A study in strength and grace – Jonathan Windham of BMHS | VailDaily.com

A study in strength and grace – Jonathan Windham of BMHS

Cindy Ramunno
Shane Macomber/Vail DailyJonathan Windham shows off his skills at Battle Mountain High School.

Battle Mountain High School senior Jonathan Windham started dancing when he was 8 years old.-The lifetime local was born in Glenwood Springs and grew up in the Vail Valley, attending Meadow Mountain Elementary School, Minturn Middle School, the Eagle County Charter Academy and Battle Mountain High School.-

Some of his favorite teachers during those elementary years were Nancy Jacobson and Jeanne Sagerton, he says.

During the second grade, he began jazz classes with the Summit School of Dance.

“It was my love of performing in front of family that interested me in dance,” Windham says.

Male dancers face the unique challenge of being required to lift in excess of 100 pounds, sometimes repeatedly, all while appearing to be doing it without much effort but with perfect form.-

The hardest part, Windham says, is you can’t grimace ” especially in ballet, which he began studying four years ago.

He says what is often overlooked is that plenty of athletes can lift more than their body weight, but not many can do it in rhythm with a musical piece. And it’s more difficult to lift a moving person than a barbell.-

It takes incredible strength and grace to be a good male dancer, Windham says.

Windham’s parents always told him to do what feels best, he says. This year, he has enjoyed the art classes he’s taken at Battle Mountain.-When he heads to New York State University in the fall, he says he’ll think of family and friends back here.-

“I’ll also miss the outdoors and how scenic everything is,” he says.-

First up this summer, Windham will attend a camp in New York called Stage Door Manor.- He has attended that very same camp for the last four summers.- He also plans to take part in several dance competitions this summer ” something he hasn’t done until now.-

“My studies are more performance-oriented,” he says. He has begun musical theater training, which includes singing and acting in addition to dancing.

In about 10 years, Windham sees himself dancing in a company somewhere. He has his sight set on Eyes of Harvard Street Dance in Chicago.-But his mind is open and his heart is free, he says, as he looks toward his future.-

“Jonathan is extremely skilled, humble and entertaining,” Tim Caudill, a Battle Mountain High School teacher, says.- “Students who don’t know he is such a quality dancer are always surprised at this skill when they see him perform, Caudill says.- “He is a very personable, open and intelligent person.”

Windham’s advice to young male dancers everywhere is to peservere.-

“It’s tough, but keep going,” he says.

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