New Way Academy is excited to welcome Jared Johnson, Class of 2016, back as a dance instructor for the 2016-2017 school year. Jared, an accomplished hip-hop dance performer and first ever Mr. New Way, shares a few of his memories as a New Way student and hopes for the year to come.
Q. Tell us about your teaching role at New Way. What will you be doing?
A. I will be an assistant dance instructor alongside my sister, Alyssa. I’ll be working with the lower school and junior high school students. We will mostly be focusing on the hip hop style of dancing.
Q. What kind of experience do you have with dance?
A. I have been dancing since I was in the 1st grade. I take it pretty seriously, but I wouldn’t say I am a professional, yet. I dance for the company Classic Image Dance, and I have an agent in LA, because I would like to continue to dance while I pursue my career in fashion. I have done all types of dance, but I mostly focus on hip hop. I have performed in many shows and even won a few competitions.
Q. What are your career aspirations and college plans?
A. I’m going to be attending the Art Institute of Phoenix in the fall semester to study Fashion Merchandising. I would love to become a buyer for a major company, and eventually own my own company. I would also like to continue to dance while I pursue my degree.
Q. Why did you want to return to New Way as a staff member? What do you think you will be able to offer students, having been a New Way student yourself?
A. I absolutely loved my experience with the New Way staff, so I wanted to be on staff myself. Since I am younger, I think I will be able to relate to the students and be able to offer them advice. I also think I can be a role model, especially to the boys. Many boys don’t want to take dance because they think it isn’t for them, but I can show them that they can be successful and it can be a cool thing to do.
Q. What was your greatest accomplishment as a New Way student? What are you most looking forward to as a teacher at New Way?
A. Even though I won Mr. New Way and made some awesome friends, I would say my greatest accomplishment is learning that I’m not “too cool for school”. I came to New Way after a difficult experience, and I didn’t really like school and just wanted to get through it and graduate. At New Way, I learned to embrace school and the experience, to live in the moment, and I realized that not everything has to be so bad. I went from not wanting to be at school to wanting to work at school, which I think is a pretty great accomplishment. I’m also really looking forward to being with my teachers and on campus everyday — I’ve missed it!