Jacob Jonas emerged over the past two years as an important player on the L.A. dance scene, but he took something of a scenic route before emerging as a local force. His L.A. dance roots go back to when, as a teen, he joined a street-dance group performing at Venice Beach and then went on to tour with them. Jonas also did a stint in Seattle mentored by the legendary Donald Byrd before gaining recognition in New York for his choreography. Since 2014, his Santa Monica–based Jacob Jonas The Company has attracted attention for its effective blending of street moves with ballet and modern-dance elements. Beyond the high quality of the dancers he attracts and his distinctive choreography, Jonas reaches new audiences through imaginative use of film, photography and social media. An instigator of Dance in L.A., a Facebook group that has become an important virtual gathering place for L.A.'s far-flung dance community, Jonas' efforts reflect a canny ability to think outside the box about larger issues confronting L.A.'s dancers and their audiences.
Credit: Jacob Jonas