Would you be able to do your job on a skydive?
Would you be able to do your job on a skydive?
Donagene Jones – one of the hottest up-and-coming freefly stars.
Skydiving might be my passion, but the people are my family. Once in a while someone will pop up who is simply extraordinary. You know, the ones who are making things happen, super nice, humble inviting to everyone, happy, go lucky, generous and always seems to be there when you need them. They are gravitational. Most times you will find them on a mission, organizing, creating space for fantastic skydiving, learning ops and partying. They are the ones when you see them, you immediately smile.
Enter, Donagene Jones – Skydiving Diva Extraordinaire!
I was fortunate enough to meet Dona for the first time during the “Pink Chair Party” Mexico Boogie. I didn’t know many people coming directly from the East Coast and she picked right up on it, welcomed me with open arms, and included me on just about everything. Within a day it seemed like I had known her all my life and wouldn’t know what to do without her. She seemed to have this effect on everyone she met.
Dona is all about FreeFlying and she is hitting the skydiving scene, hard. Within a few years in the sport, under 1,000 jumps, and countless hours in the tunnel, Dona is mastering FreeFly at record speeds. Her networking, organizing and love of community sets her up for multiple home runs.
“I’m just a girl who loves to skydive. I love family and the skydiving community is what drives all my passion and energy. I love my peeps!” says Dona.
What most don’t know about Dona is she is a well-known choreographer of gymnastics clubs around the world and travels quite extensively. As a rock climber for over 10 years Dona knew Dean Potter and some other greats of climbing. This led her to the dream of BASE jumping and to Lodi, where she took her training.
This is also where Dona met her instructor, MX, who quickly become her sidekick and still is today.. For those that don’t know, MX, is also known as Dona’s girl, Tutti Patooti, Toots and Tall dark and Handsome. The two make quite a dynamic freefly organizing duo through their whip cream romance. They are a couple most hope to become.
MX is one of the bad boys of freefly right now and is also catapulting himself into the organizing scene. MX boasts over 12 years in the sport, 10,000 plus jumps, 500+ tunnel hours, load organizer world-wide, an undercover ninja and an electrician by trade. “I’m just part of the package” States Dona. “Actually I get to follow MX around and love every minute of it” Dona Says.
Dona gets to organize the “Undercover Ninjas” with MX. The undercover ninjas are almost 30 strong. A group of undercover hardcore freefly kings who meet in secret at tunnel and skydiving gatherings across the globe during the night at undisclosed locations. Together they are working on freefly media domination campaign with their ever accumulating freefly magic videos only known and seen by a few. Yeah, really. And you didn’t hear it from me.
Dona’s next move? A freefly team of course. Team “Super Serious” is now underway. “Our goal is pretty simple, make jumps, friends, have fun, compete at Nationals and survive as a team for an entire year.” The team is comprised of some super cool Nor Cal personalities, Chip Keating, Sam Lendle, Ted Volpendesta and Dona as herself. The video slot is in transition. When I caught up with them in Lodi, World Famous Karlee Ayers was filming them. She has since moved out to Europe for the summer.
“Our Biggest hurdle of creating the team is time. Creating space for training between all the events we organize, attend and the coaching leave’s little room. Our biggest asset is the mix of personalities, we have fun, we love jumping together and there is a great vibe. Through that we accomplish a LOT and it’s SUPER fun,” says Dona.
Their secret sauce for accelerated learning is the tunnel, of course, and they use it a lot. The entire team practices in the tunnel as individuals and as a group and they constantly work together in the tunnel during events. Dona is a sponsorship’s dream. She’s inviting, outgoing, networks, creates tons of media, friends, and is a social media butterfly who can create a conversation and excitement about anything, but this isn’t what’s she’s after.
“Coming from a place like Lodi, I’ve paid my own way. This is about fun. This is not my job, it’s my passion and the playground of love for my boyfriend.” Dona states.
Still, its hard to think a few of the manufacture’s won’t try to snap her up. Check out her latest list of events for both herself and Tutti Patooti, also known as MX, as organizers and simply as participants, below. If one of her organized events seems doable, I highly suggest you search her out. If fun is what you are looking for, you just found it.
Your slot is waiting.
Thanks for tuning in,
May 11-12th Elsionore Film Festival and Cali Freefly Record camp – MX will be organizing and I will be attending this event!
May 18th SIS Spring Break at Skydive Orange – I’m attending this event on Saturday only!
May 25-27th Sky’s the Limit - MX and I are putting a spark in to their freefly peeps and organizing!
June 8-9th Live BigZ Throw Down at Bay Area Skydiving (Byron, CA) – Both MX and I will be organizing at this event!
June 22-23rd American Boogie (Davis, CA) – MX and I will be attending this event.
July 12-14th GOBIG (Montreal, Canada) – Both MX and I will be organizing at this event!
July 20-21st Ladies Boogie (Byron, CA) – I will be organizing at this event and I’m sure MX will attend!
August 17-18th Tokaya Chicks Boogie (Montreal, Canada) – I will be organizing at this ladies event!
August 31-Sept. 2nd Sky’s the Limit - MX and I are putting a spark in to their freefly peeps and organizing!
Sept. 12-15th USPA Nationals (Skydive Chicago) – MX and I will be competing in 4way VFS/Advanced
Nov. 1-3rd BigZ Sequentials (Skydive Spaceland) – MX and I will be organizing this event in Texas, which has been held in Lodi for the past seven years.
Nov. 14-17th California Freefly Record (Perris, CA) – Both MX and I will be attending!
Nov. 26-Dec. 1st Women’s Vertical World Record (Eloy, AZ) – I will be attending this event!
Last year, Nicole Smith embarked on a quest to skydive in each of the 50 states. The exciting conclusion is in our March issue (spoiler: she did it!).
Enjoy some highlights, and congratulations Nicole!
Read about it all on her blog, temptphate01.tumblr.com.