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Patricia Barker Profile

Patricia Barker | Principal dancer

Patricia Barker is considered one of the world’s most gifted ballerinas. Born in Richland, Wash., she received her early ballet training from Lynne Williams in Richland, studied on scholarship at Boston Ballet School with E. Virginia Williams and Violette Verdi and at Pacific Northwest Ballet School with Francia Russell, Perry Brunson and Janet Reed. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 1981, was promoted to Soloist in 1984 and was made a Principal dancer in 1986.

Ms. Barker has danced in many of the great full length ballets and contemporary works from renowned choreographers. She has performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. She appeared as a guest artist with national and international ballet companies and has performed in many Galas throughout the world. Ms. Barker danced the lead role of Clara in Stowell’s Nutcracker the Motion Picture and starred as Titania in Balanchine’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream filmed by the BBC for the celebratory re-opening of the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. She has graced the covers of Dance Magazine, Danser, Pointe Magazine, Dance Pages and Dance International.

For the past 15 years she has staged, rehearsed and coached ballets for professional ballet companies such as Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana for Texas Ballet Theater, Kent Stowell’s Duo Fantasy for Oregon Ballet Theater, George Balanchine’s Serenade for Boston Ballet School. In her role as Artistic Advisor for the Slovak National Ballet, she has taught company class and coached Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere and Nutcracker. She has prepared PNB dancers for many guest appearances including Nutcracker, Don Quixote and Swan Lake.

Ms. Barker has taught at nationally renowned ballet schools such as Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, North Carolina School of the Arts, The Governor’s School in Greenville, South Carolina and Boston Ballet School.

Ms. Barker’s entrepreneurial and management experience includes a variety of activities. For the last 10 years she has directed product design and development for BKWear, her own dancewear company. She received a patent while consulting with Bloch on a variety of products, including pointe shoes, ballet slippers, leotards and active wear and was featured in frequent advertisement campaigns. She is currently a product development consultant for Bunheads Inc. She also collaborated with Freed of London, producing an instructional video addressing dancers’ most frequently asked questions about the art of wearing pointe shoes.

Ms. Barker is currently on the advisory board for Pointe Magazine, CriticalDance.com, California Ballet and Minnesota Dance Theater.

She continues to dedicate time and effort to bring greater awareness to bone and joint health by acting as a spokesperson for the United States Bone and Joint Decade. Ms. Barker has been instrumental in creating “Fit to a T” programs for young dancers to spread awareness about bone health and osteoporosis.