Jon is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He began ballet at the age of 9 after being caught in the observation room of the studio by the studio director. Ms. Moscelyn Larkin along with her husband Roman Jasinski Sr. were the studio directors of the Tulsa School of Ballet as well as the Tulsa Ballet Theater. On that day, Ms. Larkin had caught Jon in the studio while he was watching through a two-way mirror the ballet company dancers rehearsing in one of the studios. He stood watching not knowing he was being observed and was doing his best trying to do the arm movements he was witnessing through the two-way mirror, Finally after a few minutes he realized that there was someone watching him. He had originally gone into the studio while his mother slept in the car looking for his older sister who was taking a class. Ms. Larkin sent one of the company dancers to his mother summoning her into the studio to meet with her. His mother was shocked to go into the office and see Jon and Ms. Larkin having a jovial conversation. Ms. Larkin announced, “Mrs. Blackburn your son will be joining the boys ballet class this Saturday morning at 9:30. That will be all, you may return to you vehicle. Thank you so much!”
That is how it began.
Jon continued to dance with the Tulsa School of Ballet and performing with the Tulsa Ballet Theater from the age of 10 to 17. He performed at the Tulsa Performing Art Center in productions of The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, The Firebird, Giselle, and many more.
During this time since Jon found ballet following his sister’s lead, Jon also followed her into baton twirling. He was a member with the United States Twirling Association. He won many titles including Boys Solo, 2-Baton, 3-Baton, and Dance Twirl. He held titles for State and Regional levels and eventually at age 14 he captured the title of USTA Junior Boys National Champion in Seattle, Washington.
At age 17 while rehearsing for a ballet performance at the Tulsa PAC Jon came upon a Dance Masters of America competition going on in another performance hall. That is where he discovered the many other genres of dance. Soon after this discovery Jon was taking Jazz and tap classes at the Peggy Lanik Dance Studio in Tulsa. His love for ballet and jazz meshed into his new passion of modern / contemporary dance.
At the age of 18 Jon was in a major car accident while returning home from taking his sister to her dance classes. During a severe storm he hydroplaned losing control of the car he was driving. He careened off the road at a high speed into a telephone pole. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital unconscious with severe injuries to his face and left leg that had been pulled through the floorboard of the car on impact.
After two and half very difficult years of physical therapy and emotional hardships of not being able to recover quicker to return to dance Jon finally found his way back! He trained daily and took every master class and dance convention classes available such as Joe Tremaine where he was awarded scholarship money for one of the best dancers to execute choreography presented at the clinic. He was also invited to tour with their summer master class conventions.
Within the next year Jon competed in the Dance Master of America – Mr. Dance of Oklahoma competition and won the title two consecutive times representing the Oklahoma DMA dance chapter in New York City performing at the Grand Marquise theater on Time Square. After receiving the last title he was invited to LA, California to train with Patsy Swayze who had been one of the judges at the competition.
He began teaching classes at the Peggy Lanik Dance Studio. He also performed in many summer stock and community theaters throughout Broken Arrow and Tulsa in productions of West Side Story, Fame, Chicago, and to name a few.
He later became the competition dance company instructor for Joy Swift at the Bingham Dance Center in Midland, Texas. His dance team won many awards through convention competitions such as Dance Caravan, Showstoppers, and more competing all over Texas.
Jon then moved to Dallas to start a new journey in Dance, but was taken down a new path into the Aerobic world where he taught Hip Hop and Step for Bally Total Fitness and currently is still with LA Fitness where he teaches other formats along with Zumba which he is a ZIN member.
Through Aerobics he competed with the National Aerobic Competition league. He competed with his pair’s partner and they won the Southwest Regional Championships and qualified to compete at Nationals in LA, California, which was televised on ESPN.
On December 2, 2016 Jon adopted his great nephews and niece ages now 8, 6, and 4. His journey for the last year was to at first to get them into a dance studio for classes, but his heart kept telling him “Teach again!” which led him here to Dancer Strong. He is extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with young dancers to help develop them physically and spiritually with their love for dance and be a part of their journey and also for his own children to take classes and witness his love for this art with the hope they can find their journey as well into this world of the truly beautiful and honest expression through movement known as DANCE!