Replacing previous school director of six year Carlos Valcárcel, Anthony Jones will join the School of Ballet Arizona in his place.
Before directing in Arizona, Jones was the school director in the Oregon Ballet Theatre. He trained in New York at the American School of Ballet and spent the majority of his career dancing in Seattle. When he felt ready to stop dancing, he picked up teaching.
Valcárcel left Arizona to join the English National Ballet School in London in October. Jones took over as school director in January. Jones will see the school take on some of its first international students since the school has been certified to offer visas to students. He will be working alongside Artistic Director Ib Andersen which was one of the deciding factors in Jones moving to the desert.
“Ib Andersen is someone I’ve admired my whole life,” Jones says. “When I was at school, he was a principal dancer in the company. He was just a fantastic dancer. I was in one of Ib’s first ballets in Seattle. He’s someone who’s been a role model. The company also has an incredible reputation and a great commitment to classical ballet.”
The school hosts about 270 full-time students. Incorporating the summer intensive, the school will serve around 700 students a year. There are open classes for the general public, available to dancers of all levels. They are drop-in classes that you can attend every morning or once a year.
The summer intensive is designed for dancers ages 11 to 22. This program attracts students from all around the country, and sometimes the world, to Phoenix to study with this school. It’s a six week long course that will include classes in jazz, modern, fitness and pilates alongside ballet. Many of the students who are interested in the summer program have hopes to join the school’s junior company, Jones says.
“Myself and some members of my faculty are on an extensive summer tour,” Jones says. “We’ll go to cities all over the country to audition students who are interested in the program.”
For more information on the School of Ballet Arizona, go to balletaz.org/school.