You know her from your For You Page now, but Paige Taylor is, first and foremost, a Dance Moms star — though she might not see it that way. She bursts out laughing on our video call when I bring it up. “I wasn’t a huge part of the show. My competitive dance team got invited to compete against [the Dance Moms] team,” Taylor tells Her Campus in her first-ever interview. “I ended up winning, which was really cool.”
Despite her background in competitive dancing, Taylor never dreamed of being a professional dancer — which is ironic given that her TikTok stardom was built on videos of her following dance trends. Taylor started her TikTok account just for fun, but realized she could make it her career when she got her first offer to do a video to someone’s song. “I think it was for $50. At first, my parents and I thought it was a scam. But I did it and I was like, Oh my gosh, I can make money from this.”
Taylor’s scoring deals worth much more than $50 these days; besides being a Forever 21 ambassador, she’s worked with brands like Burt’s Bees and Dossier Perfumes. It’s refreshing to hear how grateful Taylor is for every opportunity she’s been given. “Forever 21 was one of my favorite brands growing up. It’s just so cool to be able to work with all these huge brands that I’ve used my whole life,” she gushes humbly.
Her “whole life” only spans 19 years, and like all Gen Zers raised on a steady diet of Webkinz and internet rabbit holes, Taylor has been navigating the pressures of social media from a young age — albeit at a larger scale. “It was definitely difficult doing normal teenage things while also being in the public eye,” she admits. “But I think it’s all about being yourself on your platform and being authentic; that way, you’re not different in real life.”
The journey to finding her authentic online voice began when her viral dance videos earned her an invitation to join the next generation of content creators at a giant content house in L.A. (which formerly hosted big-name creators like Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, Chase Hudson, and Addison Rae). She decided to take a gap year before college to focus on her blossoming social media career. She moved into the house in May 2022, creating content with eight other young influencers in the social media world’s equivalent of a sleepaway camp.
Though she was only in the house for about five months, Taylor has only positive things to say about her time there. “They’re my best friends; I love all of them. We still hang out all the time,” she says of the other creators, including the Breezy Boys, and shuts down any rumors of possible drama behind the scenes. “It was all fun and games.” She says her time with the others “totally taught me everything I know. It definitely pushed me to the next level,” she reminisces.
In October 2022, Taylor moved out of the content house and into her own space with her boyfriend and ex-housemate, Jackson Dean. She blushes when I mention Dean’s name. “He is the greatest guy I’ve ever met. I love him with all my heart and I’m just so blessed to be able to call him my boyfriend.” Taylor is committed to being her most genuine self online and off, and her feelings for Dean? They’re very much real.
Taylor’s content has become more and more authentic as she’s gained followers, a rare pattern in the influencer community. She’s shifted away from dance videos in favor of no holds barred Q&As and chatty Get Ready With Me videos. Dancing will always be her first love, but her sashay into lifestyle content has made it “way easier for me to show my personality and engage with people … [I like] posting stuff that people can relate to rather than entertainment,” she explains.
As an AAPI creator, Taylor (whose full name is Paige Taylor Shin) gains relatability from being a breath of fresh air in the influencer space. She makes it completely clear that she only dropped her last name professionally to avoid having it misspelled. Taylor is tremendously proud of her Asian heritage and makes an effort to highlight her background in her content. “It’s so cool to have the opportunity to inspire people like me. Growing up, I didn’t really have anyone to look up to who looked like me, who was the same race as me, and who had the same cultural traditions … It’s awesome that I can do that for someone,” she shares.
Taylor’s bucket list is never-ending. She’s currently in the works to cross off one of her biggest life goals: buying a house. She’s not opposed to living with her friends again one day if the opportunity comes up, but for now, she’s happy to wind down her busy days with a coloring book in her private pad. Her future accomplishments are yet to come, but one thing is for sure: We’re definitely out of gap year territory.