Jennifer Nelson ’13 has a broad smile, a friendly demeanor, and boundless energy—all characteristics that were on full display as she encouraged, challenged, and praised Mercersburg dancers during a three-day visit to campus back in the spring. Nelson returned to Mercersburg to choreograph a hip-hop piece that included 27 dancers and was performed at the Spring Dance Concert in May.
Nelson is a professional dancer with a background in classical ballet, Graham technique, modern, and jazz. She is also a highly successful social-media influencer with more than a million combined followers on TikTok and Instagram (@jennifermika_). Nelson has helped promote a number of A-list brands (“dream brands,” as she calls them), including Nike, lululemon, Starbucks, and Calvin Klein.
“Social media is what’s fun for me,” says Nelson, whose younger brother, Brian ’16, also graduated from Mercersburg. “I really like creating with other people. I edit and create the ads myself, if they are on my page. So, that’s another aspect of curating the deliverables—curating the ads for what the brands expect.”
A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Nelson recently moved from New York City to Los Angeles, where she hopes to get back into acting in addition to her other pursuits. “My manager and my friends have said I have what is commonly called the ‘New York hustle,’” she says. “I like to fit a million things into a day.”