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Raven Barkley ’15

Originally from Bronx, NY, Raven Barkley ’15 has been with the Charlotte Ballet since 2015, where in her first season she landed the lead in the “Winter” section of Sasha Janes’ Four Seasons. Janes recognized Barkley’s ability to jump as high as the men do and capitalized on her athleticism, placing her on stage surrounded by ten male dancers.

In 2018, Barkley was named to Dance magazine’s prestigious list of “25 to Watch.”

Barkley began dancing at age 10 at New York City’s Ballet Tech and continued her training at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia Arts High School for Music and Art and Performing Arts, where she graduated with honors.

While at LaGuardia, Barkley also attended the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s (DTH) Pre-Professional Program. While there, Raven was selected as a featured dancer for the Scholastic Children’s book, “Beautiful Ballerina” by Marilyn Nelson.

She has performed works by Bryan Arias, George Balanchine, Aszure Barton, Eliot Feld, Robert Garland, Sasha Janes, Jiří Kylián, Jessica Lang, Robyn Mineko Williams, Arthur Mitchell, Matthew Neenan, Dwight Rhoden, Taryn Russell and Myles Thatcher.

In her first year at Purchase, Barkley was the only freshman to dance in The Nutcracker, performing as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

And in 2012, PURCHASE magazine featured Barkley on its cover for the story, “Rising Sophomores, Rising Stars.” Faculty recognized early that she was a standout.

Raven Barkley ’15 on the cover of the Fall 2012 issue of PURCHASE Magazine