Eugene Barnes, a Baltimore native, received his formal ballet training at The Baltimore School for the Arts studying under Norma Pera, Tony Wilson, and Debra Robinson. In 2003, at the request of Carolina Ballet's founding Artistic Director Robert Weiss, Mr. Barnes auditioned for the company. In 2004, he joined Carolina Ballet and danced there until 2014, rising to soloist in 2009. During his tenure, he originated many roles by Weiss, Tony Award nominee Lynne Taylor-Corbett, and current company Artistic Director Zalman Raffael. It was also there where Mr. Barnes developed a greater understanding of George Balanchine's style and ballets, working one-on-one with some of the most incredible Balanchine dancers.
Since his departure from Carolina Ballet, Mr. Barnes has appeared as a guest artist with Paul Mejia International and Grand Rapids Ballet (under the direction of Patricia Barker). He transitioned into corporate management working for 7-Eleven, Macy’s and Gap Inc., and worked as an Aftercare Specialist/Facilitator for a prominent drug rehabilitation center in Northern Michigan. Currently, Mr. Barnes is the Director of Training and Principal Dancer with Avant Chamber Ballet where he continues to share his love for classical and neo-classical ballet.