Jon Lehrer, who was raised in Queens, New York, took his very first dance class at age 19 at the University at Buffalo. While dating a dancer, Jon teased her about how easy it must be to get an A in a dance class. The girl dared Jon to try a beginning level modern dance class and his life was changed. After only two years of training at UB, Jon was asked to join the university’s Zodiaque Dance Company. In the summer of 1994, Jon received a scholarship to study at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and ultimately received his BFA in Dance from the University at Buffalo.
As a professional, Jon has danced with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, Paul Sanasardo, John Passafiume Dancers, in Merv Griffin’s “Funderful” in Atlantic City, NJ, and the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. In May 1997, Jon was hired into Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, the world’s premiere jazz dance company. After three years, he was promoted to Rehearsal Director and then given the position of Associate Director two years later. During his ten years with Giordano, Jon also became the resident choreographer, creating seven original works on the company that received rave reviews all around the world.
Jon’s choreography has been set on numerous professional and university dance companies around the country, and he teaches master classes throughout the U.S. and around the world. Jon has been on the faculty of Jazz Dance World Congress, Dance Masters of America, Florida Dance Masters, Dance Teacher Summer Conference, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters (CNADM), Regional Dance America Festival, and American College Dance Association to name a few. In 2003, Jon had the honor of receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University at Buffalo’s Zodiaque Dance Company for his accomplishments as a dancer and choreographer. Jon was on the Advisory Board of Dance Spirit Magazine, was featured on the November 2007 cover of Dance Teacher Magazine, and has been reviewed and interviewed in Dance Magazine numerous times. In 2009, Jon was commissioned by CNADM to write their Modern Dance Syllabus, which is utilized by teachers all across the country to properly teach and introduce their students to modern dance. In 2010, Jon was honored with CNADM’s Artistic Achievement Award for his excellence and artistry in concert dance. In 2011, Jon was the featured guest speaker for Convocation at Shenendoah University and, most recently in 2015, Jon was given the prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award from University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences.