Jake Mangakahia: Mormon Dancer
Jake Mangakahia is a ballet dancer with the Australian Ballet. He was promoted to coryphée (lead dancer) in 2017. He set ballet aside to serve as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which he is a member. Both of his parents served missions and serving a mission was never a question for him. He served in the Toronto mission from 2014 to 2016. He had six weeks after completing his mission to prepare for his audition to rejoin the Australian Ballet and was readmitted to the troupe. In 2016 he performed in Cinderella, Swan Lake, and Nijinsky.
Mangakahia was born in Queensland, Australia. Mangakahia’s parents put him in dance classes as a small child when they noticed his love for music. At the age of ten, he auditioned for and was accepted in the Australian Ballet School. He joined the Australian Ballet in 2011. He has danced in Stephen Page’s Waramuk-in the dark night (2012), Graham Murphy’s Beyond Twelve (2012), and Gary Stuart’s Monument (2011).