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Our Mission...


Our mission at Collierville Ballet is to provide our community with quality arts and humanities education, cultural outreach events and performance opportunities; and to encourage, challenge and inspire individuals to achieve their own personal best in the performing arts and humanities.


Our Philosophy...
It is our holistic approach to the arts & humanities that helps to provide our company dancers with the necessary lifeskills to pursue a professional career in dance as well as in other areas outside of dance and the related arts fields.  We believe that training should not just be abridged to the performing arts, but should extend to train each student to be a well-rounded individual. So we instill in our dancers - etiquette, discipline, mutual respect, confidence, the ability to work as a team and to encourage one another as individuals.

One team...
We support each other, creating a warm, nurturing environment for students to maximize their potential.

Versatile dancers:
Our highly skilled dancers are able to adapt to a broad range of styles and genres. Our dancers are provided with in depth education on classical ballet, dance and it’s allied subjects.

Respecting our heritage:
We honor the knowledge passed down to us from generation to generation and ensure our students are educated in the history of classical ballet and dance.






Our Staff...

Our Collierville Ballet artistic staff, choreographers, and guest instructors...

Julie Hunt Knowles

Founder and Artistic Director

JULIE HUNT KNOWLES has enjoyed a teaching career spanning thirty-five years and she has trained thousands of students in the Mid-South. Many of her students have been accepted into some of the country's most prestigious classical summer study programs and company apprentice programs including American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, Virginia School for the Arts, Houston Ballet, and others. In addition to her students’ classical dance success, Mrs. Knowles' students have excelled in the commercial dance and theatre markets. Many of her students have become dance instructors and have started their own dance businesses, dance companies, and similar projects. Locally, her students regularly appear in productions at Theater Memphis, Playhouse on the Square, and TN Shakespeare Theatre among other arts groups.
Nationally, several of her students have launched into professional entertainment careers at Disney World and on Broadway, appearing in musicals and live theatre - Fosse, Cats and West Side Story, among others). The music video industry, TV commercials, major motion pictures, related careers in arts are some of the places you can find Mrs. Knowles students. Mrs. Knowles began her formal training as a young dancer in the 1970s with the Bischoff-Carroll Dance Centre and Memphis Ballet, under the direction of Michael and Judy Tevlin. At the age of 15, she was asked to join the professional company of the Memphis Ballet. During her studies with the Tevlins, Mrs. Knowles completed her Royal Academy of Dancing examinations and Dance Education Syllabus with Honours. It was also during this period that she began teaching dance classes, working with all ages of students, from pre-schoolers to adults. As a part of the professional touring company with the Memphis Ballet, she performed throughout the Southeast region. She went on to perform with other classical ballet companies including Tennessee Ballet, Classical Ballet Memphis, Lafayette Festival Ballet, Huntsville Ballet, and the Birmingham Ballet among others. As a jazz dancer, her technical skill and her high-energy flair has landed her many roles in the entertainment industry and also afforded her a scholarship opportunity to study with legendary godfather of modern jazz dance, Gus Giordano.
While a student at the University of Memphis in the late 1980s, she completed her B.A. degree in Communications. During the 1990's, Mrs. Knowles produced concerts for Richard Marx, REO Speedwagon, The Call, The Smithereens, Cheap Trick, Jay Leno, Bobcat Goldthwait, Michael Winslow, Najee and Pat Metheny, among many other gifted artists. With a teaching career that already spans thirty-five years, she has trained thousands of students in the Mid-South. Many of her students have been accepted into some of the country's most prestigious classical summer study programs and company apprentice programs including American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Joffery Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, Virginia School for the Arts, Houston Ballet, and others. In addition to her students' classical successes, they have also excelled in the commercial markets as well. Many have appeared in local and regional theater productions at Theater Memphis, Playhouse on the Square, Circuit Playhouse. Nationally, her students have gone on to DisneyWorld, Broadway musicals (Fosse, Cats and West Side Story, among others), the music video industry, and have pursued careers in arts related business fields. Several of her students have become dance teachers and now operate their own studios. As a choreographer, Mrs. Knowles' work includes ballets such as The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Paquita, The Skaters, Peter & The Wolf, The Secret Garden, Les Sylphides, Coppelia, The Tarentella. Over the last twenty-five years, she has produced award-winning choreography for competitions, theme parks, fashion shows, television shows, commercials, and film. Mrs. Knowles has been featured as a principal in a variety of commercials, corporate videos, and motion pictures. Some of her work has included Kroger Stores, Toyota, Perkins Restaurant, and many others. She has also worked with CBS, Blink MultiMedia, and API. In 2006, she became a certified personal trainer with specialty areas of interest in kickboxing, Pilates, weight training and nutrition guidance.

Abby Pohlman

Assistant Director

Ms. Pohlman is a native of Germantown, TN and began dancing at the age of 3. She comes from a long family history of dancers including her sister, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
Abby trained locally with Dance Dynamics, Classical Ballet under the direction of Pat Gillespie, and Ballet Memphis. Upon completing high school, Ms. Pohlman attended Middle Tennessee State University and was a member of their MTSU Dance Company. Ms. Pohlman has attended several SERBA (Southeastern Regional Ballet Association) conferrences and taught with the Lausanne Colliegiate School Summer Program, The Goddard School in Collierville, TN and St. George’s Independent School extra-curricular programs.

Ms. Pohlman serves as a rehearsal coach with the Collierville Ballet, a regional non-profit youth ballet company. Ms. Pohlman holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree degree from the University of Memphis and is currently working towards her Master’s degree. Abby is thrilled to be a dance instructor at Collierville Arts Academy and enjoys sharing her love for the dance arts with all of her students.  

Elizabeth O'Connell

Choreographer & Instructor

Mrs. O'Connell's biography is being updated.
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Our Board of Directors...

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President

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Vice-President

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Treasurer

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Secretary

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At-Large Member

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Contact The Collierville Ballet 

Send us an email inquiry and a member of our staff will reply as soon as their schedule permits.