Julie Kent began her dance training with Hortensia Fonseca at the Academy of the Maryland Youth Ballet. She attended the American Ballet Theatre II Summer session and the School of American Ballet before joining American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in 1985. In that same year, Kent won first place in the regional finals of the National Society of Arts and Letters at the Kennedy Center. In 1986, she was the only American to win a medal at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition, and she became a member of ABT's corps de ballet. She was appointed a Soloist with ABT in 1990 and a Principal Dancer in 1993, the year in which she won the Erik Bruhn Prize in Toronto.
Kent's roles with the Company include the Girl in Afternoon of a Faun, the title role in Anastasia, Terpsichore and Calliope in Apollo, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Zina in The Bright Stream, the third movement in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, the title role in Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, the title role in James Kudelka's Cinderella, the title role in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, Medora in Le Corsaire, the Lady with Him in Dim Lustre, Kitri and the Queen of the Driads in Don Quixote, Titania in The Dream, The Dying Swan,Anne in Christopher Wheeldon's VIII, the Accused in Fall River Legend, the second girl in Fancy Free, the Glove Seller in Gaîté Parisienne, Giselle in Giselle, Caroline in Jardin aux Lilas, Marguerite in Lady of the Camellias, Manon in Manon, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, Natalia Petrovna in A Month in the Country, His Wife in The Moor's Pavane, the Sugar Plum Fairy in Kevin McKenzie's The Nutcracker, Tatiana in Onegin, Desdemona in Othello, the pas de deux Other Dances, the pas de deux in Les Patineurs, Hagar in Pillar of Fire, the Siren in Prodigal Son, the Ranch Owner's Daughter in Rodeo, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, a Lover in Sin and Tonic, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the Sylph in La Sylphide, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake,the second movement in Symphony in C, the Nocturne and the Prelude in Les Sylphides, Sylvia in Sylvia, Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew, the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, the Woman in Weren't We Fools? and leading roles in Ballet Imperial, Dark Elegies, Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, Duets, The Garden of Villandry, Gong, Kaleidoscope, The Leaves Are Fading, Meadow, Mozartiana, Overgrown Path, Sinfonietta, "... smile with my heart", Spring and Fall, Stepping Stones, Symphonie Concertante and Theme and Variations.
She created Artemis in Artemis, Sibyl Vane in Dorian, His Memory and His Experiences in HereAfter and leading roles in Apothéose, Americans We, Baroque Game, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, C. to C. (Close to Chuck), Chamber Symphony, Clear, Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra, Cruel World, Getting Closer, Glow - Stop, Known by Heart, Rigaudon, Seven Sonatas, States of Grace, Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison and Without Words.
In April 2000, Kent won the Prix Benois de la Danse. Kent starred in the motion pictures Dancers, directed by Herbert Ross, and Center Stage (2000), directed by Nicholas Hytner with original choreography by Susan Stroman. Kent is married to Associate Artistic Director Victor Barbee.