Honorary Fellow awarded MBE in New Year Honours List
Falmouth University Honorary Fellow, Julie Felix, has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year 2024 Honours List.
The award is in recognition of her services to dance education.
Throughout her professional life, Julie Felix has overcome racism and discrimination to build a stellar career that has seen her perform at the top of the industry and across the globe.
After studying at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, she was selected to dance in Rudolf Nureyev’s production of Sleeping Beauty with the London Festival Ballet (later English National Ballet) but was denied a permanent contract, being told that having a black girl in the corps de ballet would look out of place.
Undaunted, her big career break was with the New York-based Dance Theatre of Harlem, with whom she performed for Michael Jackson, Prince, Ronald Reagan, Sydney Poitier, Luciano Pavarotti, and with Lionel Ritchie at the closing ceremony of the Los Angeles Olympics.
Upon her return to the UK, Julie became a company teacher and remedial coach to Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet (now the Birmingham Royal Ballet). She has also been a guest teacher with Wayne McGregor and Matthew Bourne’s companies and has lectured at the English National Ballet School, Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and Kings International Academy.
Now based in Looe in Cornwall, Julie plays an important role in widening access to dance and performance both in her work as a ballet teacher and coach with the ACE Dance and Music charity, and through her role as an Honorary Fellow at Falmouth.
She said of receiving the award, “It is difficult for me to put into words how I felt when the letter arrived, telling me I was to receive this honour. It’s not only recognition for the service to the community and my industry, or perhaps being a leader in my field, it is also a great encouragement for me to do even more good and achieve even more for others.”
Commenting on the news, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Falmouth University, Professor Emma Hunt, said, “We are enormously proud of Julie and so pleased that she has received this much deserved honour. Her contribution to dance education and her passion for making it accessible to everyone, promoting diversity and inclusion, is inspirational.”