Collierville Ballet’s roots in the mid-south community run deep and our founding origins peak to that. Native Memphian, former professional dancer and current Founder/Artistic Director, Julie Knowles, is a trail-blazer in the southern arts community and has brought access to the arts to thousands of children over the last thirty years of her career.
Many of her students have been accepted into some of the most prestigious ballet companies, including Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, North Carolina School of the Arts, Houston Ballet, and others. Her students have also excelled in the commercial markets with many appearing in local and regional theater productions at Theater Memphis, Playhouse on the Square, and Circuit Playhouse. Nationally, they have gone on to Broadway, starring in hit musicals such as Fosse, Cats and West Side Story.
But that is all a happy by-product of how Mrs. Knowles really views the dance arts: as an effective and meaningful method for positively transforming students into realizing their life’s potential.
“There is a tremendous amount of evidence that working with the arts develops students' minds and bodies in ways that enable them to learn better. The arts provide ways of knowing and participating with the world around us. They let us experiment with new ways of thinking and doing, and encourage us to stretch our limits and develop our minds, bodies, and emotions.”, says Knowles.
The Collierville Ballet desires to increase access to and awareness of the cultural importance of the arts and humanities by:
- providing cultural development and enrichment opportunities for our community through educational programming
- promoting a sense of achievement and teamwork through participation in arts and humanities based activities in our community
- nurturing a deeper understanding and appreciation for the impact the arts and humanities has on the quality of life in our community
In order to facilitate the development of a strong arts and humanities awareness in our community the Collierville Ballet is committed to...
- increasing access to all of the performing art forms - especially dance, dramatic, and musical arts, particularly for, but not limited to, low-income and disadvantaged youth who may be deprived of access to the performing arts
- providing educational arts and humanities programs for low-income or disadvantaged youth to study the performing arts in order to gain a greater appreciation of the cultural arts
- encouraging a sense of achievement and self-confidence, develop artistic growth, foster teamwork in the youth that participate in our educational arts and humanities programs