Jarrad kept on his toes
By DAWN COHEN
TRINITY College student Jarrad Cramp was showering for a trip to Wet'n'Wild on the Gold Coast when his sister screamed: "New York wants you!"
The 14-year-old dancer had been offered an unsolicited Ajkun New York Ballet summer school scholarship for 2005.
"I couldn't believe it.
"I was stoked," he said.
Jarrad wins dance competitions as often as the rest of us buy lottery tickets.
His physical prowess is remarkable.
But so is his courage.
The Lismore Heights teenager began dancing at 10.
This was after seeing his little sister perform.
The prizes rolled in, but by the time he hit high school so did the abuse.
"The boys would not accept me," he said.
"I couldn't stand in the canteen line because they would yell out 'poofter' so everyone heard.
"But then I thought they are just immature.
"They are jealous because they don't have a career already in front of them."
Quitting never crossed his mind.
"I would not give up dancing just for them," he said.
Last term, Jarrad changed to Trinity Catholic College, which has a dance curriculum.
At last, the teenager has male friends.
His parents, Sue and Brett, are very proud of their son, but worry about him going to New York without them.
"New York is a big call for little old Lismore Heights," said Ms Cramp.
Too big a psychological leap for other 14-year-olds, but for Jarrad Cramp?
This young man will take it all in his stride.