Jahna Frantziskonis, one of San Francisco Ballet’s corps members and an Audrey Hepburn look-a-like, is exploding on the dance scene with her behind the scenes access of the ballet world on Instagram. The saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words. Her photos and videos capture more than a backstage glimpse of dancers, but a gaggle of young people having fun, living their lives with friends while doing a job they love.
Born in Tucson, Arizona Frantziskonis started dancing young. She began her training with Mary Beth Cabana at the Ballet Arts Tucson. She explored and developed at various summer programs including School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She danced in the corps for the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) for three years before joining the San Francisco Ballet (SFB) corps in 2015. At the PNB, she was in feature roles for Justin Peck’s “Debonair” and Twyla Tharp’s “Waiting at the Stations.” Her elegant jumps, effortless looking pirouettes, and commend of the stage draws an audience view straight to the corps.
In 2014, she began her exploration in choreography as apart of a collaboration with another PNB ballerina, Angelica Generosa. Featuring the Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s Professional Division, the duo titled the work “Jaja Y Qua” which highlighted three couples set to three movements by the Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. Generosa and Frantziskonis made the perfect team as Angelica was the idea person and Jahna was the detail-oriented coach. Her choreographic aspiration has been pushed to the back burner since 2014 as she made her transition to the San Francisco Ballet in 2015. Her time has been dedicated to the stage due to the busy schedule she began to keep at an international dance company. She says, “This career allows you to gain knowledge each step of the way. SFB does a lot of touring and there are alternating reps for each season program. A dancer can be a Shade and in the same week dance Forsythe.” She has flourished at the SFB as this past December she dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the “Nutcracker.”
Frantziskonis says, “Dance serves to connect with something bigger than ourselves. Where there is potential to create what we imagine.” As a dancer and human you can see in her photos her dreams to change the course of dance. She has a light in her that resinates through through her eyes, smile, and excitement as she rehearses and waits in the wings with her fellow dancers, choreographers, and friends. Just like Audrey Hepburn, she shines from the inside out as she is figuring her place in this crazy dance world.
Check out Jahna’s Instagram here!