Artistic Director

Courtney Kramer - O'Donnell

Courtney Kramer Petrocci

Photo Timothy O’Donnell

Ms Petrocci, herself a native of Crystal Lake, is proud to be in her third season as the Artistic Director for Summers Academy of Dance, Berkshire Ballet Theatre and Summers Dance Crew. She performed for more than 10 years with the Milwaukee Ballet, where she was featured in many roles including Clara and the Snow Queen from Michael Pink’s The Nutcracker and Tiger Lily in Michael Pink’s world premiere production of Peter Pan, broadcasted nationally in 2014 on PBS. She has been privileged to be featured in works choreographed by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins’, Vincente Nebrada, Marius Petipa, Alejandro Cerrudo and Trey McIntrye. She has had the unique pleasure to have original pieces choreographed on her by Nelly Van Bommel, Mauro de Candia, Val Caniparoli, Maurice Causey, Simone Ferro, Mark Godden, James Gregg, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Matthew Neenan, Timothy O’Donnell and Lila York. Having worked with this very talented and diverse group of some of the world’s most prominent choreographers, Ms Petrocci brings with her a very diverse and refined level of performance knowledge in both classical ballet and contemporary genres.

Courtney Kramer - J Kaminski

Photo Jessica Kaminski-Courtesy of Milwaukee Ballet; Dancer Courtney Kramer

Before embarking on her professional career Ms Petrocci attained her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Arizona. Her experiences there both prepared her for the successful career that followed but also instilled in her a deep desire to return to academia to complete her Master of Fine Arts in Dance. She was able to achieve this goal while dancing full time with Milwaukee Ballet through the Dance Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee graduating in August of 2015

Photo Mark Frohna-Courtesy of Milwaukee Ballet; Dancers Courtney Kramer and Marc Petrocci


During her time with the Milwaukee Ballet Ms Petrocci was a firm believer that all dancers should take the time to prepare themselves for the transition to a career following their time on stage.  This lead her and fellow company members Rachel Malehorn and Marc Petrocci in conjunction with Randall D. Crocker, president and CEO of von Briesen and Roper, s.c. Milwaukee WI, to form the Milwaukee Dancers Fund, a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to aid Milwaukee Ballet Company dancers financially in their eventual career transition. Ms Petrocci was the former Vice President of Operations of this charitable organization and now sits on the board of directors.

While Ms Petrocci has been teaching dance since 2000, she is regarded as being particularly skilled at preparing her students thoughtfully and meticulously for the demands classical pointe work places on a young artist. She also strongly emphasizes constructive corrections, individual body acceptance, understanding and using proper anatomical placement of the body, quality over quantity, a strong sense of performance and character development, and a positive studio environment where students feel comfortable to push beyond their comfort zones and find themselves through the art of dance.
MBC 5-1

Photo Rick Brodzeller-Courtesy of Milwaukee Ballet: Dancer Courtney Kramer

Ms Petrocci retired from Milwaukee Ballet in September 2015 after the birth of her and former Milwaukee Ballet Leading Artist and current Summers Academy Artistic Associate Marc Petrocci’s daughter.

Ms. Petrocci is an officially licensed teacher of the world renown Progressing Ballet Technique, which only continues to aid in her teaching of the classical style. She is also in the process of achieving her Pilates teaching certificate through Balanced Body Pilates. Continuing her education and knowledge for dance humbles her as one is never truly the master of this, the body and technique is continually changing and so are the avenues of which one can teach this to students.

Ms Petrocci is beyond proud of all of the students at Summers Academy of Dance and loves her job as Artistic Director, because nothing is more magical than watching young dancers and students learn and grow each day.

Photo Mark Frohna-Courtesy of Milwaukee Ballet; Dancers Courtney Kramer and Marc Petrocci