John and Danielle Crim

Siblings John and Danielle Crim, former Madison West High School students and Overture Center’s Rising Stars participants, are creating success in their artistic careers.  

John Crim, dancer 

John is a professional dancer with Garth Fagan Dance, an American modern dance company in New York, preparing for his third national tour.  

“This is what I’ve trained for my whole career, and I’m abundantly grateful for these opportunities and the support of so many people,” he said.  

John began weekly lessons with Madison Ballet at age 7. By high school, he was dancing every evening at the Monona Academy of Dance, learning advanced dance techniques. 

In 2014, his mom, Dawn, heard about Overture’s Rising Stars talent search. John, then age 14, decided to give it a try. He performed one of his first self-choreographed solo pieces, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day, and advanced to The Callback.  

“Rising Stars was a great opportunity. Even though I didn’t win, the experience planted the seed for future successes,” he said. 

John spent his junior and senior years at Interlochen Arts Academy, a performing arts school in Michigan. His Interlochen diploma proved beneficial, helping him get into Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet Training Program in San Francisco, where he continued to find his artistic voice and master his choreography skills. After his final semester at Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet, John joined Water Street Dance Milwaukee, where he danced for a year before signing with Garth Fagan Dance.  

With Garth Fagan Dance, John participated in the 2023 Emmy-winning PBS documentary “Prelude: The Legacy of Garth Fagan Dance” and performed at New York’s Joyce Theatre, where the performance received a glowing New York Times review and was nominated for a “Bessie Award.”  

John continues to remain optimistic and enthusiastic about his profession and future. 

Danielle Crim, musician 

Danielle is a senior in the contemporary, urban and popular music program at Columbia College in Chicago, where she’s also pursuing a marketing degree.  

This past summer, Danielle worked an internship at FAM Recording studio in Los Angeles through Columbia’s “Semester in LA” program. Next month, she is looking forward to studying abroad for a “Marketing in Paris” class. 

Music has always been a big part of Danielle’s life. She has been playing piano since age 7 and composing songs since age 9. In fifth grade, she started playing violin in the school’s orchestra. By middle school, Danielle was coming up with chords for her songs. She learned to play the guitar, and in ninth grade got a ukulele. That Christmas, she also received a laptop, which was primarily used to produce music.  

Like John, she participated in Overture’s Rising Stars in 2014, playing Für Elise on the piano. In 2016, she became a finalist with “Just Fine,” a song she wrote and sang on the piano. In 2017, she returned with an original song “Lost and Found,” again performing in The Finals. In 2018, she played and sang another original song, “Underwater,” and won the Teen Music Category.  

Since then, Danielle has written “too many songs to count.” She released her third self-produced album in August 2021.  

Studying and working keep Danielle’s calendar full, but this semester she started a band, which serves as a great creative outlet. She graduates in May and remains open-minded about her next steps.