Mrs. Juli Lee was just three years old when her love of dance began. Deciding on a career in dance early on, Juli left home to study dance at Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, AL when you she was 13 years old. She received specialized training under many influential dance instructors, including Mira Popvich, Dame Sonia Arova, and Thor Sutowski. Juli returned to her hometown of Mobile, AL and studied Early Childhood Education at University of South Alabama.
Juli has been the Director of ESDA since 1985. She has trained hundreds of dancers, many of whom have chosen dance as a career path. Some have become members of professional ballet and modern dance companies across the country. Others have continued their education at fine arts schools or have chosen dance as their course of study in college.
The professional accomplishments of her students brings her great pride and satisfaction. However, when asked why she continues to do this work after so many years, those are not the stories that Juli tells. Instead of boasting about former students on Broadway, she tells stories of very young children that come to her studio with physical ailments, learning challenges and crippling social anxieties. She has seen the difference music and dance combined with positive, loving guidance can make in the life of a child. It is the feelings of acceptance and boosts of self-worth instilled in young children that fuel Mrs. Juli to continue her important work as Director of Eastern Shore Dance Academy.