Naperville man goes from pharmacist to professional dancer

Naperville indigenous Jordan “J.Ro” Ordonez was pursuing a thriving occupation as a pharmacist when he realized his coronary heart was somewhere else.

That longing led him to grow to be a professional dancer two decades in the past, and this month he’ll be showcasing his abilities as an ensemble member in the solid of Songs Theater Works’ production of “Pippin” at the North Shore Center for the Doing Arts in Skokie.

“This is my very first generation,” Ordonez reported of the clearly show, which runs by means of June 25. He decided to audition when he discovered they were searching for far more professional up to date dancers.

“I usually wished to get into musical theater simply because I experienced liked to sing growing up and dancing was also a component of that function,” Ordonez explained.

In addition to singing as section of the ensemble, he will be performing a great deal of the more acrobatic routines, getting benefit of his history in hip hop and household dance.

Ordonez mentioned he relishes the chance to increase his effectiveness abilities in various regions.

“I convey myself physically a lot when I’m on the phase,” he reported. “It’s been truly excellent to explore a lot more vocal and facial expressions that can greatly enhance my job.”

The manufacturing will also be having benefit of Ordonez’s hair. Even though some forged users have agreed to dye their hair brilliant colors, his lengthy locks will be showcased as a substitute.

“I’ve been escalating it out for 5 decades so it is down to my back again (and) eccentric more than enough that I did not will need to dye it,” he claimed. “They do strategy on placing in some foam balls in a ponytail so it seems futuristic.”

Ordonez had been functioning as a pharmacist at Walmart for five a long time when, in 2021, “I made a decision to get a leap,” he claimed. “Now I’m a full-time dancer and dance teacher. … Declining an provide with actually very good profits at Walmart pharmacy was undoubtedly something that was not an quick choice.”

It was partly enthusiastic by Ordonez getting diagnosed with scientific despair toward the conclude of his time at pharmacy university. He understood that no issue how much the situation afflicted him, he never ever skipped the dance apply periods he did on the aspect.

“It was a little something that was there for me when I couldn’t be there for myself,” he reported. “Starting as a freelance dancer and dance instructor was unquestionably a little something that I did for myself and my wellness and joy.”

He teaches at Dovetail Studios in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood and with Inventive Netwerk, a nonprofit group that features residencies in the Chicago Community Educational institutions. In addition, Ordonez is starting his fifth period as a dancer with the Chicago Bulls’ 312 Crew, performs with Movement Revolution Dance Crew and performs as a freelance dancer.

Ordonez begun dancing when he was in his late teens in 2008, in the beginning with a church youth group dance firm. He admitted his motivation initially was a lot more social.

“It acquired me a large amount of attention with the girls that I experienced crushes on,” he claimed. “After that, I fell in love with the individuals that I was dancing with and with the artwork and the lifestyle of hip hop.”

Which is why he ongoing researching hip hop and street dance.

“The matter that I adore about hip hop and street dance is that the training is at people’s residences and at parks,” Ordonez explained. He has also educated in choreography and concert dance at quite a few studios: Visceral Dance Studio, Dance Relationship, and The Puzzle Box Dance Studio.

To further expand his talent established, he is beginning improv classes at the Annoyance Theatre and performing courses at the Black Box Theatre.

And Ordonez not long ago signed with the Rock Talent Company. “My agent has been showing me the ropes of the industry,” he explained. “They primarily are sending me out to commercials, Television set and film.”

For now, while, he is concentrating on supporting make magic in “Pippin.”

For a lot more information and facts about the display or to make reservations, go to

Myrna Petlicki is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sunlight and Pioneer Push.