Shay Jones, or “Miss Shay” as she’s known to her students, is Mount Vernon’s Early Childhood Performing Arts Instructor and teaches the Middle School Dance elective course for 7th and 8th graders. In her role as Early Childhood Performing Arts Instructor, Shay introduces Mount Vernon’s earliest learners to movement dance, acting, music, and song as well as mindfulness and being present. Each day when her preschool through 1st grade students enter her class, they communicate with her by pointing to “feelings” pictures posted outside her door and then to “get their neurons sparked and their brains ready for creativity,” they jump on a giant crash pad she keeps in her room.
Although she teaches all types of performing arts at Mount Vernon, Shay is a dancer whose favorite genre is contemporary dance. She grew up Marietta, Georgia, and started dancing competitively at age seven. She attended the University of Alabama where she majored in Dance Education with a concentration in Kinesiology. Following graduation from college, Shay got an agent and danced professionally at as a background dancer for special events and even appeared on an episode of the Vampire Diaries before coming to Mount Vernon five years ago.
Shay is still connected with the competitive dance circuit, serving as a judge at numerous dance competitions around the country each year, noting that “I have judged dancers as young as three and as old as seventy-five!” She also teaches at various dance conventions each year.
In her free time Shay loves to spend time outdoors, describing herself as an “avid” hiker who loves to camp with her dog Crimson, a terrier mix. Most recently Shay and Crimson spent a week this summer camping in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina.