Meet C.J. Jones
C.J. Jones, coordinator of De Anza's Fitness and Wellness Center, became interested in the fitness industry 20 years ago, when she moved to Mountain View from Pennsylvania and took a De Anza class to become a group exercise instructor.
"That's when I got my start," Jones says. "Although my degree is from the Art Institute of Philadelphia, nothing compares to working with people, and having a background in dance compliments my activities."
Jones is referring to the De Anza Cheer and Dance Team, which she started on campus nine years ago. "Growing up with a mother who believed in doing volunteer work and giving back to your community was my inspiration for the cheer team," she says. Her work with the team is on a volunteer basis.
"Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, plus any added practices, C.J. stays two or three hours after work to coach the cheer team instead of going home," says Kelley Dallas, De Anza student and member of the team. "She also plans and organizes our events and fills out and keeps track of all of the team paperwork."
Jones says the team is becoming more popular and has better recognition. "In the past I've been able to take the team to three competitions, and I'm planning on taking this year's team to competitions in 2011. The hardest part is working with student schedules. Academics are first, family second, most students are working and also will need to pay for or raise money to cover the cost of their uniforms. When you see students walking around selling See's Candy you can almost count on it being a member of the cheer team," says Jones.
Most recently, Jones and the team walked in the Downtown San Jose Holiday Parade, which has been a tradition for the past six years.