El Camino College Union

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Recently hired instructor dances to a new beat

Photo credit: Jorge Villa

Photo credit: Jorge Villa

Photo credit: Jorge Villa

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Swaying in perfect motion across a stage in front of mass audiences is nothing new to newly appointed dance instructor Jonathan Bryant, but such a platform is not gained without hard work.

Born in Middletown, Ohio and raised in Martinsburg, West Virginia, Bryant grew up practicing music but didn’t discover his love for dance until being lead towards it.

“I was in the band playing bass guitar,” Bryant said, “Some girls in our show choir wanted guys to help dance so I took some classes and ended up sticking with it throughout high school.”

As a senior in high school, his dance instructor asked him if dance was something he wanted to pursue.

“I thought I was going to be an architect,” Bryant said. “But I chose to stick with dancing.”

After high school, Bryant continued his education at Shenandoah University where he received his bachelor’s in dance performance and received his master’s degree in choreography from the California Institute of the Arts.

Bryant’s first exposure to professional dancing first hand was before college, when he took a non-paying gig to help out at the Kennedy Center Opera House for the Kennedy Center Honors.

“It was fun,” Bryant said.” It was my first time meeting professional dancers before I knew who they were. It wasn’t until years later that I realized how fortunate I was to help and be apart of something so special.”

On such a big night for a young Bryant, where so much was going through his head, he still managed to learn humility.

“Right when I got on stage, this gigantic letter C dropped from the ceiling and managed to cover my face for the entire performance,” Bryant said. “It definitely humbled me for sure,” he added with a laugh.

Big moments followed Bryant after his debut, performing with groups such as the Invertigo Dance Theatre in settings as decorated as the Joyce Theatre in New York.

“He really is unique in so many ways,” dancing instructor Daniel Berney said. “One thing we were looking for was a compliment to the staff we already had, and he compliments us very well.”

With such an elaborate resume, Bryant’s proudest moments rest with his family as a father and as a son.

“I remember when my mother came for the first time to one of my shows and she hadn’t seen me dance in years,” Bryant said. “It just felt good that I was able to fly my mom out to see me perform. No matter how I do my mom will love me, and that’s why it was so special for me.”

The faculty at EC feel lucky to have Bryant amongst them.

“He is a great fit,” dancing instructor Elizabeth Adamis said. “He’s a phenomenal dancer and phenomenal thinker and someone who can really relate to students.”

As an instructor here at El Camino, Bryant wants to bring the same kind of passion he has for dance and share it with his students, and feels like everything is great so far.

“I was hoping to fall in love and this school made it very easy to do that,” Bryant said. “The students are lovely and I couldn’t be in a better spot.”

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About the Writer
Samuel Hill, Senior Staff Writer
Samuel Hill is in his fourth semester at El Camino College and in his second semester at The Union newspaper. He enjoys writing about sports and hard news stories. He also plays mens volleyball at ECC.
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Recently hired instructor dances to a new beat