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Conversations with the Inspiring Julia Cinquemani

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julia Cinquemani.

Julia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am in my third season as a professional ballerina with Miami City Ballet. Being a part of this world-class company has allowed me to live out my dream to perform an extensive repertoire on some of the largest stages in America. Formerly, I was a Principal Dancer with Los Angeles Ballet. Altogether, this will be my tenth year as a professional ballerina and my eighth year as a business owner of my dancewear line, Jule Dancewear.

I started ballet when I was four years old. Ballet has been my passion for as long as I can remember and my dream was to become a ballerina. I grew up in Dallas, Texas and trained at Dallas Ballet Center and concurrently at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. I spent my summers training at The School of American Ballet summer intensive for five consecutive summers in New York City. I was named a Texas Young Master by the Texas Commission on the Arts. I left home at age 16 to train two years with the Professional Division at Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, Washington. I lived on my own, trained and rehearsed during the day, performed with the company at night and came home to do homework almost every night to finish high school. It was an intense two years but I was rewarded by landing my first contract as a professional ballerina with Los Angeles Ballet. Throughout my career, I have danced many dream roles such as “Odette/Odile” in Swan Lake, and “Aurora” in The Sleeping Beauty, “Giselle”, “Kitri” in Don Quixote, and “Juliet” in Sir Frederick Ashton’s Romeo and Juliet at Los Angeles Ballet. Most recently, I performed “Hippolyta” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Miami City Ballet.

Even though ballet is first and foremost in my life, I have always had entrepreneurial interests and a love for fashion. I started designing, sewing and selling wrap skirts at my hometown dancewear store in Dallas at age 14. After I made enough money with that small business, I decided to invest in more ideas I had for creating better fitting dancewear.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The dance world is very subjective and you cannot please everyone. I had to learn how to not take rejection personally. If I had not been my own cheerleader to pick myself up after all of the “no’s,” I wouldn’t be dancing in my dream company today. I practice having a positive mindset in order to reach my full potential. I am always striving to better my craft as a dancer and to create new goals for myself. Do not let your shortcomings or failures define your limit.

We’d love to learn more about your work. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a brand, organization or service provider? What sets you apart from others?
I started Jule Dancewear in 2011 with a goal as a young professional dancer and female entrepreneur to “reshape dancewear”. My mission is to design and produce dancewear that offers support, conforms to all body types, is high quality, and incorporates the latest in fashion with a commitment to make in the USA.

When I created Jule Dancewear, I was in my teenage years and my body was going through a lot of changes. I found the need to create a leotard that offered coverage and support for dancers with curves. I hated that my ill-fitting leotards were making me self conscious in a profession where confidence is key. I wondered, are there any leotards on the market that cater to this need, and that are understood and designed by a dancer? That is when I asked a pattern maker to incorporate the support of a sports bra into a leotard. As a result, we are known for reshaping the dancewear mold to support all body types. I now design all types of dancewear I see a need for. Every detail of each design is carefully tailored to function and flatter all body types. I test and choose the highest quality fabrics and incorporate the latest in fashion. All products made in the USA where quality is high and our standards are met. I believe in the importance of doing my part to sustain my local community of garment manufacturers in my hometown of Dallas, TX.

It brings me so much joy to see my designs come to life on my peers at Miami City Ballet. In this industry self-love and confidence is very important. If I can help someone feel good about themselves with something as simple as what they are wearing, then I feel like I have done my job. Every dancer should have the confidence they deserve!

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
If I have learned one thing in my ballet career, it is to persevere. When you don’t think you have an ounce of energy left on stage in front of a full audience, you have no choice but to push through. In these difficult moments of struggle you end up finding out what your full potential really is and you set the bar higher for yourself. I recognize the parallel between the lessons I have learned in ballet and in growing a small business. From ballet to business, perseverance is key.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Shimon Ito, Manuel Escamilla, Elliot McGucken, Nathaniel Solis, Reed Hutchinson, Sam Akins

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