The child prodigy may be one of the most talented individuals to ever step foot in the state of New Jersey. The New York native, Taylor Dior, has an unorthodox route to stardom. However, she’s still managed to reach a level of stardom and popularity through all the trials and tribulations in her young career. The 14-year-old began her life as a child actress under the umbrella of ZOOM Talent Management. In fact, she was a proven child actress at that. She performed on a TV show named Guilty. She also appeared in an off-Broadway play, “Fences”, with Tony award winner, Phylicia Rashad. While she found success in theater, it didn’t fulfill her as she would have hoped. At the age of eight, she understood her passions lie elsewhere and she decided to pursue gymnastics full-time.
Taylor Dior’s Background
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
Taylor Dior: I was born and raised in New York City. I later moved to New Jersey to help gear my focus toward gymnastics.
Many don’t know but long before you transitioned into an athlete you began as a child actress. You have proven to be reasonably successful performing in Guilty on television and on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning play “Fences”. While seemingly having a successful career what inspired you to transition into becoming an athlete?
TD: As I progressed toward being a full-time athlete, gymnastics required more hours and more training. Simply, I just couldn’t balance both acting and gymnastics. At the time, I had more passion for gymnastics and chose what I believe still is the right decision.
At what age did you decide to become a full-time athlete?
TD: I became a full-time athlete around 8 years old. I moved to New Jersey started homeschooling and then began focusing all my time on gymnastics.
Would you ever consider returning back to the entertainment industry down the line?
TD: I believe I’d only return to the entertainment industry if it was for something sports related. Similarly, to Livvy Dunne’s most recent commercial. I’d be more than welcome to do something like that but I wouldn’t act again to be quite honest.
How was your experience in the entertainment industry compared to being involved in the sports world today?
TD: I feel like … the acting is a lot different than the sports world. In sports, I have much more freedom versus in the entertainment industry I was forced to follow a bunch of protocols. I usually make my own schedule, instead of working around them.
What aspect of track and field came the most naturally to you?
TD: I would say my speed and stamina. Oddly, I was naturally good at hurdles which surprised me. However, having tons of control over my body helps a lot which I learned from gymnastics.
Taylor Dior’s High School Experience
During your freshman year of high school not only did you break arguably one of the greatest athletes ever to come from New Jersey, Sydney McLaughlin’s record. However, you also won the national title and are officially the fastest hurdler in New Jersey history. How much does this mean to you for your legacy going forward, setting the bar so high?
TD: I set the bar so high, that I think it’s harder for other freshmen to break my records. Especially, with freshmen, it’ll be harder for upperclassmen to break my record as well. This is my first year ever running track and I have a lot of improvement to make. However, I’m thankful and proud of myself of what I’ve accomplished but I have more to come.
Do you have anyone you often look up to or try to shape your running style like?
TD: Athing Mu and Sydney McLaughlin are my favorites. Their effortless running even when tired is what I’m striving to reach.
How much did Sydney McLaughlin’s legacy play in your choosing to attend Union Catholic in Scotch Plains, New Jersey?
TD: Actually, a coworker told my mom about Union Catholic. We met the track coach, Coach McCade. After the meeting, I knew it was the place for me and I was going here for high school.
Do you feel pressure knowing that naturally many will compare you both together for the remainder of your career?
TD: Personally, I don’t feel any pressure it’s not something I think about often. I don’t go around and think “how can I beat Sydney McLaughlin?” However, I do go out there and try my best to be Taylor Dior and that’s it nothing more nothing less. I’m just trying to do me and work on myself and make my own legacy.
Dior’s Sh3GotGame Moment
From your memory, what can you recall as your “Sh3GotGame moment” throughout your entire career?
TD: My Sh3Gotgame moment was seeing articles written and seen about me and inspiring athletes around me. People hearing about my story and trying to replicate it is inspiring to me. Most importantly, realizing my potential and seeing my records and national recognition within months.