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Julie Rutherford Blacksten
Julie's training began at the age of 3 from Dance Master, Paul Michael, whom she credits her first love of dance. After his passing, the 8 year old was fortunate to begin ballet classes from Mary Margaret Holt. Later, her studies in New York City were one of the highlights of her dance career. There she studied with the Joffrey Ballet School in the advanced level and with David Howard. Julie has also taken from numerous other well known teachers such as Richard Englund, Bruce Wells, Francoise Martinet, Ann Reinking, Marjorie Tallchief, Sylvie Guillem, & Brian Loftus.
Julie holds a BFA in Dance, Ballet Pedagogy emphasis from the University of Oklahoma, where she is currently a Dance Partners member and still remains closely connected. After receiving her degree, she returned to the OU School of Dance in their graduate program. While in the bachelors and masters program she was featured in both the Oklahoma Festival Ballet and Modern Dance programs and in both companies. There, she trained with Miguel Terekhov, Yvonne Chouteau, Mary Margaret Holt, Ko Yukihiro and others..
Classical Ballet Academy originally began as a school just for ballet students. Upon graduation from OU School of Dance, Julie took over the ballet studio from her long time ballet instructor, Mary Margaret Holt, where she taught while she was studying ballet at OU.
As the school grew, Julie included the other forms of dance that are now included at Classical Ballet Academy.
To continue her dance instructor education, Julie attends a yearly week long dance teacher conference including David Howard's Teacher seminars for numerous years, American Academy of Ballet Teachers Training program, Pacific Northwest Ballet and others
By invitation, Julie traveled to London during the 2012 Olympics and again in 2014 to Lincoln Center in New York City, where her dancers gave performances in ballet, tap and jazz. In 2016, Julie was invited to teach and choreograph ballet in Vizitsa, Greece for the Music and Dance Festival.
Julie is a ballet adjudicator for the Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, is a member of the Norman Arts Council, she has been an instructor/choreographer for the former NAC Artist in Residence program. She was recently awarded the OKC Panhellenic Woman of the Year for her achievements.
Owner/Director, Classical Ballet Academy
Artistic Director, Norman Dance Theatre
Artistic Director, Oklahoma Dance Theatre
President, Do It For Dance Foundation
“I am a waiter for God. We are all servants of God, or destiny, whatever you wish to call it. I am not so proud, and I am not so great--I am nothing but what He has wanted me to be. He has said to me, “You are going to teach and serve and make them dance,” and I know that nothing anybody on earth could do could prevent me from doing what He wants me to do.”