To Top

Meet Julia Stockman (Olsen-Rodriguez)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julia Stockman (Olsen-Rodriguez).

Julia, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
When I was three years old, I saw my first ballet on television, The Nutcracker staged and danced by Mikhail Baryshnikov playing the Nutcracker Prince and Gelsey Kirkland as Clara. It was right then and there I knew I wanted to dance.

It wasn’t until I was eight that I started my training in classical ballet. Everyday since I was three and before going to my first ballet class at the age of 8, I danced in the living room and put on little performances for my mother. Watching ballets on tv, finding videos and books in the library, and starting a collection of my own with what my mom would buy for me, I would try to mimic what I saw the beautiful ballerinas do. I also enjoyed just sitting and watching the wonderful stories and beautiful dancing.

When I started my training, it was very serious from the start. Taking as much class throughout the week that I could get into and taking private lessons with my instructor. As my training progressed, I was accepted into and trained at Joffrey Ballet School in New York City on scholarship year after year. Traveling back and forth from my hometown in Banning, CA to New York City.

I reached professional level at the age of 15 and began performing soloist parts in Ballets. During my training and professional career, I have had the privilege of working with some of the great teachers and choreographers of the ballet world. John Magnus, Stanley Holden, Charles Maple, Mario Nugara, Zelma Bustillo, Francesca Corkle and many more.

It was just my mother and I, and she supported me every step of the way. She worked hard getting me what I needed and getting me to where I needed to be. She saw how special ballet was to me and how it made me flourish. It made her so happy.

Dancing has always been my passion and I have always been 100 percent dedicated to it. In Ballet, another passion I have had is to choreograph. I have choreographed as a student and as a young professional. To expand my passion and vision, in 2003 I decided to build my own ballet company, San Gorgonio Ballet. This is where I really began to bring to the studio and stage my ideas and vision. From creating original ballets such as Remember Charlie, A Tribute to Charles Chaplin, which I worked with the Chaplin family and representatives to receive licensing to create my ballet, to staging the popular classical ballets as well as my own favorites.

I also developed a ballet school, San Gorgonio Ballet School. Basing around my own experience, training and mentorship, I received from my wonderful teachers. I wanted to continue to share the beautiful art form that is classical ballet with a professional and traditional ballet school with a nurturing and healthy environment that I had been shown.

Currently, I recently moved my ballet company and school to a beautiful new location in Yucaipa, Ca, which myself and my new husband have turned what was a dusty warehouse into the beautiful ballet facility it is now.

Dancing for 29 years and teaching and choreographing with my company and school for 18 years, I feel truly lucky and blessed to do what I love and to give back to others as much as I can.

Of course, there has been some struggles. Just alone pushing through a dancers work day involves sore muscles, bloody toes sometimes and some frustration, but for me, I have loved dance so much that those times are never really as bad as they seem. Everyday is an accomplishment and we have learned so much more each day, shared wonderful moments with others, in dance and in life. Whether you are a dancer or in another industry, it is triumphant what we do everyday.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a professional ballet dancer, choreographer and instructor. I founded my ballet company and school in 2003 at the age of 19. As a director and choreographer, I have staged and created over 60 ballets.

My professional dancing career began at 15 years old. As a dancer, I have danced in numerous ballets as a soloist and principal dancer.

My company and choreography has received high acclaim by fellow choreographers, directors and dancers. I created an original ballet, Remember Charlie, A Tribute to Charles Chaplin, working with Roy Export and the Chaplin Family on licensing. It is now a part of Charlie Chaplin’s archives.

My school provides classical ballet training programs for serious students and for those who would like to take classes for health and enjoyment. Our students have been accepted to prestigious summer programs, such as Joffrey Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre and many more. Many of our students have become professional dancers and have gone on to dance in companies including my own, San Gorgonio Ballet.

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I like scary movies and thrillers. My friends eventually find out because I like talking about the puzzles and surprise endings some movies have.

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in local stories