A young, lithe man runs a circle around an airport terminal, laughing out loud.
Jonathan Royse Windham likely turned a few travelers heads recently when he discovered he'd been named one of Dance Magazine's "25 dancers to watch."
Windham is featured in the January edition of the magazine. In the article, writer Lauren Kay, says "his ability to mix idealistic hope and basic human strife through movement is entrancing."
"I was so excited," said the 26-year-old Windham who great up in Eagle County. "(It's) such an honor. I have read Dance Magazine my whole life and have always looked forward to the top 25. It's truly a dream come true to be recognized alongside such amazing and accomplished artists."
Windham began studying at the Vail Valley Academy of Dance at age 14.
"I knew when I saw Jon performing in one of the musical theater programs that he was a young talent,'" said Anne Powell, the artistic director/owner of Vail Valley Academy of Dance and artistic director of Vail Youth Ballet Company. "He was not too thrilled about taking ballet initially. Somehow I convinced his mom that he would really benefit from ballet training. He was naturally gifted with the physical facility to dance. I remember thinking if he sticks with ballet training, as well as jazz and tap, he would be great."
Powell's instincts were right. Windham is now a member of the Gallim Dance company, based in Brooklyn, New York. He took the time to talk to the Vail Daily about his accomplishments.
Vail Daily: Tell me about your history with Vail. Where did you perform here in town? Tell me about notable roles you had.
Jonathan Royse Windham: I was lucky enough to have my first performance in Vail at the Ford Amphitheater in "Annie." I also performed with the Vail Youth Ballet Company, Vail Performing Arts Academy, as well as choreographing two musicals at Battle Mountain High School. In addition to all of that, I had amazing exposure and experiences with the Vail International Dance Festival, which was host to some amazingly influential performances in my life. Seeing the wide range of incredible and diverse talent that is brought in was invaluable. I will never forget watching Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and turning to my Mom and saying "I want to do that."
VD: Tell me what you're rehearsing for now?
JW: Right now I'm rehearsing for Gallim's tours happening in California, Atlanta, Austria and New Jersey, finishing with a very exciting performance in New York City in May. I'm also working on a solo project for film.
VD: What do you have on your plate for 2013 that you're excited for?
JW: I am collaborating on a contemporary circus/dance project in addition to the tours with Gallim. I'm also curating an emerging contemporary choreographer's series, as well as presenting a solo in the evening. I'm also currently teaching a "humor in dance" workshop, which is very exciting.
VD: Tell me something that surprised you about the professional dance world once you got into it.
JW: I really had no idea what to expect. It's such an entirely different environment from school and training, there was much to learn. Also, every company and creative process is so different there is always adjustment and things to learn. I really appreciate that; it keeps you on your toes.
VD: What are your goals for the future?
JW: I want to continue to cultivate my individual choreographic voice as well as perform as often as possible. I feel so privileged to have done so much this far and can't wait to see what happens next.