WHEN DID YOU START DANCING? I started dancing in fourth grade in a jazz/funk/hip hop class at Lake Oswego Academy of Dance.
COMPANIES YOU HAVE BEEN IN? I danced in the performing company at Westside Academy for four years, and NW Fusion for one year.
INTENSIVES YOU HAVE ATTENDED? I have attended many conventions over the years, such as Jump, NYCDA, Tremaine, WCDE, and others. I have also attended a number of the Westside summer intensives.
FAVORITE STYLE OF DANCE? Ballet or contemporary. I love them both for such different reasons, it’s too hard to choose.
WHY DO YOU DANCE? I can’t really think of an all-encompassing reason for why I dance, so all I can think to say is that I dance because I’m empty without it. It’s all I can ever really seem to think about and it has shaped me as a person. It has raised me like a third parent, teaching me discipline and persistence. I’m forever thankful that dance is in my life.
DO YOU HOPE TO PURSUE DANCE AS A CAREER? Absolutely!!!
BEST DANCE MEMORY? My best dance memory is of performing my duo with Jonas at Spotlight regionals. There was a moment where we looked at each other right at the end of the piece and we were like “Is this happening right now?” Performing that day felt so natural and it reminded me why it’s so important to find what you love and do it as much as you possibly can.
“Find what you love and let it kill you” – Charles Bukowski
NAME: Jonas Berger
WHEN DID YOU START DANCING? I started dancing at the age of 12 at Arts and Communications Magnet Academy.
COMPANIES YOU HAVE BEEN IN? My freshman year of high school I joined Dance West at ACMA and stayed with them for two years. My sophomore year I found my way to Westside Dance Academy and made it into their performing company where I performed and competed with their top group. My junior year I took a year off from Dance West and joined NW Fusion where I will stay through my senior year as well as rejoining Dance West.
INTENSIVES YOU HAVE ATTENDED? I have attended three of ACMAs summer intensives, one intensive through Westside Dance Academy, and I recently attended the summer ballet intensive at The Portland Ballet. In addition to summer intensives I have attended conventions such as Tremaine, West Coast Dance Explosion, and The Pulse.
FAVORITE STYLE OF DANCE? Contemporary and jazz. I love being able to tell a story through movement, but sometimes I like to jump really high and throw a kick in there to really up beat music. It’s fun.
WHY DO YOU DANCE? I dance because the feeling of performing in front of an audience is the best I have ever felt. Being able to tell a story with just music and movement or just simply entertaining a crowd is what I live for. After the piece or show is over and I leave the stage or the curtain goes down to the roaring sound of the crowd, I feel content with the world and every time it reminds me why I love to dance.
DO YOU HOPE TO PURSUE DANCE AS A CAREER? Absolutely! I can’t picture myself doing anything else.
BEST DANCE MEMORY? My favorite dance memory is from when I performed with Dance West at the National High School Dance Festival in Philadelphia. It was the first time I had performed on a national scale and the amount of people in the theater was astonishing. Plus the rest of the trip was a blast.