“I embody multiple styles…I move with what’s given to me.”
Take one look at Savana Jones’ resume and you’ll see that she’s done it all – and if you see a gap, she’ll seize any opportunity to take on a new challenge. Having grown up listening to pop, doo-wop and R&B, the leap to ballet and contemporary wasn’t as far as one might think. A young Jones watched in awe as ballerinas close to her age glided across the screen in White Christmas, and asked her mother, “how do I do that?” It wasn’t long before Jones, already a student at the Artists Collective, was dancing with Hartford City Ballet, which exposed her to the world of dance through programs that usually offered lessons in multiple types.
A pivotal point in Jones’ dancing career was in 2012, when she decided to take on dance professionally. Darlene Brandon hired Jones as the Assistant Choreographer for Mapeach Productions‘ The Wiz, and it was from there that Jones’ dance circle grew exponentially. Over the years, she’s worked with Anne Cubberly of Night Fall, XY Eli Blues Band, Ruth Lewis and Dimensional Dance, and Ballet Theatre Company. While inspired by the classics – Lena Horne, Alvin Ailey, and more – her true inspirations are people she’s been able to share time with. These artists come from multiple disciplines, which highlights her multifaceted background: ballet, ballroom, jazz, hip-hop, samba, Bollywood, and traditional dances from China, Trinidad, Barbados, and Jamaica.
In addition to the never-ending love and encouragement from her mother, Jones’ flexible homecare job has enabled her to pursue all of these different artistic ventures, including featured spots with Ed Fast and Conga Bop at the Iridium in New York City last year. Jones met Fast in a typical fashion for Hartford artists: at a gig. During pre-COVID times, Jones constantly sought out live music. One night after a gig of her own, she walked into La Casona as Conga Bop was finishing their last tune. She serendipitously met Fast through a friend, and the conversation was brief: “You dance?”
“I’m in love with who I am and excited about where I’m going.”
With the downsizing of live arts events to participate in and attend, Jones has found the time to use dance to its fullest extent. She’s used this newfound time to keep in shape, increase flexibility, work on strength and conditioning, and meditate through movement. When she’s “focused on becoming one with the music, everything else goes away.” She’s adapted to the transition from in-person teaching to virtual lessons, and is actively expanding her business practices to be more flexible to her students’ needs.
Jones’ love of live music isn’t connected solely to her active dance career. Growing up, she loved all kinds of instruments, particularly strings, percussion, and the piano; she’s always wanted to play acoustic guitar. Recently, she’s been wanting to take up the bass guitar. When we’re all able to gather together again to celebrate our local arts scene, take a close look at the rhythm section of the band – you may see a hidden dancer.