Summer Series: Candid Conversations with the Pros
Get to know Dance Theatre of Harlem Artist: Alex Jones
Photo credit: Rachel Neville
Alexandra Rene Jones was born in Indianapolis, IN and in May 2021, graduated from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music with a Bachelor of Science in Music (Ballet). While pursuing her B.S. Degree, she also received an Outside Field in Kinesiology, a Minor in Psychology, and became a Nationally Registered & Certified EMT. After her time at IU, Alexandra joined Ballet Rhode Island and danced with the company for 2 seasons (2021-2023). Alexandra is currently starting her first season with Dance Theatre of Harlem. Some of Alex's favorite performances include Wheeldon's Carousel: A Dance; Balanchine's Concerto Barocco; & Robbins' The Concert.
Photo credit: Rachel Neville
What have you learned about the audition process as you’ve auditioned throughout the years?
"One thing I learned from auditioning is that it’s all about timing, and just because it’s a “no” one year doesn’t mean it can’t be a “yes” the next (I auditioned 3 years in a row for DTH). Sometimes directors may not have an open position, or sometimes they may be looking for a certain type of movement quality in a dancer for upcoming rep, and if you aren’t what they are looking for in that moment for that particular year it 1) doesn’t mean you are a bad dancer and 2) doesn’t mean you won’t be what they’re looking for in the next audition season. If it is a “no” then it just means that the time isn’t right, or there is something better for you out there! So don’t take rejection too personally :) "
What are some injury recovery strategies that you’ve found to be beneficial?
"When it comes to injury recovery something I have found really helpful in the past is making sure I have a good support system, and that I am giving as much attention to my mental health as I am my physical. Injuries are so frustrating & while you’re in the thick of it, it can feel really difficult to picture yourself fully back post recovery. So, I would say give yourself grace, & focus on the things you can control— like strengthening supporting muscles & practicing positive self talk."
What is a performance that has been meaningful for you?
“A performance that has been meaningful to me was dancing in Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco last season at Ballet RI. Concerto was the first Balanchine Ballet I performed in high school with Indianapolis School of Ballet, and so it was a very full circle moment for me to then get to dance it professionally earlier this year.“
EMAIL EXCLUSIVE: Dance Theatre of Harlem has been a dream company of yours- congratulations on starting your first season there! What would you say to dancers who have a dream company?
“For any dancer out there that has a dream company that they want to dance in one day, my advice— although cliche— would be to work hard, be kind to yourself, and never give up. It can be very difficult to not compare your journey to someone else’s, especially in the performing arts world, but something you have to know & realize is that there are multiple paths that can get you to your destination & you don’t have to go the exact same route as someone else in order to get to where you want to be."