Nunu Morris is an eighteen-year-old senior and this is her first year on the company. She started dancing in kindergarten with Ms. Dayree and Freddie Long in the summer with a hip hop mastery class. After high school she plans to go to college at Grambling State University and study journalism with majorettes on the side. She would also like to look into dance companies in Louisiana that do hip hop, house, bone breaking, and the list goes on. Her thank yous go to Bunky and Ms. Rachel because when she first tried out she didn’t make it and she cried and stopped dancing for a while and went back to cheerleading. They both influenced her with their love, encouragement, and words of wisdom. Ms. Rachel is like her dance mom who pushes her hard even in different styles and talks her into exploring her horizons. Bunky is like her dance dad and has been with her since her freshman year. She would like to thank Maya, Kaya, Yessie, Caalyn, and Elisa on the company for encouraging her to try out and being there for her.
Isabella DeGregorio is a sixteen-year-old junior and this is her first year on the company. Isabella started dancing at the age of eight with ballet classes at Laurelhurst Ballet Studio under the instruction of Jojo Hills. After high school Isabella plans to continue on to a four year college, either studying to get her BFA in dance or become a dance physical therapist. She would like to thank Jojo Hills for introducing her to her love of dance and Steve Gonzales for giving her the opportunity to be on the company and always pushing her to become her best. Isabella would like to thank her parents and siblings for their unwavering support and encouragement towards her dancing.
Wilson Francois is a seventeen-year-old junior and this is his first year on the company. He started dancing at age twelve at Ockley Green Middle School with Damon Keller, an alumni of the Jefferson Dancers. Damon was the first one to teach him about everything he knows now and all throughout middle school he was dancing thanks to Damon. Wilson would like to thank all of his dance teachers for giving him the opportunity to be a Jefferson Dancer this year, especially Bunky Holden-Williams. Bunky believed in him and wouldn’t let him give up, was with him every step of the way, and is the best supporter he ever had.
Zachary Brant is a sixteen-year-old sophomore and this is his first year on the company. He has danced previously at the Portland Ballet and attended their summer intensive three times. Zach would like to thank his very first dance teacher Brian Baker who taught him breakdance for seven years. He would also like to thank all the teachers at the Portland Ballet as well as the teachers at Jefferson.
Zaida Johnson is a fourteen-year-old freshman and this is her first year on the company. At the age of four she began her dance training at the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre (SOBT). Dancing there, Damara Bennett gave her multiple opportunities through dance. She also gained valuable exposure to performing in professional dance productions during her training at SOBT. Zaida has attended multiple summer intensives including SOBT, The Portland Ballet and Alonzo King LINES Ballet in San Francisco, California. After Jefferson, Zaida hopes that she can go out of state for college and she wants to see where dance can take her all around the world. She would like to thank Damara Bennett for introducing her to the world of dance at the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre, and Claire Olberding, Sara Martins, and Eowyn Emerald Barrett of the da Vinci dance department for expanding her true love for dance. Zaida would also like to thank Heather Jackson for deepening her pre-professional dance experience and for supporting her every step of the way and Steve Gonzales and the Jefferson dance department staff for giving her this incredible opportunity. Additionally, she would like to thank her family for always having her back and for being so supportive of her.