Jarred gets call to dance with stars
By Nerida Blok
Jarrad Cramp is on the edge of a dream.
The 15-year-old Trinity College dancer from Lismore has just learned he will become one of only 20 young dancers from Australia and overseas to be accepted into the exclusive Australian Ballet School.
The school was set up to train young dancers for the prestigious Australian Ballet, putting Jarrad at the front of the queue for entry into the company.
The company draws 95 per cent of its dancers from the school.
And while acceptance into the school, with classes to start in January, is a big achievement in itself, Jarrad is already focusing his attention on his next goal.
Speaking yesterday after winning his tap ensemble section at Lismore's 93rd eisteddfod, Jarrad said the school was just part of the journey towards achieving his dream of becoming a principal danc- er for the Australian Ballet.
"It's a big step, a big experience, but it should be good," he said.
"It will be hard, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it. I'll get to travel around Australia and maybe go to London."
Jarrad received the letter offering him a position with the school two weeks ago after auditioning in Brisbane in August, and will move to Melbourne in January.
Jarrad started dancing, including tap, jazz and ballet, when he was 10 after seeing his younger sister perform at a concert in Lismore.
But fulfilling his dream has not come without heartache.
Jarrad had to move schools due to abuse received from peers.
"I used to get called a poof and couldn't go out into the playground because I would get teased," he said.
"It put me down a bit. I nearly threw it in but I had a talk to mum and thought, no, stuff them. I wanted to prove to them it's not such a sissy sport."
His proud mother and confidant, Sue Cramp, said she hoped her son's achievements would break down the misconception that boys shouldn't dance.
"It's rewarding to watch," she said.
"It's a lovely form of art and beautiful to see someone doing what they love."