Dancing dreams

Student works hard to reach her dreams as a dancer


Story BY Danielle Portteus
Photos By Tom Hawley

Jolie Cramner is drawn to dance.

The 16-year-old Monroe County Middle College junior spent five weeks this summer at a dance intensive with the Nashville Ballet.

She has hopes of joining a company or pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dance.

The daughter of Gary and Holly Cramner of Monroe, Jolie has been dancing with the River Raisin Dance Academy since she was about 4 years old.
“I love it,” Jolie said. “I can’t imagine my life without it.”

During her time at the academy, Jolie has been involved in several productions of “The Nutcracker” playing a variety of roles including this year as Snow Queen.

One of her favorite roles in the ballet is the Arabian scene.

“I like contemporary ballet the best and Arabian has a lot of contemporary,” Jolie said.

While in Nashville, Jolie studied under instructors and principal dancers from around the country working on technique and dance variations. She participated in a performance of “Paquita.”

One day, Jolie would love to be a member of the Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco.

“I like that contemporary ballet doesn’t have as many rules as classical ballet,” she said. “I still enjoy classic but there is a lot more creative leeway in contemporary.”

If she does not become part of a dance company, Jolie plans to attend a Michigan college to study dance and physical therapy.

“Dancer careers end quickly so I want to be prepared and even if I’m not dancing, I could use PT to help dancers,” she said.

–Monroe News photo by TOM HAWLEY
Jolie Cramner

Jolie Cramner leaps as the advance ballet students run through warm ups.

Jolie Cramner dancing as the snow queen in a dress rehearsal for “The Nutcracker.”