Book launch for Britain’s first black ballerina

Julie Felix, head of Dance at Saint Martin’s, launches biography on World Ballet Day

On World Ballet Day, Saint Martin’s School were delighted to host the launch of “Brickbats and Tutus”, the life story of Julie Felix, head of Dance at the school and Britain’s first black ballerina. The evening gave an insight into the moving story of Julie’s battle to pursue her dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer.

John Plimmer, the author of the biography, talked about how he first met the subject of his book; a mutual friend said that he must meet Julie Felix, who had an amazing story to tell. “Brickbats and Tutus” is the culmination of many hours spent with Julie, hearing and researching her story.

Julie in 1986

Julie shared some of her early memories with the audience, commenting on when she first noticed that her skin colour separated her from school friends. Julie spoke passionately about her desire to become a ballet dancer and the struggles she faced. Eventually, a move to America was the only way she could be accepted to dance professionally. She has been teaching Dance for over 13 years at Saint Martin’s and shares her positive ‘can-do’ attitude with the girls, encouraging them and reassuring them that nerves are normal before a performance.

The book “Brickbats and Tutus” is published by Austin Macauley and is available from high street and website book sellers.

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