Today is Ballet Memphis dancer Julie Niekrasz's birthday, so what better way to celebrate than do a spotlight on her! Julie's had a full summer
so far. She’s been teaching Pilates and creative movement at Shelby Farms
Nature Camp, living out one of Ballet Memphis’s visions of helping kids instill healthy
habits early on. She’s also teaching in the Pilates Centre as well as in at the
Ballet Memphis School summer intensive, where she has a group of students who’ve
just started on pointe. She’s helping them through those first weeks of
breaking in shoes, tying ribbons, and gaining foot and leg strength at the
And there’s more ahead: This fall Julie will choreograph her
first piece for a Ballet Memphis season show with the new installment of River Project. She says she is “honored and
flattered” to have this opportunity. Her segment will focus on St. Louis, Gateway to the West. She is doing research and seeing where it takes her, even looking
at some letters of explorer William Clark right now. Choreographing for Ballet
Memphis’s outreach programs has taught her as a dancer not to hold back with choreographers.
As a choreographer you really need to see
the steps to see if they work on other dancers – “you want someone who is willing
to try anything.”
Julie started out dancing modern, tap – which she still
loves – and ballet, and began to focus solely on ballet at age 14. A
perfectionist in the studio, Julie brings a warm humor and humility to all that
she does. This August she will begin her 10th season with Ballet Memphis.
The Ballet Memphis company is very special to her -- “it's such a talented and smart
group that’s really like a family. I hope Memphis knows what a gem they have.”
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Under the Direction of Dorothy Gunther Pugh
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