Taylor, who attended high school in Dallas, says, "It was the spring of 1988. I had just graduated, and I thought I was going to be a typical 9-to-5 worker. But I discovered I needed more passion in my life. I remember being curious about dance, and living in Dallas it was a natural for me to attend North Texas."
Taylor credits two members of the UNT dance faculty for emphasizing the need for hard work and sacrifice as a performer.
"Shelley Cushman and (former UNT) ballet master James Clauser were who I remember most during my time there. They helped me to establish my work ethic and get me started on the right foot," Taylor says.
Cushman says she was thrilled Taylor cited her as a professional influence.
"I remember Jermaine was friendly and had a real gift for movement," she says. "We all work very hard in the department; the hours are long and the classes intense. It's really satisfying to be remembered. It gives richness and meaningfulness to what we do."
Taylor got his big professional break after being accepted into the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Professional Training Program. He says that the most important thing for students to understand is to constantly work for their professional success.
"I would tell them no matter how big the dream is, dare to conquer it. If you dare to see it, work toward it," Taylor says.
However, when the I've Got a Secret panelist is asked if he has any secrets, Taylor plays coy. "While I was at UNT, I don't think I had any secrets, at least none that I care to share," he says with a hearty laugh.