Jai McClendon Jones
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An Eight Count to Success with Jai McClendon Jones
Jai is the Founder and Owner of AREA, which is an acronym for Atlanta’s Resource for Entertainment and Arts is not only a dance studio but an environment for growth, learning, and expression in the performing arts.
Jai Jones using her Talent to Cultivate Others- An idea that stemmed from the marriage of the Arts and business at its best, Jai cultivated AREA as a means for giving back and creating a space for artists to cultivate and grow in their craft, and where the community of Atlanta as a whole can be apart of the process. A native of Atlanta, becoming an entrepreneur and incorporating her love of the Arts into a career was a no-brainer for Jones who majored in Business/Marketing at Clark Atlanta University, and raised by entrepreneurial parents. Working for herself, indulging in her passion of the Arts, and giving back to her community have made her business a success thus far.
Jones on Unapologetically Embracing Success- Jones has always had a strong grasp on reality. Throughout college having a solidified career was always the plan. Jones has trained and performing in dance most of her life but knew her dream to only remain a professional dancer would be hard so having a backup plan made sense. When asked if she considered herself successful there was no hesitation “Yes I do, I own a business doing what I love to do and am able to help and inspire others to chase their dreams and perfect their craft.” Not only does Jones wear the hat of being a business woman, but that of a mother and wife as well.
On Being Generous With ‘Insider’ Information- Jones knew her purpose early on in life. Helping others and creating that environment that fosters creativity sparked the idea of AREA. Going through the entertainment industry Jones has worked with renowned artists and organizations, and has traveled far and wide doing what she loves. Whilst in the presence of legends, there were few mentors and role models that voluntarily lent a helping hand. Jai knew that withholding helpful information and insiders wasn’t the way to move up in the industry but rather sharing these gems allowed for expansive upward mobility. Her philanthropic endeavors only aid in her life purpose and AREA is an incubator for her positivity and evolution.
Being A Woman On The RYSE- “I had a male student who did not have the financial means to study at AREA but for me it’s not about the money, instead about his development holistically, and fostering his talent. He is now traveling the world as an Ensemble member of the touring cast of The Lion King! He would have never had that opportunity unless we were able to provide him with the space and education he needed in order to develop his artistic skills, and self-purpose.” Although being a black woman was identified as one of Jones’ barrier in her career, being just that gives her the constant inspiration to push others, push herself, and create more opportunities for others to be as successful if not more than she is. Jones found her niche early on but being a position to foster the development of others and always trying to attain new heights in her field show that she is a woman that will always be on the RYSE!