Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer Julianna Rubio Slager is originally from Spring Arbor, Michigan. Rubio Slager began her dance training with Mrs.Lori Ladwig and went on to study under notable teachers from the New York City Ballet, the Vaganova Academy and Puerto Rican National Ballet. Rubio Slager enjoyed dancing under Barbara Smith at Greater Lansing Ballet during her training, and also under Kathy Thibodeaux and Sol Maisonet at Ballet Magnificat. Upon moving to Chicago, Rubio Slager had the opportunity to work as a freelance artist, teacher and choreographer in the Greater Chicago area.
Rubio Slager co-founded Ballet 5:8 in 2012. Known for her unique ability to engage audiences in discussions of life and faith through her choreography, she has created over 45 works in her past decade at Ballet 5:8. Ballet 5:8 tours nationally, bringing Rubio Slager’s critically acclaimed ballets such as Reckless, Butterfly, The Space in Between, Scarlet and Compass to audiences across the nation. Rubio Slager has won several grants from the Illinois Arts Council and was selected for the DCASE Individual Artist Grant in 2015.
Rubio Slager is a groundbreaking figure within the field, as one of the few Mexican American Artistic Directors and Resident Choreographers of professional ballet companies in the world. She hopes that her leadership and creative work at Ballet 5:8 will pave the way for other women and minorities to command space in professional ballet.
Over the past decade, Rubio Slager has enjoyed training and mentoring the next generation of aspiring artists at the School of Ballet 5:8’s Pre-Professional, Conservatory, and Trainee Programs. Her students have been awarded contracts, scholarships and placement