On Pointe: Horsham Ballerina Finds Success in Several Continents

Katherine Barkman performing ballerina.
Image via katherinebarkman.com.
Katherine performing on stage.

For Katherine Barkman, who grew up in Horsham, borders did not exist when it came to ballet, writes Marley Madding for Dance Spirit.

Barkman started dancing as a toddler. She then began full-time professional training at 14 under Nadia Pavlenko, a locally-based Russian teacher.

Ballerina Katherine Barkman dances.
Barkman’s goal is to travel and dance abroad.
Image via katherinebarkman.com, Procopio Photo.

At 18, she got noticed by renowned Filipina prima ballerina and artistic director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, who invited her to start her professional career as a principal dancer with Ballet Manila in the Philippines.

Barkman accepted and became the youngest dancer to assume a principal role in the company.

Three years ago, while competing at the USA International Ballet Competition, Barkman met Julie Kent, a prima ballerina, and The Washington Ballet artistic director.

Kent invited her to join the company, after which Barkman made her stateside full-length debut as the lead in Sleeping Beauty.

And while she is currently back home, Barkman is planning to do more traveling and dancing abroad in the future.

“That’s the goal,” she said. “My dream is to be based as an American ballerina, but I just love the experience of traveling and dancing abroad. It affords me so many opportunities and so much growth.”

Read more about Katherine Barkman in the Dance Spirit.


Katherine Barkman performs the “Dying Swan,” created for “InterMission x Save The Children,” a digital performance to raise funds for children in crisis.