Jude Mathew: Researcher By Day, Dancer By Night


By Divitya Vakil, News Editor

Junior Jude Mathew seems like just an ordinary student. He comes to school on time, participates in class, and is a part of the soccer and volleyball teams here at West. However, what a lot of people aren’t aware of is Mathew’s passion for dancing.

“While I am into sports and all those other things like other guys, I have an interest in dance,” Mathew said. “I’m kind of inspired by dance groups I see online.”

Mathew is on the rise to fame with his fan account “Jude of Dance” on Instagram. JOD as many like to call him has dreams to become an Indian dancer in the near future. The creators are junior Angel Thomas and junior Lijo Andrews.

“During sophomore year, Lijo, Jude and I were sitting in SIRS [Stem Inquiry and Research] talking about all the different times we have seen Jude dance. We thought his dancing needed to be recognized in a bigger way,” Thomas said. “Jude’s favorite dance group is called Men of Dance, and so it only seemed befitting that his name be Jude of Dance.”

“Over the years that I’ve seen Jude grow in his dancing, I realized that he wasn’t getting the recognition he deserved for it, and I could tell he was an up and coming dancing stay, so I made the account to help him manage and gain support for his passion,” Andrews said.

Andrews has known Mathew for nearly 12 years. and has a vision of what Mathew will be like in 5 years.

“In the upcoming 5 years, I can see Jude dancing for his favorite dance group, The MOD [Men of Dance] project. Ever since the birth of his passion to dance, it has been a dream of his to make it to this team.” Andrews said.

However, at the beginning of the 2017 school year, Mathew tore his ACL at a soccer game, preventing him from dancing for the next year.

“It sucks. It’s a whole lifestyle change. You spend your whole life to be active all the time and then to suddenly stop is crazy,” Mathew said. “Exercise really is important. I definitely see my quality of life go down without it [exercise].”

Mathew also has a very hard workload, which includes 4 AP classes.

“You’d think that the extra time I have from tearing my ACL since it stops me from playing sports, makes school easier. This is not the case because with all the extra time you’re less likely to plan or stay focused which leads to procrastination.”

Mathew aspires to eventually enroll in a four-year university, get a graduate degree, and possibly attend medical school. SIRS  and chemistry teacher Julieann Villa taught Mathew twice a day, and admired his tenacity for learning.

“Jude is really enthusiastic and dynamic. One of my favorite things is that Jude is very engaged in whatever you’re talking about,” Villa said. “He would always be deep in thought and ask questions that showed he was actually thinking about the material. He was always a very passionate student”

Villa was also surprised to hear about Jude’s secret talent, considering he kept it under wraps for the most part during class.

“I did not know he was a dancer,” Villa said. “I always knew he was really into the Indopak and stuff and that kind of dancing, but I didn’t realize he enjoyed it that much.”

Once Mathew makes a full recovery, hopefully he will be back on the dance floor in no time.