Jason McClung working with Alexandre at Regional Dance America in Baton Rouge, L.A.
Jason McClung travels the world to pursue his ballet dreams with the help and flexibility of virtual learning at Texas Virtual Academy (TXVA). This year, he is honored to be training at Houston Ballet Academy (HBA) in its Professional 1 Division.
“Every year brings new challenges, but TXVA allows Jason to pursue his dream full-time and receive a quality education that fits within his hectic schedule,” said Jason’s mother, Julie McClung.
Over the past year Jason, who started dancing when he was 8 years old, has trained at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., and attended ballet summer intensive programs in Louisiana, San Francisco and London. At London’s Royal Ballet White Lodge school, Jason was the only boy from the U.S. in the senior level class out of 30 male dancers selected for the program.
Jason switched to TXVA in 2013 because his ballet classes were during the day. “He actually received detention the year prior in brick and mortar because of missing three days that were considered unexcused as he performed in six Nutcracker shows for area schools,” Julie said.
When Jason was younger and not yet involved with dance classes, he experienced verbal and physical bullying because he was the smallest in his class. Julie explained that Jason was easily able to tune it out, and dancing became an outlet for him.
“Many boys who dance keep it a secret for as long as possible to minimize bullying, but Jason never kept his passion a secret from his teachers or classmates,” Julie said.
TXVA also allows the to visit Jason’s father, who is currently living in D, Qatar, for a temporary overseas assignment.
“With TXVA, Jason and I can even go visit my husband during the school year, as his ballet schedule allows, without impacting his studies,” Julie said.
This school year will be Jason’s fourth with TXVA. Last year he was able to take high school English and algebra to get a head start on high school.
HBA is one of the top ballet training programs in the U.S. “They have an exceptional and rigorous men’s program,” Julie said. “We have the ability to create a class schedule with TXVA that will work around Jason’s training.”