It’s easy to forget Jordan Ward is only a teenager when he talks about dancing professionally, developing his career as a choreographer and moving to Los Angeles.
Jordan, a junior at Parkway North High School, has the persistence and dedication of an older man, and this month, it has earned him a spot in the finale of the St. Louis Teen Talent Showcase Competition.
Jordan will perform the first solo routine he choreographed himself—a hip-hop dance with jazz, Latin and musical theater influences—set to The Motto, Moondance and We Speak no Americano.
The competition is steep. Jordan is one of 11 acts in the finals, down from more than 100 acts in the preliminary round.
“I didn’t really have a goal going in, but I said that if I made it to the finals, that would be enough for me,” Jordan said. “Why not? If I win, I win. It’s a great experience.”
Now that he’s in the finals, Jordan has his eye on the thousands of dollars in scholarships up for grabs. Raised by a single mother, Jordan knows his dream to become a professional dancer can get expensive.
“My mom has always been really supportive,” Jordan said. “She pays a lot of money for me to do what I do. I owe it to her.”
Jordan knows he wants to go to school for dance, but he is still deciding whether to study in California, where he can be close to the dance scene in Los Angeles, or closer to home, where he can be closer to family.
Mike Isaacson, the executive producer of the Muny Opera and a judge in the competition, said he’s excited to show St. Louis how “ferociously talented” its teens are.
“They are finding their voice artistically,” Isaacson said. “They are finding their voice as young people. It’s kind of pure. There is nothing false about it. It’s coming from their hearts and spirits and who they are as young people. We live in a very cynical time, and there is nothing cynical about these kids.”
If you’d like to cheer Jordan on, The St. Louis Teen Talent Showcase Competition finale starts at 8 p.m. April 27 at the Fabulous Fox Theater. Tickets are free.
Thursday: Another Creve Coeur-area student is in the finals. Meet Pattonville's Ciara Glenn.
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