bbodance Director of Artistic Development Julie Bowers was shortlisted in the top three nominees for this year's OneDance UK People's Choice Award for her remarkable achievements during the pandemic.
Formerly known as the British Ballet Organization (BBO), bbodance is a 90-year-old membership organisation with teachers and students around the world.
2020 hit bbodance tremendously. Julie took her position last February, shortly before the UK went into lockdown and in-person classes ceased.
Government guidelines seemed to change daily. Dance teachers were struggling to move their classes online while students, confined to their homes, were growing anxious and unmotivated.
Throughout this, Julie liaised with advisers and organisations to ensure our teachers knew exactly what to do. She met with them online every few days and was accessible to them at all hours. She spearheaded moving our courses and examinations online; securing support from our Patrons, she created inspiring events and challenges to keep members engaged; on top of that, she forged relationships with other dance organisations as a form of mutual support.
Perhaps due to this strong leadership in a time of great need, bbodance grew during the past year, welcoming new teachers from 15 countries over 5 continents.
“Without Julie's flexibility, business acumen, and extraordinary energy, bbodance would not have weathered the pandemic. 2020 was our 90th year but could well have been our last — not even during the war were classes cancelled like this. We thank everyone who nominated her for this prestigious award — well-deserved recognition for a truly remarkable colleague,” stated bbodance CEO, Robin Bloor.
A former professional dancer with The Royal Ballet, Julie has dedicated her career to developing accessible dance training programmes across the UK, North America, and beyond.
The 2021 OneDance UK Awards will be live-streamed on 19 November. Good luck Julie!