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What-Else with Jess Goodfellow and Alex Radja


To say that 2020-2021 has been a challenged time for motivation and inspiration is an understatement. For creatives everywhere who rely on others and life around them to establish momentum in their craft, it has been particularly hard. Discovering Jess and Alex on the internet during Sydney Australia's last lockdown was a real invigoration towards creating. Watching videos and videos of two individuals who have self-started, self-inspired and self-motivated to their individual achievements in their own unique and special skills – Jess being a ex-pro Ballerina turned freelance dance teacher and Alex- a you-tube taught Jump Shuffler/jump Roper-Dancer, excited What-Else to share their skills and passion as to pass on the energy that is found when watching these incredible people.

These artists are not only persevering despite an industry in flux, they’re thriving. Having spent isolation developing their talents and progressing in their work, W-E know their talents will be received with the !life we all need right now.

What-Else gets to know the two individuals below:

Jessica Goodfellow: Ex-Professional Ballerina Jessica Goodfellow left the rules behind to dance with freedom.

Where did you grow up and how did you grow up?

I grew up in Albury, spending most of my time alone in the backyard. Very routinely, like a few hours on the trampoline, a few in my fairy garden, a few with hi 5, arvo nap, Thomas the tank engine movie, BED.

What is your origin story to you and your skill?

I started dancing as a toddler and became serious about gymnastics when I moved to Sydney at age 7. Around 11 I had to decide between ballet and gym, and went with ballet. Went to a performing arts high school, did SDC PPY full time, and moved to Barcelona for two years to join ITDANSA. Now I just dance for passion and freelance.

What is your biggest motivation towards your passion?

Dance battle, braaaaah. Not for the sake of winning but to experience comfort communicating with another in freestyle dance.

Who influenced you in believing in your dreams?

I’ve been thinking about this heaps lately. I reckon nobody aye. Just me.

Jess Goodfellow photographed by Charles Dennington

What is your process to making decisions daily and creatively?

When I have enough pressure and anxiety in my body that I force myself to move, I guess that’s how things get done ( laughs). I’ve also been thinking about creativity a lot lately and have never considered myself a creative person. I’m trying to figure out whether that sensation of a blockage comes from finitude (feeling that everything has already been done or I have nothing perfect to offer), or a surplus of possibilities to choose from that render me motionless.

What has been the hardest challenge in reaching this level of ability in your talent?

I feel like this question is kind of impossible for a dancer to answer. Everything about dancing is challenging. Mostly that the activity of dance requires your body to be the work of art. Your dance represents you and you can never leave it behind or put it down like an instrument or a book. You see it in the mirror and your product is inextricable from your literal BODY so it’s difficult not to blur your value as a person with your identity as a dancer. Also the physical pain, relentless desire for improvement, competitive environments, rehearsing when you don’t want to…

How do you feel when you dance?

Sometimes cool, sometimes floating, sometimes angry, sometimes thoughtless. When I dance at the same time as other people doing the same moves, that's sick.

What do you believe is the thought process to reaching goals?

I’ve been thinking lately that the most impressive part about reaching a goal is that you stuck to your initial motivation even though your whole body might have resisted or tried to fool you into thinking you didn’t want the goal anymore. It’s a bit like not reaching for another beer after the first one.

What do you believe in with reaching your next goals?

That same thing, staying silent in the brain and pushing whilst the thoughts fluctuate and try to trip me up. I have a massive whiteboard in my room and at the moment it says DANCE GOALS then 500 things then WEEKLY then 500 things DAILY then 500 things that I expect myself to do like dance rounds with other people, go to popping class, practise polyrhythms.

What do you want to achieve in 2021?

I guess everyone’s trying to do this but I'm trying to be CoNfiDenT and have my head fully clear of self doubt to see how my dance and as a result my surroundings might respond.

Jess Goodfellow photographed by Charles Dennington

Mindset makes dreams come true with  Jump Roper-Jump Shuffler Alex Radja

Where did you grow up and how did you grow up?

I grew up in Sydney and have lived here for my entire life. I will forever be grateful for having been brought up in an incredibly loving and kind household.

What is your origin story to you and your skill?

I first found Jump Rope while I was on YouTube. I vaguely remember searching something to the effect of a "5 Minute Ab Workout". While searching, a video was presented in my recommended titled "What happens when you jump rope for 5 minutes a day?" I watched the video in its entirety and immediately went out to get myself a rope. I believe my very first rope was a $3.00 PVC rope from Target. Like anyone who jumps rope for the first time, I was very bad. I decided to stick with the hobby for about 6-8 weeks and followed the traditional boxer style of jumping. This is primarily fitness and footwork oriented. After learning several moves, I thought I had reached the limit of what could be performed with a Jump Rope and put aside the hobby for nearly an entire year. Around the time the pandemic hit and lockdown was enforced, I was on Instragram when I saw this guy leaping into the air and performing some of the most unbelievable skills I had ever seen in my life. Up until that point I thought it was impossible to release the handle of a Jump Rope and catch it again intentionally. This guy was doing it repeatedly all in the same combo! His name was jimmysaysrelax (funnily enough,he is actually a great friend of mine now.) At that moment I knew that I HAD to learn whatever all of that was that he was doing. And pretty much from that point onwards, my real Jump Rope journey began.

Alex Radja photographed by Charles Dennington

What is your biggest motivation towards your passion?

What motivates m ethe most is the mindset that there is NOTHING that cannot be achieved as long as you remain disciplined, patient and consistent. There are some things I am able to perform now that I would have thought were simply impossible just a year ago that I can now perform on command.

Who influenced you in believing in your dreams?

There have been so many people who have inspired me to always believe in myself. Nowadays my biggest influence is @jimmysaysrelax. If not for him, I would not be here today.

What is your process to making decisions daily and creatively?

A lot of what I focus on these days is with Jump Rope in mind. When it comes to things like diet and exercise, I will make these decisions based on what will make me feel my best when jumping. In creative terms, I will follow and surround myself with positive inspirations that help stir my imagination. I love to create, especially when what is created is uniquely me and showcases who I am.

What has been the hardest challenge in reaching this level ofability in your talent?

There have been countless times where I have been disheartened seeing other jumpers in the community seeming to nail skills with ease while I struggle to even execute them once. At times like this I do my best to remind myself that I can't compare myself to others and to remember that we are all on our own journeys.

How do you feel when you jump/ dance?

Freedom is a very cliche answer. I think a more fitting word is 'authentic'. It feels right when I'm jumping/dancing/jumpshuffling/danceroping. So many people are simply unaware of what can be performed with a Jump Rope. Being the filter that can bring the wonder of this activity into peoples' field. of view gives me an immense feeling of pride.

What do you believe is the winning thought process to reaching goals?

I do not know if there is a set blueprint to reaching goals. The way in which I attain mine is. by finding something I want to achieve, understanding what is required to reach. that point, and then doing those things that are required. This is far simpler. said than done, but that's just how it is.

What do you believe in with reaching your next goals?

I believe in myself more than anything. I have come so far and I know it is only the beginning. Anything can be accomplished with consistent, intentional effort and patience.

What do you want to achieve in 2021?

I want to be able to do an unassisted backflip on command by the end of this year.

Alex Radja photographed by Charles Dennington

Director Charles Dennington

Stylist and Creative Direction Charlotte Agnew

Hair Kyye

Beauty Joel Babicci

Talent Jess Goodfellow Alex Radja

Music Mitchell Tolman aka 3ndles5