Māori dancing prodigy to make Russian ballet debut

By Ripeka Timutimu

Ten-year-old Zion Jones will make his debut appearance for the Imperial Russian Ballet Company later this year.

The Hamilton-based youngster is being touted as a dancing prodigy after taking up ballet just 18 months ago.

He says, “I got a huge shock, you can’t explain how you feel when you get something so big like that.”

His parents, Danielle and Niwha Jones, say Zion practised gymnastics from an early age and it has helped in his transition to ballet.

His mum, Danielle says, “You can’t help but feel really proud inside but again it’s that moment when you look at someone, anyone, including our son and say 'yep, that’s just what you’re meant to be doing'.”

Zion is the only male and one of the few Māori faces at Valerie Lissette's school of dance in Hamilton.