Monday, February 14, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:09 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008


Annie Jones

Her fellow dancers call her Little Buddy, but there is nothing small about Annie Jones’ lifelong ambition to be a professional dancer. Jones, a freshman dance major at Stephens College, has been working toward that goal since childhood.

Jones, who is from Clinton, started dancing at age 6 when a dance studio opened in her town. She says she enjoys dancing because it makes her feel “so free. I can have the worst day, and when I walk into the studio, dance makes it all go away.”

That sense of freedom has never left. After previewing classes, Jones decided to enroll in Stephens’ dance program. “I’m very focused and goal-oriented, and the program allows students to graduate in three years and two summers rather than four years,” Jones says. “I’m working toward a professional dancing career, and Stephens can really help me along the way.”

Though Jones is on the fast track toward graduation, she knows the value of time well spent. She says one of the best things about dance is the delayed gratification and rewards.

“In today’s society, everyone is used to getting whatever they need instantly,” Jones says. “It takes years to perfect the art of dance, and it’s one of the things I like most about it.”

After graduating, Jones plans to move to New York or Chicago to pursue her dancing career. She might have to work elsewhere, maybe on a cruise ship, to make money, she says, but ultimately, she will try to live off of her art.

“Dance has done so much for my life,” she says. “It’s always been my dream.”