Colleen Barnes is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance – Ballet at the University of Akron’s School of Dance, Theatre, and Arts Administration, where she choreographs and teaches a range of dance-related subjects.
Colleen has worked at the Joffrey Ballet School since 2009, serving in both faculty and administrative roles. She is the Artistic Director of Joffrey South and Joffrey Colorado summer intensives. From 2019-2021, Colleen worked with New Jersey City University and Joffrey Ballet School to develop the curriculum of their BFA program partnership according to NASD and state standards. In addition to Joffrey Ballet School, she has worked at the University of Georgia’s Department of Dance, the University of Utah, Ballet West Academy, and Allen Ballet School (China), among others.
Her scholarly research encompasses ballet’s history of exclusion, particularly as it relates to 19th-century ballet and colonialism. This research drives her teaching practice, which intends to encourage students to find autonomy and joy through the modality of ballet. Colleen has presented her research at the Dance Studies Association conference in Malta (2018), as well as the CORPS de Ballet conference at Florida State University (2019).
Colleen danced professionally with the Dayton Ballet, Ballet Pensacola, and Dance Now! Miami, touring both domestically and abroad, in addition to free-lancing with the late David Holmes in British Columbia. She holds a BFA in Ballet from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, and an MFA in Ballet from the University of Utah.