Longtime dance instructor excels at putting students’ best feet forward

Rosemont dance teacher jon Fisher, far right, directs his dance company students on Dec. 3 before they perform at the Discover Dallas ISD Fair.

Although he spells his name with a lowercase J, dance teacher jon Fisher is an expert at drawing out and capitalizing on the talents of his students.

Fisher’s work is getting statewide attention as he is a recipient of a Distinguished Service Award and is a nominee for a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Dance Educators Association (TDEA). Winners will be announced at the group’s state convention in January.

He has worked in Dallas ISD since 2005, and currently teaches dance to kindergarten-eighth grade at the Rosemont Schools. He also directs the Rosemont Repertory Dance Company comprised of middle-schoolers. He has choreographed high school and college theater performances and contributed to many large-scale festivals.

“I have taught dance/drill team in several districts, and the past 12 in Dallas ISD where currently I am teaching K-2 dance at Rosemont,” Fisher said. “It is a joy because there aren’t many elementary dance programs in the state and many districts look to us for modeling/creating dance programs.”

Fisher’s extensive experience goes far beyond the classroom.

Notably on his long resumé, he has been a Performance Team Assistant for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1997, and has choreographed halftime shows for five college football bowl games. He was also the first male dance/drill team director in Texas – starting in 1986 to direct the Navarro College ShowStoppers Dance/Drill Team.

The Lifetime Achievement award honors a dance educator who has served at least 15 years and has contributed significantly to dance education in Texas at any level. The Distinguished Service Award is given to a dance educator with at least 20 years while working to advance dance education.

“Being one of three finalists for both awards is more than an honor for me, because I have been teaching dance for more than 30 years,” Fisher said. “As the first male dance/drill team director in the state of Texas, I am blessed to be recognized for my contributions throughout my career.”

In addition to his many professional accomplishments, he has also served as vice president for the TDEA, also developing dance curriculum for the organization’s conventions and directing the Texas All-State Dance Team. He also won a Director of the Year award from TDEA in 2004.

“Glancing back upon my career, where I began teaching dance at the collegiate level and now I am teaching elementary dance, I am in disbelief at how quickly the years have flown,” Fisher said. “It’s been a ‘lifetime’ of enriching students’ lives through dance and a dream come true for me.”

Rachel Harrah, Dallas ISD’s director of Theatre and Dance, said Fisher has dedicated his life to dance education.

“He is a passionate advocate for developing technique in young artists while also establishing pathways for collegiate and professional endeavors,” Harrah said. “When you walk in his classroom, his students are enthralled in their work and are producing far beyond their years. He is far too humble to ever mention his heaps of accolades and awards because his focus will always be on the needs of his students.”
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