Evan Haynes is a seventeen-year-old senior and this is his first year with the company. He has grown a lot as a dancer, especially the past couple years developing through the amazing JD II’s, learning so many different styles and learning how to become a part of a company. He would like to give a big thanks to Bunky Williams and Cynthia Tosh for giving him the opportunity to improve and grow through the art form. They have inspired him to keep dancing and have given him so much time to find himself in dance. He would also like to thank family and friends for supporting him through the whole process and journey.
Akayla Cole is a sixteen-year-old dancer and this is her first year with the company. She started her dance journey with her school belly dancing group and continued on to dance with multiple dance groups, such as learning Stomp and Shake cheer and learning the art of majorette dance with a well-known company. She then went on to do multiple performances and parades with said company, where her love for dance grew. After high school, Akayla wishes to continue her dance career at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Becoming a Jefferson Dancer, and being a JD II a year prior, have both been amazing opportunities that she is very grateful for. She would like to give a huge shout-out to the friends and family that come support at every performance and push her to be the best she can be. Akayla also would love to give a huge thanks to the directors and teachers that help her achieve this goal, like Sylvia, her godmom, and Bunky Williams, her JD II director, as well as Steve Gonzales for awarding her this amazing opportunity!
Nya Brown is a sixteen-years-old junior and this is her first year with the company. She started her dancing journey in 6th grade at Ockley Green Middle School. Her favorite styles of dance are African, ballet, and modern. She has also trained in theater with Shalanda Sims, and says she gets her stage presence from acting. Nya would love to go to a school in California or New York. If dancing doesn’t work out for Nya, her next goal is to conquer the medical field as a psychologist or therapist. She enjoys working on her technique in ballet, spending time with family and friends, and working at her job. Her main goal for high school is to be happy and learn as she grows into the best version of herself she can be!
Nasia Fitz is a sixteen-year-old junior and this is her first year with the company. She started dancing at the age of four and has been dancing ever since. Her love for dance started when she was in third grade, when her school went to see the Jefferson Dancers perform at the Newmark Theatre. She later went to da Vinci Arts Middle School to continue with her passion for dance. Her sophomore year at Jefferson, she was on Jefferson Dancers II. Nasia would like to thank her dance teachers, Sara Martins, Claire Olberding, Bunky Williams, Cynthia Tosh, and Steve Gonzales. She’d also like to thank all of her friends, family, and everyone who has constantly supported her in her dance journey and pushed her to be the best she can possibly be.
Conlan Savalli-Smith is a fourteen-year-old sophomore and this is his first year with the company. At the age of nine, he started ballet and acro/contemporary for a year at Evo, in Sarasota, Florida. He took ballroom classes for two and a half years at Dynasty Dance Studio, then started taking ballet, jazz, and contemporary classes with Reflex Dance Studio. At age 12, he and his family moved to Oregon. Since then, he has taken an Afro-Caribbean class at Jefferson Middle College with Oluyinka Parsons-Akinjola. After high school, Conlan plans to get his associates degree at Portland Community College before transferring to the University of Oregon to get a bachelors in biotech while taking a pre-med course. From there, he plans to attend medical school at the University of Florida in Orlando. He would like to give thanks to his mom, dad, and stepdad for encouraging him and helping him in his dance career, as well as his grandparents, aunt, and uncle for supporting him and giving excellent advice in every aspect of his career.
Addyson Razo is a sixteen-year-old junior and this is her first year with the company. She began dancing in the SUN Community School, an after-school program that supports academic success and enrichment. She started dancing through SUN in third grade at Beach Elementary and continued through middle school at Ockley Green. SUN Community School allowed her to find her passion for the art of dance. Addy would like to thank all the teachers who supported her through the years, including Damon Keller, Bunky Williams, Joyce Olivo, and Cinda Jackson. Addy is very excited about what the future holds for her in this new company; she is incredibly grateful for the development it will bring her in dance.
Finn Chisholm is a sixteen-year-old junior and this is his first year with the company. His love for dance started in second grade when Damon Keller began teaching hip-hop at Chief Joseph Elementary School. He kept dancing exclusively during school hours up until his sophomore year at Jefferson. He took a single, week-long dance intensive at Polaris Dance during the pandemic, then kicked off his sophomore year joining Jefferson Dancers II. Finn still has yet to decide his career path after high school, but would love to thank his dance teachers, Damon Keller, Bunky Williams, Cynthia Tosh, and Steve Gonzales, not to mention all the people who have supported him through his tough years in dance. He still has much to learn as well, but could not be anymore excited to see what comes next in his life; he hopes to have all those same people by his side as he ventures through dance and his coming career.