Ballet dancer

San Diego ballet dancer raising money to attend an academy

A Navy sailor’s son asks for donations, big and small, to the military community.

SAN DIEGO – A San Diego ballet dancer is raising money to attend the Princess Grace Academy of Monaco. In this Zevely Zone, I traveled to Mission Valley to learn how the San Diego community can help a military family.

“I love expressing myself and art,” said 14-year-old Marcus Taylor.

In May, Marcus Taylor went to Tampa, Florida and danced hard at the Youth America Grand Prix.

The San Diegan teenager won the national ballet championship in her age group.

“It was super amazing. I love performing on stage and meeting everyone, it’s a great experience,” Marcus said.

In person, Marcus is quiet and reserved, but when he takes the stage, he explodes with energy.

“Yeah, the stage really is the best way to express myself,” Marcus said.

After becoming a national champion, Marcus received a scholarship to attend the prestigious Princess Grace Academy of Monaco.

“He’s such a beautiful dancer,” Rebecca Ojeda of Golden State Ballet & Pilates told Mission Valley.

Rebecca told me that discovering Marcus’ elegance on a dance floor is a rare combination of God-given talent or hard work.

“Oh, definitely a mix of both. He definitely got the job done, and I really think he’s got incredible talent too,” Rebecca said.

Marcus comes from a military family. Her father, Phil, was born in Colombia but served in the US Navy for 22 years. Phil Taylor has been deployed in combat several times as a member of the Navy’s Bomb Squad.

Marcus’ mother, Ann, was born in the Philippines and has been supporting her son since he learned to dance at age four. Marcus will receive tuition to attend the Princess Grace Academy of Monaco, but his family needs help with housing and meals and that’s where you come to San Diego.

Marcus started a GoFundMe page hoping to raise $16,000.

“We are here at a time to support a military family when they need it most,” said Tim Ney of the Armed Services YMCA.

Tim is helping promote the GoFundMe page and has a donor willing to match the first $500 following this story.

“Every dollar counts and if we could help this young man achieve his goal and get to Monaco at the Princess Grace Academy, that would be fantastic,” said Tim.

San Diego is a military town and it’s a way for the community to support a family whose father is often overseas.

“It’s been hard getting him to leave the house, he hasn’t been there much, but I’m so glad he’s still in my life,” Marcus said.

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Marcus’ career is about to take off and it’s San Diego’s chance to support a sailor’s son.

“Super excited. Yes!” said Marcus when asked about the years to come and where he might live and dance. “I would love to be in New York and maybe Europe, everything works as long as I’m dancing.” Marcus said.

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I am the recipient of the highest honor for the semi-final of the American Youth Grand Prix. This award is known as the Youth Grand Prix Award, which was awarded to Marcus in 2020 and 2021.

If you would like to donate to help Marcus achieve his dream, click here for his GoFundMe page.

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