Doris Jones, 92, Founded Integrated Ballet School

Doris W. Jones, the celebrated dance teacher and choreographer, died of pneumonia March 21 at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. She was 92.

Ms. Jones, a native of Malden, was a summer resident of the Vineyard from the 1940s until the 1970s, vacationing with family in the Highlands section of Oak Bluffs. She also brought small groups of her dance students to the Island; some stayed at Maxwell Cottage.

Ms. Jones was born in Boston and moved to Washington, D.C., in 1940, where she lived until the time of her death. Growing up with aspirations of being a ballet dancer, she had difficulty finding dance schools that would accept her as a student because of the paucity of African-Americans involved in classical dance.

In 1941, Ms. Jones and another young dance teacher, Claire Haywood, founded the Jones-Haywood School for Ballet to provide young African-American students with the opportunity to learn classical dance.

In 1961, Ms. Jones and Ms. Haywood formed the Capitol Ballet Company as an integrated performing troupe; Ms. Jones served as the company's artistic director until 1982. Today, the Capitol Ballet Company holds the distinction of being the oldest predominately African-American ballet company in the United States. In 1980, Ms. Jones also formed the Jones-Haywood Youth Dancers to provide more opportunities for younger dancers.

During her long career, Ms. Jones trained and studied under some of the biggest names in classical dance. She also served as director of the dance program for the Washington, D.C., public schools. Over the years, she choreographed for the Washington Opera Society and the Washington Civic Opera. She was honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Medal for Outstanding Service in Human Rights and the Metropolitan Theatrical Society's Mainline to Stardom Award.

Ms. Jones was the sister of longtime Vineyard vacationer Celestine Bayne, whose family maintains a summer home in the Highlands.

On the Vineyard, from the 1940s through 1960s, Ms. Jones, Mrs. Bayne, Ms. Haywood, the former Cotton Club dancer Isabel Powell and the writer Dorothy West were neighbors and contemporaries.

She is survived by a nephew, Richard Bayne of Washington, D.C., and nieces Bernice Thompson of Duxbury and Katherine Kennedy of Boston.

A service for Ms. Jones was held Monday at Peoples' Congregational Church in Washington, D.C. Interment took place Wednesday in Malden.