The New School Director of The School of Ballet Arizona
We are excited to announce, Anthony Jones is the new School Director of The School of Ballet Arizona. A native of Minneapolis, Jones began his professional training at the National Ballet School in Toronto and the School of American Ballet where he studied under Stanley Williams, Andrei Kramarevsky and Richard Rapp. In 1990, he joined Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet and was promoted to soloist in 1993. After his preforming career, he attended New York University and became director of The Huntington Ballet Theatre in Long Island, New York and subsequently the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance, in Connecticut. In 2010 he joined the faculty of the The Palucca School and University of Dance in Dresden, Germany, as a teacher for classical ballet. In August 2013 he was appointed School Director of Oregon Ballet Theatre School.
How does your background influence your teaching style?
Everything that has led me to this opportunity at Ballet Arizona has had an impact on how I teach; the teachers I had as a student, the directors, choreographers, and stagers I worked with as a professional, and the many teachers I have worked with during my career. All of these sources shape who I am as a teacher. My primary guiding force though is Stanley Williams, who was my teacher for five years while I was a student at the School of American Ballet. He, more than anyone, shaped my vision of what classical ballet should and can be.
What do you look forward to bringing to The School of Ballet Arizona?
Most of all I look forward to sharing with students my passion for dance. I once received a Thank You card from a student stating “You didn’t just teach me technique, you taught me what it is to dance.” I have never forgotten those words and they are a continual reminder to me that sharing the joy of dance with students is the greatest gift I can give them.
How do you view the relationship between a professional company and its school?
A company and its school share a mutually supporting relationship which serves to create a dynamic energy for both entities. It is extraordinary for an organization to be able to serve everyone from toddlers to accomplished professionals and have them all training and rehearsing under the same roof. For students the experience of working in such close proximity to professional dancers is educational, motivational, and awe-inspiring.
How do you view the role of a ballet school in the community?
A ballet school can best serve the community by opening its doors to everyone who is interested in experiencing dance. It can do this by making classes accessible to as many students of all ages and backgrounds as possible and by bringing dance into the public through a variety of educational and outreach programs.
What are you looking forward to most moving to Arizona?
After living for many years in the Pacific Northwest (in both Seattle and Portland), I am looking forward to the sunshine and not having to carry an umbrella in my bag 365 days a year! I love warm weather, palm trees, and bright blue skies, so I am very excited for the change. I also look forward to exploring the picturesque beauty of the state of Arizona.