Julie with three of her studentsIf you’ve spent much time around Dance Concepts you probably know Julie.  This is her 6th year teaching with us.  She works heavily with the competition teams but also teaches some of our more beginner dancers.  Julie has become known for her outstanding choreography and is in high demand for solo/duet/trio work.  You can see some of her choreography here. Continue reading the interview below to learn a little more about Julie.

Tell us about your dance training and education:

I danced a bit when I was really young, but got into gymnastics and stayed with it for quite a while (I could do all sorts of stuff that I wouldn’t even dream of trying now-a-days). I picked up dancing again at about 11 at Casalino’s School of Ballet (which is no longer around). I was told there that I would never have a body to be a ballerina, so I left. From there, I joined Dance Concepts and Revolution, where I realized that my passion was in Jazz and Tap and Stage- I LOVE to perform. I danced with the University of UtahCrimson Line for a few years where I really learned the meaning of “time is money”- or just “don’t be late.”

What is your favorite dance you’ve ever performed?

I really enjoyed “Blue Monday” and “Carmina Burana.” Both of them were very out-of-the-box for the times. Blue Monday consisted of Pleather and Red/Orange wigs- it was dark, a little mean and fabulous all at the same time. Carmina Burana was another story- we wore only strategically-tied sheets for costumes. It was one of the most physically demanding dances I’ve ever performed, even if it wasn’t the most technical.

What’s the funniest/oddest/craziest thing that’s happened to you during a performance?

Most people know this story if they’ve been around the studio. I had to pee before a specific performance, but the rest of my team told me it was all nerves and to forget about it. I tried, but by the time I realized I really did have to pee, it was time to go on stage. At the very end of the dance I did a chest bump with one of my fellow dancers, you know- the kind football players do- Teddi Auker, and had to land on the floor. Landing on the ground put me over the edge and I relieved myslef a bit on stage. Teddi, unaware, had to lug me onto her back as we headed off stage…. Don’t worry, I cleaned her costume and we are still great friends!

*Only one of many mishaps…..

Tell us about your favorite dance teacher?

I’ve had several. Melissa Graehl taught me the value of strength and flexibility. Kaelynne taught me the value of impacable technique. Cheryl the meaning of perfomance (along with a list of other good things)- it doesn’t matter where you are in the level of dance, performance is key. Annette taught me that creativity is bravery- but composition is king.

Besides the physical, how has dancing affected you?

It’s an emotional output. My choreography has a direct relationship with either my mood for the day, my life at the moment, a reflection of something in the past, or a motivation for the future.

What is something you know now as a teacher that you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself as a dancer?

Give everything you have every day.

Why do you like teaching at Dance Concepts?

I love Erica. While I have been a dance teacher (either student teacher or on my own) for nearly 10 years, I have only really been teaching for 3 or 4 years. She has inspired me to do my best and with that comes dedicated staff and students, thank you!

How do you prepare to teach a class?

I always have some kind of syllabus. Some classes I have taught so many times that I don’t need to look at it- but I always have a plan. The summer break consists of hours upon hours of looking for music, creating lesson plans and coming up with original choreo.

What makes you proudest as a dance teacher?

Seeing my students succeed. Even the smallest accomplishments can be the biggest wins.

What can a student do to absolutely win your heart as a teacher?

Of course working hard, but also listening and absorbing what I have to say. All I want is for you to be the BEST possible.

What music do you listen to when you’re not teaching dance?

n/a. All I listen to is music for dance.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I was a cheerleader my senior year of High School.

Categories: Teacher Interviews

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