Wanting to share her love for dance with children,
and maximize her talents as a dancer and teacher,
Kristi Durbin-Griffin established the Ramona/
Julian Academy of Dance (formerly the Julian
School of Ballet) in 1987.
Under Ms. Griffin's direction, students are instructed in classical
ballet, pointe, tap, acro, jazz, hip-hop, power tumbling, leaps and
turns, zumba, country line dance, preschool movement, pre-dance, tiny
tumbling, Irish, barre fitness, cardio hip-hop, american sign
language, praise dance and yoga. Our competition teams attend 4-6
competitions throughout the year winning countless awards -- including
National Champions, Grand Champions, Studio Excellence, Best
Musicality, Top Studio, Top Choreographer, Most Entertaining,
Spotlight's Showmanship Award, Al Gilbert Tap Award, and the Most
Spirited Dance Studio at Disneyland's Dance the Magic Summer Dance
Classic! The school has annual recitals, performs at the San Diego
Fair, and entertains for 4th of July events. For the last 20+ years
the Performing Group, has entertained audiences throughout San Diego
With over 50 years experience, Kristi Durbin-Griffin received her training in classical ballet, tap and jazz
in St. Louis, New York and San Diego. She Co-Directed the Ramona Ballet Theatre, and founded Wings of
a Dove & Angel's Wings (adult and children's Liturgical Dance groups.)
Raised in St. Louis, Ms. Griffin was a soloist in the ballet company for 10 years; worked as a professional
dancer/singer in the St. Louis Muny Opera and Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, MO; appeared with the
Hudson Brothers and Margaret Hamilton in the "Wizard of Oz", and with Ann Reinking in "Girl Crazy".
A professional cheerleader and Captain of the St. Louis Football Cardinal Cheerleaders for three years
(in the 1970's), Ms. Griffin was inducted in 2013 into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. She won first
place in the Miss Dance of St. Louis contest; in addition to appearing as a model in TIME and TEEN
magazines. Ms. Griffin is diversely experienced in the performing arts.
As a Choreographer for Musical Theatre, Ms. Griffin has created the dances in "Fiddler on the Roof" and
"A Christmas Carol" for the Pine Hills Dinner Theatre in Julian; "The Music Man", "Fiddler on the Roof"
and "The King and I" for the Borrego Springs Performing Art Center; the Julian Melodrama Can-Can
dancers; and choreographed and performed as a singer/dancer in "Godspell", "Kiss Me Kate",
"P. T. Barnum" and "My Fair Lady" in San Diego; and has also performed at the Coronado Playhouse.
In 2012, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, presented Griffin with a proclamation plaque
commemorating 25 years of service to the communities of Ramona and Julian and declared Sept. 25th ,
"Ramona/Julian Academy of Dance Day" throughout San Diego County.
The Ramona/Julian Academy of Dance has won BEST DANCE STUDIO many years in a row and is committed
to providing students with professional, technical training and instilling in them, a love for dance!