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Marlon Taylor-Wiles, Dancer/Salesman

“My girlfriend was like, ‘Fashion’s always going to be here, but you have eight prime years as a dancer, so you’d better use them.’ ”

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How long have you been dancing?
Since I was 14. It was so random: I was in music class and the teacher was passing out flyers to be extras in the Nutcracker in Houston. So I did that and got a full scholarship to the Margo Marshall School of Ballet, and from there, the High School of Visual Arts in Houston, and then the Boston Conservatory saw me and were like, “Hey, come here for free!”

That’s a lot of free education.
I saved my parents $40 grand a year. I’m so blessed to get stuff because of my talent and personality.

Have you landed any shows in New York yet?
It’s extremely hard, because you have 500 guys auditioning for five spots. Luckily, my parents taught me how to deal with rejection.

You also work at Ralph Lauren?
I was working at Victoria’s Secret in Boston in 2004, and this guy was walking by with an attractive lady, and I said, “Dude, you gotta come in here and buy something for her.” Turns out that he worked for Ralph Lauren. Next thing you know, I’m flying to New York to meet Ralph. Insane.

Interview by Emma Rosenblum


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