All Eyes on Anya Jones: Meet a Laurel Springs Student and Performer with Big Dreams
PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Stark Photography
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This question can be stressful to some younger people, but Anya Jones relishes every moment. A senior at the Metropolitan School of Arts (MSA) in Alexandria, Virginia, and enrolled in The Academy @ Metropolitan School of the Arts, she’s got her sights set on a goal. The Academy @ MSA is a college preparatory performing arts conservatory for budding young artists dedicated to high-caliber academics and pre-professional performing arts education. The Academy @ MSA has been a proud partner of Laurel Springs School since 2014.
Anya Jones Takes the Stage
“I've been at The Academy @ MSA since sixth grade,” Anya says. “And through (my experience here), it's really helped me and opened my eyes up to what I want to do with my life, which is performing. I always knew I wanted to get up on stage and share stories with an audience. But it really has solidified over the past couple of years that, for me, it’s musical theater.”
Specifically, after graduation, Anya would like to pursue a stint on Broadway. Nothing brings her more joy than bringing stories to life as a performing artist. At the same time, she’s also exploring the technical side of the art and would like to start directing pieces.
All of this to say: Anya has big dreams but also a lot of discipline to back them. She has a grueling rehearsal schedule but still finds the time to prioritize her education. That’s where Laurel Springs comes into the picture.
Setting Her Up for Success
Laurel Springs has been really convenient this year because musical theater my senior year is really different from the normal senior year,” Anya says. “That’s because I need to be traveling to all these places and doing these auditions.”
Anya says the asynchronous nature of the Laurel Springs platform helps her succeed. She says if she were in a traditional classroom, it would be difficult to keep up. In her words, “I’m so grateful that I can take my school with me wherever I go and spend all the time I need and put out work that I'm happy with and — on my timeline.”
Dance Meets Science
PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Stark Photography
Speaking of schoolwork, Anya says she enjoys the sciences. She’s taken everything from forensics to anthropology. An engaged student, she says the former has really resonated with her.
“I tell people all the time that if I weren't dancing or doing musical theater, I would want to be a forensic scientist,” she says.
So what’s next for this budding star? She plans to start classes at Elon University in the fall for musical theater.
“I'm planning on getting a minor in dance and then potentially a double major in dance science, which would be really interesting,” she says.
As she explains, the latter discipline would help her better understand the mechanics of dance.
“Because it's one thing to like, be able to do them, but it's a whole different ballgame to understand like how each part of your body is making it happen. For example, an injury in your ankle could affect your hip.”
Anya acknowledges she wouldn’t be where she is now if it weren’t for certain people in her life.
“My parents have been the most supportive to me over all of this,” she says. “It's totally weird and out of their ballgame to have a kid who's in the arts, yet they’ve thrown themselves into it full force. It’s become their thing, too, which is really amazing. So they have been such a great help, and such a great push to get me where I need to go.”
Beyond her family’s encouragement, she says Laurel Springs’ faculty have been in her corner, too.
My teacher, Tony Hermann has been absolutely incredible,” she says. “He's constantly reaching out to make sure I’m feeling super successful in what I'm doing. He actually wrote my college recommendation letter, which was really amazing. I've always felt really connected to him.”
The same goes for other teachers at Laurel Springs. Although she’s never met them in person, she feels a “deep connection” through the interactions.
I'm so thankful for such a supportive team of teachers who care about me and what I'm going to be doing,” she says.
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