Family, friends, and the community came together on Sunday to raise funds for Ja'niya Taylor, 11, who unexpectedly died in her sleep Monday.
Family member Rafiel Slaughter described Taylor as talented and smart. "If something is going on she can sense it, she will do everything in her power to try and brighten up your day," said Slaughter.
According to Slaughter its unclear what caused the 11-year-old's death. "She has no signs of any struggles or anything. It was just like a natural passing," said Slaughter.
The Gulf Coast Biker's Association, a group, Slaughter is a part of came together for a charity ride on Sunday. SouthSide Riders Mobile Chapter's Founder, Cortez Spruill said they wanted to support Taylor's family, "To show that she's loved from more than just her parents, it matters to us all."
The bikers rode from Houston Street Plaza all the way to Taylor's Dance Studio, Elevation Dance Company. The bikers met Taylor's fellow dancers. Her dance classmates say she will be missed on and off the stage.
Chianne Andersen said, "We always used to have a good time. We always used to laugh and make jokes, and make faces." Another dance classmate, Caidyn Criswell added, "She was always a good dancer and she was very vibrant, and I want to remember her smile, and how we used to stretch, and how she was the captain of the dance sometimes."
Also on Sunday the dance studio held a balloon release to honor the life of the young girl. During the ceremony her dance instructor, Rachael Reese said, "She's up there dancing way more than she could on earth God."
Slaughter wants others to remember the imprint Taylor left on others. "Nothing but good spirit, role model, talented, anything positive," he said.
According to Slaughter the family is planning the funeral for March 17. If you would like to donate to the family you can message Elevation Dance Training company on Facebook or you can click here and support the family's Go Fund Me account.
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