Jonas at The Getty Museum. Photo by Matthew Brush, Courtesy Jonas

25 to Watch 2018: Jacob Jonas

How many 25-year-old company founders can say they have a resumé of collaborations with everyone from The Kennedy Center to Pilobolus to The Getty Museum? Not many, save Jacob Jonas, artistic director of Jacob Jonas The Company and founder of the #CamerasandDancers Instameet series.

His Los Angeles–based contemporary dance company boasts sleek, virtuosic dancers and fresh, inventive choreography—but it's his ingenious brand-building know-how that has garnered him 80,000 Instagram followers and a reputation across the national dance community.


Part of Jonas' success stems from using #CamerasandDancers—a meetup where dancers and photographers collaborate on shots in unique settings—to boost his own company and career. But it's the participants who have the most to gain from his innovative series, where everyone walks away with striking images for their portfolios—and, of course, their Instagram feeds. In just three short years, Jonas has redefined what it means to market dance to millennials.


Find out who else made Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" list this year.

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Martha Nichols' Skyrocketing Career Almost Never Happened

Since placing in the Top 10 on "So You Think You Can Dance" in 2006, Martha Nichols' career has been steadily on the rise: She spent two years dancing with Cirque du Soleil, has toured with the likes of Rihanna and Madonna, and has appeared in films like La La Land, The Greatest Showman and, soon, In the Heights.

But it just as easily could have never happened.

"I actually did not want to audition for 'SYTYCD,' " she says with a laugh. "My mother had passed 10 days after I graduated high school, and so I stopped dancing. We were watching the show, and my adopted dad kept saying, 'Hey, you should do this.' " Nichols finally gave it a shot, and the rest is history.

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