Founders & Directors
Daniel Blake began his Ballet training at age 10 with the Grand Rapids Ballet in Michigan. After attending many ballet schools across the country such as, Ballet Austin and Virginia School of the Arts, Daniel completed his training on a full scholarship with the Houston Ballet Academy. As soon as his career began he was dancing soloist and principal roles with the Hartford Ballet and the Kansas City Ballet. He was a principal dancer with the Minnesota Ballet for 5 years and has been cited as being an "amazing technician." The Duluth News Tribune pronounced him a "powerful dancer" and praised his "explosive leaps and turns." Daniel has had the privilege to appear in works by Ben Stevenson, George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham, Antony Tudor, Agnes DeMille, David Parsons, James Sewell, Barbara Bears, Peggy Lyman, David Berkey, Jean Grand Maitre and many others. Since retiring from full time professional dancing in 2008, Daniel has staged several full length ballets, choreographed dozens of works ranging from classical to contemporary. As ballet teacher for the last eighteen years, he has trained hundreds of ballet students successfully launching many of them on scholarship, to some of the most prestigious ballet schools in the country. Daniel has served as the director for Children's Dance Theatre's for two seasons, staging Sleeping Beauty and Hansel & Gretel. Daniel and his wife Julie are the owners of Ballet Blake and have been training students in Rochester since 2012.
Julie Blake, a native of Washington, D.C. studied with the Maryland Youth Ballet, under the direction of Hortencia Fonseca and Michelle Lees, then with the Houston Ballet Academy on full scholarship and stipend. She spent summers with the Kirov Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Ballet West and the Houston Ballet. She began her career with the Hartford Ballet, then danced with the Montgomery ballet and Nevada Ballet Theater before joining the Minnesota Ballet in 2004. She has appeared in works by Val Caniparoli, Choo-San Goh, James Jeon, Peter Anastos, Jean Grand-Maitre, Bruce Steivel, Ben Stevenson and George Balanchine. She has been credited for her "royal grace in her clean lines and long form" and for being "magnificent and effervescent"by the Duluth News Tribune.