Being a member missionary is an important aspect of our membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are so many ways to share the gospel, but social media might be my favorite. I try to occasionally post my testimony or scriptures I’ve read recently. Have you done the same?
Well, one couple may not have started with these intentions, but are now making a huge impact. When Grant and Shalee Taylor (@kingandqueenofcountryswing) went viral overnight, they knew they had to use their new Instagram success to spread the word of God. I had an opportunity to interview them and find out exactly how they’re bringing others into the fold through social media!
Where did it all begin?
Grant and Shalee both started country swing dancing on their own when they returned from their missions. Through mutual friends and the desire to learn more moves, they found themselves dancing together.
Grant quickly asked Shalee on their first date and they’ve been together ever since! They were married in the temple and enjoy bringing back their memories of falling for each other by country swing dancing together often.
“He literally swept me off my feet!” ~ Shalee
What about Instagram?
Friends and family were constantly asking the Taylors for videos of their newest lift they’d learned. Shalee got tired of scrolling through her camera roll to find them, so they decided to compile them all in one place. Instagram was the perfect solution!
They woke up one morning to find that they had gone from a couple hundred to over 3,000 followers. A popular dance account had shared one of their videos. They were blowing up! This was something Grant and Shalee never expected and it was quite the shock.
They soon realized that this could be a phenomenal platform for missionary work! The couple made a promise to focus simply on sharing their love of dance and spreading the gospel. They were going to do all they could to not get caught up in the negativity or pressure that social media can bring.
How exactly do they share the gospel?
The Taylors use their Instagram stories to answer any questions their followers might have about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During the Christmas season, Shalee shared the Light the World initiative every single day! They take every opportunity to bring others closer to Christ.
Grant and Shalee also know the importance of being a good example. He wears BYU gear quite often and their followers can tell they’re members. “It’s really obvious,” Grant told me. They want to show the world that they are normal people! When asked about the critical comments they receive, Shalee said, “We aren’t going to conform just because someone won’t follow us for it.”
“If we can even inspire one person to come to the gospel just through our dancing, then we want to do it.”
The majority of their audience in the country swing world is very Christian. Most followers are supportive of their beliefs and compliment them on living their faith so openly. The kind members of their community make it easy to share the gospel!
How do you use your talent to serve others?
Having an Instagram with over 16,000 followers has motivated Grant and Shalee to continue dancing together. Nowadays, they find themselves teaching others most of the time they go dancing. Is this a burden for them? No way. They love it!
The Taylors have also taught country swing and line dances to kids at Youth Conferences! They are in charge of the dancing on their stake pioneer trek this summer, as well.
They both told me that one of their favorite parts of this whole journey has been their ability to teach and serve others.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid walk out without a big smile on their face.” ~ Grant
One of the best things about country swing dancing is how easy it is. Grant and Shalee mentioned multiple times that anyone can do it! Every single person has been a beginner at one point. “The most uncoordinated people in the world can country swing dance,” Grant told me.
What are your biggest takeaways?
Throughout their journey, I knew there had to be some significant life lessons they’ve gained. I asked the couple what nuggets of wisdom they want to eventually share with their kids.
Shalee told me that she has learned the importance of not comparing yourself to others. “It doesn’t put you down to support someone else,” she said. Life is way more fun when you are cheering others on!
They also learned that putting yourself out there is crucial. People need to step out of their comfort zones and try new things. “Don’t be afraid to be bad at something!” Grant told me.
The goal for Grant and Shalee’s Instagram remains the same as when they first gained their following. They strive to share their love for dancing and introduce people to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“We’re just going to keep having fun and see where it goes!” ~ Grant
The Taylors hope that more people get out and have face to face interactions. They love the social aspect of country swing dancing and want to motivate others to try it. Grant said, “We just want people to have fun!”
The testimonies of Grant and Shalee were touching to hear. They truly love the gospel and have such a desire to share it with everyone. “The gospel is so good,” Shalee said. “And like anything good, we want to share it with other people.”
Please make sure you follow along with this incredible couple by following them on Instagram! Let them know we sent you!