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Jan 21, 2020

This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra speaks with Jonathan Dole, a dance prodigy, YAGP champion, and current member of The Joffrey Ballet’s main company. Growing up on the western coast of the United States, Jonathan was introduced to ballet at age 15 and immediately discovered a love for the art. Jonathan moved quickly through some of the nation’s top dance schools before joining the Joffrey Academy and, ultimately, The Joffrey Ballet. During his time with the Joffrey, Jonathan has danced in various performances, including this year’s season-opening production of Jane Eyre.

On the podcast, Jonathan speaks to a wide array of topics, including how his love of dance began, where he finds inspiration, and what it feels like being a professional dancer after chasing the dream for so long. Jonathan also discusses how, early in his run as a professional, his fears nearly got the best of him. Yet, in the fear, Jonathan found a way to remember that his art is his own masterpiece, and he calmed his nerves once he realized that the only member of the audience that mattered was himself.


Moving Quotes:

 “I perform for myself, not for other people. And that has changed my perspective on performance."

“The audience is incredible, and I can feed off of that energy. But you’re dancing for you. It’s your art form."

“Ballet has taught me so many life skills. So many incredible things. Without ballet, I don’t think I’d be the person I am today. And even if you don’t do it professionally, it teaches you so much."

“So many dancers don’t appreciate all of the work that they’ve put into dance. They just think about all of the work they could have put into it. But we really do put all of ourselves into this, and I think we need to appreciate that more."

“Working for a company is lots of fun but is so much work. You put everything into it."


Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:

3:14: Jonathan describes how his first love of dance was driven out of a hatred of sports and a need for an energy-burning outlet.

5:09: Jonathan retells his first introduction to the Joffrey Ballet and how he moved from student to professional company dancer.

7:50: Dole discusses the individuals who have influenced and inspired him the most.

12:14: Jonathan reflects on a situation where he nearly let his nerves get the best of his performance and shares how his mindset permanently changed as a result of that situation.

15:05: Dole shares his method around mentally preparing for ballet performances.

17:40: Jonathan speaks to the pride he feels — and that all dancers should feel — about the hard work dancers put into perfecting their craft.

19:04: Jonathan gives some advice around preparing for dance competitions, including some dietary suggestions and some ideas around warming up. 

21:13: Dole shares his perspective on finally being a professional dancer after pursuing the dream for so much of his life.

23:42: Jonathan describes the things that he has learned through dance that affect all different areas of his off-the-stage life.

28:31: Jonathan shares some tips to staying healthy and sane while traveling in a dance tour.

Bullet List of Resources – 

Jonathan Dole