My Pontiac Story: Tanesha Taylor of Quest Cheer & Dance

Tanesha Taylor owns Quest Cheer & Dance, a school for boys and girls, ages three to 18 years old. It's there where she offers cheerleading, dancing, and tumbling classes, and the opportunity to compete in tournaments all over the country. Taylor says that Quest is open to all skill levels and that no child is turned away. This fall, Taylor is starting special needs teams for children with physical and mental disabilities, which will offer free enrollment for those particular children.

In addition to the cheerleading, dancing, and tumbling classes, Taylor also offers an All-Star level of enrollment, which enters children into national competitions. These are not the cheerleaders seen on the sideline of a high school sports game but the ones seen at competitions nationally televised on channels like ESPN. A recent trip to Las Vegas yielded four first-place finishes for Quest students, says Taylor.

"Kids in Pontiac don't have anything else like this," she says. "We need more positive things going on for our young people. It gives them an opportunity to experience travel, to compete and gain skills."

Taylor says the benefits of cheer, dance, and tumble classes are numerous. Children can win scholarships to college. They also help to build self-esteem and teach kids teamwork and social skills. And then there's the health component. Exercise, fitness, and healthy-eating habits are all taught at Quest.

Taylor's cheerleading history runs deep, and starts in Pontiac. She cheered at Pontiac Central High School for four years, and would be offered an academic and cheer scholarship at Alabama State University, though she would decline that offer. Instead, Taylor went on to devote her time to raising a family and the area's future cheerleaders. She's coached cheer for numerous little league programs and schools, and has officiated and judged all sorts of national competitions. Taylor is currently the Head Varsity Coach at Pontiac High School.

In 2016, she was awarded first place in the inaugural Pitch'N Pontiac small business contest.

Metromode asked Tanesha Taylor about her past and future in Pontiac.

Q: What do you love most about Pontiac?

It's where I'm from. It's a part of me. And I'm a part of it. It's family-oriented, and I strongly believe in that.

Q: Why did you open Quest Cheer & Dance in Pontiac?

To give the kids in Pontiac the experience and opportunity that they would maybe never have. And to do that at affordable prices.

Q: What's Pontiac's biggest challenge and how do you think it can be addressed?

Honestly, I believe in unity, in coming together and working together. And staying together. That's what makes us successful. I don't think that we're all there right now. It's 'United we stand, divided we fall.'" Even city government could be a lot further along if we were all on the same page. But I do see it on the rise; I see it all coming together.

Q: What are your hopes for the city?

My hope is that this city will be revived, that the community will be revived. There was a time when we had community, love, and support. I want to see that revived.

Q: What should people in metro Detroit know about Pontiac?

Pontiac is on the uprise. It's coming back. People should know that. Bring your kids here, bring your families here. There are things for everyone here. Quest is here. There are things in place so come back.

For more information about Quest Cheer & Dance, including enrollment, visit them online.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.