I have always said to myself that no matter what, bad or good, everything happens for a reason. Everything is in the place in my life that it needs to be in. If what's happening is uncomfortable, upsetting or difficult, all I have to do is just breathe through it.
Without telling each other….If I was a genie in a bottle and could grant you one wish, what would it be? Reese what do you think Taylor’s wish would be and why? Taylor what do you think Reese’s wish would be?
Taylor: For me, I would wish for one million wishes. I feel like Reese would wish for her dream car or a lifetime supply of makeup. I feel like I'd be way more picky with what I chose whereas Reese would just wing it. She would be way too excited to think it through and I would think about it way too much.
Reese: I would wish for a billion dollars, because then I could buy a lifetime supply of makeup and a matte black g-wagon, which is my dream car.
Taylor: See! I was right!!
Reese: I think Taylor was very wise in what she asked for. I would have guessed she would have asked for a robot who could do all her chores for her and clean up!
Dance can mean so many different things to people. What does dance mean to you at your core and how has it influenced your life?
Taylor: Dance is my freedom, my happiness and my outlet to spread peace, love and unity throughout the world. It has allowed me to create a platform to inspire people to uplift one another and themselves. Dance has made me who I am today and has given me the opportunity to create a family outside of my actual family.
Reese: Dance is a way to release all my emotions without having to speak. I let my body express my thoughts through dance. It brings happiness and joy when I get to dance with others and feel their energy too.
This is your first signature collection of jewellery! Congratulations! Was the process of designing your own collection together harder or easier than you thought?
Taylor: I feel like the process was exactly how I imagined it would be. I tried to remind myself that it would take time, so I wouldn't get too excited and get impatient. There were a lot of conversations about the designs, making sure it was perfect right down to the smallest detail. Everyone was amazing and everything turned out exactly how we wanted it to.
Over the last few months we discussed many different sketches and options settling on some pretty powerful symbols. You named the collection 'Force of Nature'. What does this collection and its style symbolize for you?
Taylor: I have always loved what it means to be a "force of nature". Someone who is a force of nature is a person who is unstoppable, unpredictable, and unchallengeable. It symbolizes motivation, strength, empowerment, expression, purpose and presence within our life and our actions. For me this collection represents loving yourself and being a light within people's lives.
Your Power Within Series has a different word written on each charm. Can you tell me why you chose those particular words?
Reese: "Be you" is my favourite! It's a reminder for me to always be myself. Don't let anyone tell you to change because you are not good enough or can't do something. You have to stay true to yourself through everything that comes your way, whether it is good or bad. I also really like the charm that says "Presence". If you have a positive presence when you walk into a room it can spread that positivity to other people and generally makes the world a bit happier. I also really feel that when you are dancing you should always be present. Be in the moment!
Taylor: One of our designs says 'Humble,' which has always been one of my favourite words. It is so important to be humble, because as soon as your ego grows you stop improving within your craft. You lose the passion you started with. I also really love the word "Purpose" because it helps me reflect on who I am and what I want to do within my life. I always ask myself what my purpose is and how I can achieve what I want to do. We also chose "Express" because it is the foundation of what dance is for us. We express our emotions and ourselves through dance.
At Rhythm, we believe jewelry is more than just jewelry. It can tell everyone in the room who you are without you having to say a word. It can be a reminder of what your priorities and purpose are going to be that day. When people wear your designs, what do you hope it represents and speaks for them?
Force of Nature is a reminder that YOU are a force of nature and have something special to share with the world. Your impact can be world-changing, you just have to believe it. The term makes me feel empowered and I want it to empower others as well. When they wear our jewelry, it is a reminder that they can be whoever they want to be and to not let anyone get in the way of their happiness, goals and dreams.
What to learn more about Taylor and Reese Hatala? You can find them at:
Reese Hatala Instagram
Taylor Hatala Instagram
Resse Hatala Tik Tok
Taylor Hatala Tik Tok
Or check out this incredible article in Dance Spirit Magazine.