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Transformation Tuesday | Braeden Barnes

#TransformationTuesdaySW This week's Dance Transformation Story comes from Braeden Barnes! Hear how Braeden defied the judgement of his teachers to achieve his passion and dream of becoming a professional dance artist!

"Life wouldn’t be complete without challenges. By overcoming life’s unique set of challenges, the most valuable lesson I have learned is that anyone can dance if they put their heart, soul, and hard work into their craft. There is a company for everyone that will value you and lead you to your fullest potential. Every time I am onstage, I put all of these thoughts, past feelings, and memories of struggle into my work.

Although my dream was to dance, my teachers would discourage me from pursuing it. I was ignored in class, and was told that because of my body, I would never dance professionally: I was too short and had bad legs and feet. This crushed me because genetics are something I cannot control. I couldn’t do something I loved so much, that I needed in order to communicate my thoughts and feelings. I then came to the realization that they were wrong.

It took me many years to finally accept myself, and the artist I was meant to become. My searching has led me to find a home at Visceral Dance Chicago. At Visceral I am accepted for who I am and what I can offer through my experiences and struggle. To have the honor to be a part of Visceral and know that it was my hard work and heart that took me there is a gift to me every day."

-Braeden Barnes, Company Dancer with Visceral Dance Chicago

Braeden's Bio:

Braeden Barnes, a native from Chicago, Illinois, received his training from Faubourg School of Ballet, Academy of Dance Arts, San Francisco Ballet School, and Houston Ballet school. Braeden was then accepted into the Joffrey Ballet training program under the directors Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik. During his time there, he did works by Francisco Avina, Ronn Stewart, Amy Hall, Gerald Arpino, and Diana Princeton.

Braeden has worked professionally with Balletmet, Joffrey Ballet Chicago, Ron de Jesus Dance, Billy Elliot the Musical, Cocodaco Dance Project, LEVELdance, and Nevada Ballet Theatre. Among his time at these companies, Braeden has worked with choreographers such as James Canfield, Paul Vasterling, Adam Pelty, Sam Watson, Andre Kastan, Gerald Charles, and Eddy Ocompo.

Braeden is excited to be joining Visceral for his second season. During his time at Visceral he has performances works by Nick Pupillo, Kevin O’ Day, Monica Cervantes, and Danielle Agami.

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