Julie Diana Hench (Executive Director) has been a performing arts professional for nearly 30 years. Originally from New Jersey, Ms. Hench studied at the School of American Ballet where she was nominated for the Princess Grace Award. At age 16, she joined San Francisco Ballet as corps member. She became a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet (now Philadelphia Ballet), performing and originating role in classical and contemporary repertoire. She appeared as a guest artist with New York City Ballet and several international touring groups, and participated in a dancer exchange with The Royal Ballet in London.
Ms. Hench was a private coach and guest teacher for renowned ballet schools across the country, and was appointed to the artistic leadership team at Pennsylvania Ballet. She received Isadora Duncan Awards for her dancing at San Francisco Ballet, and an Association Alumnae Award for her studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She served as Executive Director of Juneau Dance Theatre (JDT), a non-profit arts organization in Juneau, Alaska, she she facilitated collaborations with local artists and arts groups to enrich the dancers’ experience, grow audiences, and broaden the organization’s impact. At JDT, Ms. Hench helped the organization partner with the Kennedy Center’s “Any Given Child” initiative to expand arts education in Juneau public schools. She launched Juneau’s first-ever summer intensive ballet program and was honored to stage works for the George Balanchine Trust, enabling JDT to present Balanchine’s work onstage.
Ms. Hench has written for various productions such as Playbill, Dance, Dance Spirit, and Pointe, and was a Contributing Editor at Dance Teacher magazine where she wrote the monthly “Theory and Practice” column.
She earned a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude, and served as President of the University of Pennsylvania’s Association of Alumnae. She also completed the Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy, a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania and National Arts Strategies. Ms. Hench has been the Executive Director of American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School since 2017.