The Washington Ballet Jeté Society Spotlight: Katherine Barkman

Meet the beautiful Katherine Barkman, professional ballerina with The Washington Ballet.



Katherine is from Bucks County, PA and began her ballet training with the famed Nadia Pavlenko at age 14. Just a short 4 years later, she joined Ballet Manila in the Philippines as a principal dancer. In 2018, Katherine won silver medals at two major world-renowned ballet competitions: the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS and at the Varna International Ballet Competition in Bulgaria. It was at the USA IBC that Julie Kent, legendary American Ballet Theatre principal dancer and now Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet, announced Katherine before her round three performance “Grand Pas Classique”. “I remember being starstruck,” she says. “She was my biggest idol. A month later I had a message from Julie Kent inviting me as a guest artist for “The Washington Ballet Welcomes”. Shortly after, I was invited to stay as part of the company and I couldn’t have been happier! It was a dream come true.”


Katherine is also an international guest principal at many festivals, galas, and full-length productions all over the world. Since 2019, she has been a faculty member of The Washington School of Ballet and also teaches adult ballet workshops open to the public. Her classes are some of the most sought after at the studios.



These days, she has been teaching her workouts online. Katherine is a ‘Role Model’ for Zarely, a ballet and activewear clothing line, and teaches classes regularly on their Instagram. She is also a ‘Russian Pointe Pro’ for Russian Pointe, a pointe shoe and dance wear brand, where she also teaches regularly on Instagram. During her workouts she shares her daily exercises for flexibility and strength and does a question and answer period at the end of the session. For those a bit more advanced, Katherine instructs a pointe class with World Wide Ballet via Zoom. World Wide Ballet connects dancers all over the world to learn from different teachers and dancers.

But what would all the training and workouts be without the performances and the ballerina’s beloved tutu? Katherine has a secret; she has a magic tutu. Originally from the Bolshoi ballet, this magic tutu was given to Katherine by her teacher when she was 17.

COVID-19: STRONGER THAN EVER

The performing arts like many industries has been gravely affected by COVID-19. Please consider donating to The Washington Ballet’s “Stronger Than Ever” campaign. Every gift will go to ensure that the ballet is able to return to the stage stronger than ever.

Through the generous support of Eve and William Lilley, your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $200,000. Donate at www.washingtonballet.org/stronger-than-ever-campaign/

Story by Brandy McCarthy | Photography by Pixel Empathy & Spencer Bentley | As published in the May 2020 Issue of VIP Alexandria Magazine


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