Hometown ballet star returns to teach at MSA

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, July 8, 2021

A Broadway ballet star with Brookhaven roots will be an adjunct professor at Mississippi School of the Arts during the 2021-2022 school year.

Jonathan Sharp, who was born in California and grew up in Mississippi, will provide weekly classes in dance and musical theater for 10 weeks each semester via Zoom, with three in-depth residencies where he will work with students at MSA in September, February and May.

His ballet classes are American Ballet Theatre certified, and he will also conduct a workshop to prepare students to audition for college or Broadway theater and dance. His students will perform a musical theater revue with Sharp in May 2022.

Sharp is a graduate of the National Academy of the Arts and the School of American Ballet, both in New York. While on full scholarship at SAB, Sharp was trained by multiple master ballet teachers. He danced professionally with the Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and the touring Stars of American Ballet.

He has appeared on Broadway in the original casts of “The Red Shoes,” “Carousel,” “The Rocky Horror Show Live,” “The Dance of the Vampires” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” He also had television roles on “Another World,” “Law and Order” and “Gilmore Girls.”

Sharp has taught at Idyllwild Arts Academy for the past 13 years and teaches and directs internationally. He is associate director of Inland Pacific Ballet and a principal guest teacher with Pacific Festival Ballet.

“With the lessons learned through COVID-19, we found some ways of teaching that work to enhance learning for our students,” said MSA Executive Director Dr. Suzanne Hirsch. “Idyllwild School of the Arts has a longstanding history of excellence and learned the same things as we endured the past year. To be able to share resources with them and offer our students this unique experience is an example of how we can use lessons learned to our advantage. Jonathan’s connection to Mississippi and Brookhaven is an inspiration for our young Mississippi artists. He will be an exciting addition to our faculty and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the future artists in our state in dance, theatre and music.”