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Jolina Javier

Back in February I was able to spend some time with a talented dancer named Jolina, a dancer from California. She's currently performing as a ballerina in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, so ifyou have a chance, go check her out!

I asked Jolina to say a few words about herself, so I'll let her take it from here:

I’m from San Jose, California where I started dancing at a small ballet school called San Jose Dance Theatre. I then went to continue my training with San Francisco Ballet. I would go to academic school for half the day and then travel an hour and a half on the Cal train to San Francisco to take class for 5 hours a day 6 days a week.
I decided after high school I wanted to leave the Bay Area, go to college and pursue a degree in dance. I auditioned for the SUNY Purchase BFA program in White Plains, New York and was accepted. So I traveled 6,000 miles to see what dance knowledge I could absorb on the other coast.
Purchase gave me the opportunity to keep finessing my ballet technique as well as delve into the modern, contemporary dance world while Also learning dance history, dance composition, and dance production. I was fortunate to work with many well renowned teachers and choreographers during my time there. My eyes were opened to a whole new way of moving and expressing this art form I love so much. I was introduced to many new techniques: Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Jose Limon, Mark Morris and many others. I realized that there was a world outside of the ballet one and I wanted to become the most well rounded dancer I could be.
My goals after college were to dance for a big ballet or contemporary dance company, but after auditioning for many with no opportunity I moved on and decided to check out the freelance scene in New York City. When I moved to the city I dove into the freelance dance world and worked for many smaller pick up companies. I danced for a handful of companies that were a mix of ballet, modern, Latin dance, and theatre.
I realized eventually how much I loved working with various smaller companies because I got a taste of so many different styles and genres. Dancing with these different companies gave me the opportunity to perform and grow as a dancer and an artist. I didn’t want to just be a ballet dancer, modern dancer, jazz dancer, contemporary dancer... I wanted to be all of them rolled up in one. I wanted to become a dance chameleon. I wanted to be the most versatile dancer I could be. I then decided I wanted to try the musical theatre world and started auditioning for shows.
The reason why I love performing and dancing is because I love telling stories, and I had always known how to do that with my body but I wanted to explore other ways I could express myself. I always knew had a love for musical theatre so I decided if I wanted to be a part of this world I needed to learn to sing. Learning to sing is still a challenge today. I’m working on my technique everyday and learning how to find those vocal muscles. I also learned how to exercise my acting skills which is something that comes with dance but is heightened in the musical theatre world. With hard work and persistence I booked some great shows that pushed me past my comfort zone. I always tell myself if I feel scared or uncomfortable about something then I should do it because that’s where growth happens.
Choosing this path led me to work with some of the greatest choreographers, directors and performers of this business and dance on stages I could only dream of. I thank the universe everyday for the opportunities I have been given because I know how few and far between jobs are in this bossiness. Currently I’m in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and never did I think my life would take me here. Every show I do I think it may be my last one so I tell myself to savor it. My goals now are to continue to challenge myself particularly in the acting realm.
I want to try improv comedy and acting classes next which the thought of scares me so I should do it:)
— Jolina Javier

So without further ado, here is Jolina Javier for Home Stage!

David Perkins