Directors & Staff
Julianna Rubio Slager
Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer Julianna Rubio Slager is originally from Spring Arbor, Michigan. Slager began her dance training with Mrs. Lori Ladwig and went on to study under notable teachers from Ann Arbor Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, the Vaganova Academy and Puerto Rican National Ballet. Slager enjoyed dancing under Barbara Smith at Greater Lansing Ballet during her training, and also under Kathy Thibodeaux and Sol Maisonet at Ballet Magnificat. Upon moving to Chicago, Slager had the opportunity to work as freelance artist, teacher and choreographer in the Greater Chicago area. Slager was instrumental in the co-founding of Ballet 5:8 in 2012. Beginning in 2014, Ballet 5:8 began touring nationally, bringing Slager's critically acclaimed ballets such as The Space in Between, Scarlet, Compass, and The Stor(ies) of You and Me to audiences across the nation. Slager is also a groundbreaking figure within the field, as one of the few Mexican-American Artistic Directors and Resident Choreographers of professional ballet companies in the world. She hopes that her leadership and creative work at Ballet 5:8 will pave the way for other women and minorities in professional ballet.
Over the past seven years, Slager has enjoyed training and mentoring her first generation of aspiring artists in Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts' Pre-Professional and Conservatory programs, and in the Ballet 5:8 Trainee Program. She has had the joy of watching her students be accepted into many prestigious summer intensive, trainee and year-round programs, including the Kirov Academy, Pittsburg Ballet Theater, Houston Ballet, Washington Ballet, Joffrey Ballet Trainee Program, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Ellison Ballet, School of American Ballet, and others.
Board of Directors
Rather than having an owner, like a for-profit business, Ballet 5:8 is managed by its Executive and Artistic Directors and is governed by a Board of Directors. The Board is made up of a group of community members, representing a wide range of professional expertise, who volunteer to oversee the organization, ensure that it is operating with integrity, and that it is always working to fulfill its stated mission.
Board of Directors
Lisa M. Wainwright, President
Customer Service Specialist - Business Banking, PNC Bank
Susan Jillson, Treasurer
Chief Estimator, Walsh Construction
Linda Jillson, Secretary
Expert Solutions Developer, Acxiom
Managing Partner, Affiliated Companies
Enablement Program Manager, ServiceNow
Homeschool Mom and Classical Conversations Tutor