Julie Diana Hench (Executive Director) 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. During her presidency, Ms. Hench raised funds for student scholarships, organized educational events, and worked to restructure board committees in an effort to better achieve the association’s mission. She has written for Playbill and continues to research and write for various dance publications such as Dance, Dance Spirit, and Pointe, and has been named Contributing Editor at Dance Teacher magazine.
Most recently, Ms. Hench served as Executive Director of Juneau Dance Theatre (JDT), a non-profit arts organization in Juneau, Alaska. She managed all administrative aspects of the school including finances, development, personnel, programming, outreach, promotion and marketing. During her tenure at JDT, Ms. Hench facilitated collaborations with local artists and arts groups to enrich the dancers’ experiences, grow audiences, and broaden the organization’s impact. She helped JDT become a partnering organization with the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child initiative in an effort to expand arts education in Juneau public schools, and worked with JDT Artistic Director Zachary Hench to create Juneau’s first ever summer intensive program. She also taught all levels of the school and served as a repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust, enabling the school to present Balanchine’s work onstage.
A native of New Jersey, Ms. Hench studied at the School of American Ballet in New York, where she was a Princess Grace Award nominee. She danced as a principal with San Francisco Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet, performing lead roles in classical repertoire such as La Sylphide, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Giselle, and The Sleeping Beauty. She has worked with choreographers such as Christopher Wheeldon, William Forsythe, and Mark Morris, among others, and appeared as a guest artist with New York City Ballet and several international touring groups. Ms. Hench participated in a dancer exchange with the Royal Ballet in London, and was coached by such artists as Lynn Seymour and Sir Anthony Dowell. She has been a guest teacher at many renowned ballet schools, worked as a private coach and as Ballet Master at Pennsylvania Ballet. She received Isadora Duncan Awards for her dancing at San Francisco Ballet, and the Continuing Education Award for her studies at University of Pennsylvania.