The wonderful Jennie May Kraai is December’s featured member.The town of Hot Springs, at the foot of the black hills in South Dakota, is where Jennie grew up. In 1979 she married her hubby and moved to Takilma. She then graduated from Chadron State College with a bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Music.
This degree suited her because she loves to act, direct and build shows. She has built shows for venues such as the Super Dome in L.A. and for the Seattle Mercer arena! When she studied acting, she did it with the best, like Anthony Hopkins and Uta Hagen.
For 7 years now Jennie has been coming to Club Northwest. She loves how she feels when she is done with a workout. Lifting weights and attending the aqua yoga classes are her most favored exercise methods. They work well for her because she can’t do the land classes. She got her start here when she broke her toes and needed to find a way to workout so that she could heal and get a great workout in. Now she drives 1 hr 15 minutes so she can workout at the Club. She says she loves the people here and wanted to give a special shout out to Wellness Director, Jesse Sallas, for being awesome!
Her biggest hope with her workout routine now is to improve her mobility. In theatre she needs to be able to keep mobile in order to keep doing what she’s doing as a character actor. The biggest challenge she faces in her workout is the ability to live her traveling lifestyle and still getting the exercise she needs. She is gone 4 months out of the year for her work and she just finished a 13,000-mile trip.
Her husband’s name is Menno Kraai. A fun fact she told us is that their last name, Kraai, means crow in Dutch. Menno and Jennie met in Baton Rouge in theatre. She was acting and he was designing the sets. They now have 3 pets in their family, a labradoodle named Nickie and two cats, Blackie and Grey.
In December, Menno is retiring and going to see 36 plays in London. Jennie will be joining him. She herself has been in many plays and part of many play productions, such as Hello Dolly, She Stoops to Conquer, Mame, Sweeney Todd and many more. Over the course of 10 months, she has toured 42 states! That’s a lot of traveling! In her stays in New York she performed a lot of cabaret. Jennie May says that something you might not know about her is that she, like many actors, doesn’t always want to be center stage.
Your spirit is contagious Jennie May! We love being around you and hope to see you soon!