Barkley and James Kopecky in Dwight Rhoden's The Groove. Photo by Jeff Cravotta, Courtesy Charlotte Ballet

25 to Watch 2018: Raven Barkley

Surrounded by 10 male dancers, Charlotte Ballet's Raven Barkley holds her own in a thrilling grand allégro combination filled with jumps, beats and tours en l'air. In the "Winter" section of Sasha Janes' The Four Seasons, she matches the electrifying intensity of Antonio Vivaldi's music.


Athleticism is Barkley's calling card. It's what Janes says landed her the "Winter" lead in her first season with Charlotte Ballet. But beyond her ballon, Barkley's dancing possesses deep fluidity and musicality, as seen in another of Janes' ballets, Last Lost Chance. In an emotional solo, she spins like a slow-moving mobile, projecting a sense of yearning that cuts to the quick.

Before joining Charlotte Ballet in 2015, the 24-year-old Bronx native trained at Dance Theatre of Harlem's pre-professional program, and graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase. Sure to be a magnet for other choreographers and répétiteurs coming to work with the company, the focused and driven Barkley says, "Every day I find something different to work on to improve."


Find out who else made Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" list this year.

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Marcie Parker, Courtesy Red Door Dance Academy

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Studio owners: The light at the end of the recital tunnel is in sight, and your summer intensive won't start for a few weeks after that. Now is the time to tackle all those pesky studio-upkeep projects that you can't deal with while dancers are literally underfoot. Longtime studio owners Marisa Mailhes (of Red Door Dance Academy) and Misty Lown (of Misty's Dance Unlimited) have both relied on this timing in the past to upgrade their buildings' dance flooring—and they're here to show you how Stagestep Flooring helped them get it done with a minimum of stress.

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