Jon Calkins

Dance Teacher

I started dancing “late” compared to most – I was 16 when I took my first tap class, and even then I didn’t really start taking it seriously until I was 20. It’s never too late to try something! I studied math at GVSU because I thought I was going to be a math teacher, but then after a few years of substitute teaching, I got into reporting and analytics, which is my current day job. But that entire time I was doing theatre and dance. I love telling stories and being different characters, and I’ve been very fortunate to have performed with and learned from some extremely talented artists here in GR. I like teaching with Civic because I feel like we truly allow people to learn at their own pace. There’s no pressure to adhere to a strict timeline of progress, or to even stick with one thing! There’s a lot of freedom in that.

What inspires you?
Stories, spirals, and harmony

Who is your favorite fictional character?
Prince Zuko from Avatar. No spoilers, but the way he grows up and becomes the man he really wants to be is beautiful. His story is a great example for all of us; it demonstrates the value of support, compassion, vulnerability, forgiveness, and begin true to yourself and others.

What was your favorite after school snack growing up?
Sun Chips! Harvest cheddar. Sour Cream and onion is trash.