Julie Bowers, Artistic CEO of BBO Dance, was joined in conversation by her colleague and friend, Brandon Lawrence, Principal Dancer at Ballett Zurich.
They began at the beginning with Juie’s career as a dancer. Both agreed it was good that she wasn’t deterred when she was turned down by White Lodge with the judgement that she would “never be a classical dancer”. She went to Elmhurst instead and did make it to The Royal Ballet. She talked entertainingly about highlights of her career there, touring the US, dancing at the Bolshoi and being selected by Nureyev to dance in Bayadere.
When the time came to leave, Julie did an academic degree and also studied project management to prepare her for future managerial roles. She kept involved in ballet, teaching at Northern Ballet where she started doing her own choreography. During a period in Canada she combined motherhood with work and study. She added to her qualifications with an events management diploma and became a regional administrator at the Royal
Academy of Dance when her youngest child was four weeks old !
Returning to the UK, Julie continued to work with the RAD before joining BBO as Head of Dance Membership and Communications. Brandon Lawrence is a patron of BBO and so it was that the two of them worked together to found GradPro in 2022, prompted by the difficulties faced by graduating young dancers after the devastating effects of Covid on the industry. GradPro has been a resounding success and continues to flourish.
It was a fascinating evening, giving insight into an amazing career, made all the more entertaining by the fact that it was a conversation between two good friends.
The full report of this event is available here.