Junior Joelie Havey continues to give dance her all


Junior Joelie Havey closes her eyes, imagining herself doing her solo. She gracefully enters the stage as bright spotlights shine into her eyes, and the nerves begin to fade away. Feeling more at home than she feels anywhere else, Joelie smiles, knowing she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than on that stage.

Joelie has been pursuing dance for twelve years; however, before she started dancing, she was a gymnast.

From the countless hours and years she put towards being a gymnast, she soon realized that it wasn’t truly what she wanted to pursue and put time into. The joy she used to feel while doing gymnastics wasn’t the same anymore.

“It set me up in general for dance,” Joelie said, “but I got to a point where I just didn’t want to do a back flip anymore. It got scary, and I didn’t feel comfortable continuing.”

She wasn’t able to find that connection to gymnastics and was scared of getting hurt. So, she chose to look for new possibilities for her career. After her decision, Joelie was unaware of what her next step would be.

“My mom one time told me I would be a really good ballerina,” Joelie said, “and my first thought was no. I do not want to do that.”

Joelie never saw herself as a ballerina, but the more she thought about it, the more it got her thinking.

Then, Joelie found herself attending the Grand Rapids Ballet. The outcome wasn’t at all what she expected, and she wasn’t able to feel passionate about ballet. However, that ballet class led her to a competitive dancing career.

“After I couldn’t find a connection to ballet classes, I then went toward the competitive area of dance,” Joelie said. “That is where I really found my passion to dance.”

Once Joelie finally discovered competitive dancing, she instantly knew that is what she’d do and devote her time to.  

After one year at the Grand Rapids Ballet, she decided to continue her competitive dance skills at the Moving Company. She spent many hours in that company forming many bonds with all of the dancers and teachers.

The Moving Company shockingly shut down from financial problems, causing Joelie to sadly say goodbye after twelve years of competing there.

This then brought her to a new opportunity she never thought would come. Joelie’s next step in her career landed her at a new company called Dance Dimensions.

While change is always difficult, Joelie was looking forward to seeing what other places could offer for her. She was willing to make the change to help her thrive as a dancer.

Going into her new studio, Joelie was very unfamiliar with the other dancers. She was the youngest in the age group, so the majority of dancers were older than her.

“It pushed me to work harder,” Joelie said. “I always loved the way the older girls would dance, so I wanted to walk in their footsteps.”

The older dancers were a tremendous inspiration to why Joelie continues to dance. She aspires to dance as well as her older influences.

Not only do the other dancers help her career, but when Joelie dances, she is able to escape all of the chaos of the world.

Dance has always been there to help her through her hardships, and her life wouldn’t be the same without it today. Joelie was able to find her true self throughout her dancing career because she’s finally doing what she loves.

“Dancing is a big stress reliever,” Joelie said. “When my life feels like it’s in shambles, dance has always been the one solid and consistent thing in my life.”