Jonette Swider - Featured March 2008

Dancer/Choreographer/Educator/Studio Owner

Tremaine Faculty Member 1991-97

- Jonette with ballet student Olivia Perez -
1. Where were you born? Dallas, Texas
2. Where did you grow up? New Orleans, Louisiana
3. When & why did you start dancing? Age 3. My Mom was in the hospital and I was staying with a neighbor whose daughter had just started dance lessons. I watched through the window and the teacher invited me into the class and I’ve been dancing ever since.

PHOTOS - left to right:
Jonette as a baby, and with her wonderful Mother.
4. When & why did you decide you wanted to be a professional dancer? I was 13 years old and dancing in a local dance studio in New Orleans. A new Ballet teacher, Mike Herrington, came to our studio and opened up a whole new world for me. Dance became my life. Mike arranged for a group of us to study dance abroad when I was 15 years old. I participated in an intensive program in the south of France and was exposed to great teachers and a professional environment. After that, all I wanted to do was move to NYC and continue my training, which I did. I studied under Maestro Vincenzo Celli in NYC and started working professionally when I was 17 years old.


PHOTOS - left to right:
 Jonette with mentor Mike Herrington, at a fountain in Italy,
and Mike Herrington with Jonette and other dancers arriving in France

Training in New York with Maestro Vincenzo Celli
5. What projects did you work on as a professional dancer? I performed as a principal dancer with Nevada Dance Theatre, San Antonio Ballet, New Orleans Ballet and Los Angeles Ballet. I also guested with numerous companies internationally doing various Ballet’s like Nutcracker, Copelia, & The Red Poppy. In addition, I was also the anonymous ballerina in photographer Harvey Edwards now famous ballet photos and posters.
Rehearsal with long-time dance partner and best friend Bruce Wurl
PHOTOS - left to right:
Performing with Greg King (left & middle), and posing backstage before a performance
6. What celebrity entertainers and/or choreographers have you worked with? Debbie Reynolds, Lynne Corbett-Taylor, Anne Marie DiAngelo, Kirk Peterson, John Tesh (see videos below), among others.
7. How did you meet Joe Tremaine? Joe Tremaine knew my teacher from New Orleans, Mike Herrington. Mike put us together. Actually, Joe phoned me right after Mike passed away and wanted to meet me. I started teaching at his studio in North Hollywood and shortly after Joe invited me to teach on the conventions. My first city was Dallas.
8. What was your favorite part of being with Tremaine Dance Conventions? Honestly, teaching all the kids that were always so eager to learn with all that great energy, was very rewarding for me.
PHOTOS - left to right:
Monkeying around with Desiree Robbins at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco,
Faculty Show performance with Marcea Lane and Joe Tremaine
9. What have you been doing since you stopped traveling with Tremaine? I have had my own studio, Jonette Swider Dance Center in Sherman Oaks, California, for 11 years now. In addition, I have created and choreographed numerous full length children’s ballets, choreographed commercials for McDonald’s and Mattel, and guest taught across the country. Most recently I choreographed for the new John Tesh “Alive” Music & Dance TV special, featuring my son Leigh Foaad, aka Breeze-Lee, which will begin airing this month (see videos below).
PHOTOS - left to right:
Clowing around on tour with Charles McGowan & son Leigh Foaad,
Mother and Son 2007
10. Where do you currently live?
                    Los Angeles, California.

 Now, to borrow from "Inside The Actor's Studio" - the Questionnaire:
11. What is your favorite word? Whatever
12. What is your least favorite word? Can’t
13. What turns you on? Anything that artistically inspires me
14. What turns you off? Negative energy
15. What sound or noise do you love? Bells
16. What sound or noise do you hate? Crying
17. What is your favorite curse word? POOP!!!
18. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I always wanted to be an Opera Singer
19. What profession would you not like to do? Any kind of desk job, my legs can’t keep still for too long
20. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome Home.

ALIVE trailer for John Tesh's
"ALIVE music&dance" DVD
"ALIVE: music & dance"
Behind the Scenes: Part 1
"ALIVE: music & dance"
Behind the Scenes: Part 2
"ALIVE: music & dance"
Behind the Scenes: Part 3

PHOTOS - left to right:
The dancer during a long rehearsal, and making friends with a camel in front of the pyramids of Giza
PHOTOS - left to right:
Touring San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, leaping through rehearsal with dance partner Bruce Wurl,
and a beautiful moment of concentration
PHOTOS - left to right:
Posing in son Leigh's martial arts jacket, cruising with long-time student and friend Bob Shane,
and ringing in the New Year with dancer and fellow Tremaine tour memeber Amy Broadhead at Marcea Lane's Hollywood home