INTERVIEW WITH JON FORD SMITH
Jon Ford Smith came to the College of Dance after attending one of the College open days and falling in love with the place. Jon had relatively little dance experience but was dedicated and hard working. He completed the two-year diploma course which enabled him to not only to gain a place at Performer’s College in the UK, but to win a scholarship. Jon has gone onto perform, teach and choreograph all over the world. In later years Jon went onto join the faculty at Performers as one of their Jazz teachers.
In Jon’s interview, he fondly looks back on his time at the College of Dance, the main lessons he learnt and some advice for young dancers. He also describes his journey in dance since leaving the College.
When Did You Start Dancing?
I was a relatively late starter, taking my first dance class at 19. I had always loved dancing, recording music videos from MTV and learning the choreography! However I had no idea where to study dance or take classes. At that time dance wasn’t quite as accessible for boys. Luckily, I met some dancers through a mutual friend when I was 19 and they took me under their wing, pointed me in the right direction. I joined their Hip-Hop crew shortly after and within months we were Irish Champions. I was hooked.
How did you hear about the College?
A friend of mine was due to start first year and recommended it. I was very rough around the edges and knew if I wanted to actually make a career out of dance, I would need formal dance training. I came to watch an open day and that was it, I had to get in. There was nowhere else I wanted to be and nothing else I wanted to do. Thankfully, they saw some potential at my audition! Again, I was VERY rough around the edges. I’m forever grateful for their decision.
What do you remember of your first day at the College?
My lasting memory from my first day was how nervous I was and how quickly that dissipated. Everyone was so warm, so welcoming. I couldn’t wait to get started.
What’s your fondest memory of the College of Dance?
My fondest memories from my time at the College of Dance are always the people, the sense of community. Dance training can be challenging, physically and mentally. Having that community, that sense of togetherness that we all had was so important. We knew we had the support from the staff when we needed it and we were all working toward the same goal. Those days when something finally clicks, when you’d finally get that movement you’d been working on for weeks and the whole studio would be just as happy for you, there’s nothing like it.