Today we’d like to introduce you to Deirdre Barnes.
Deirdre, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a dancer and choreographer from Ottawa Canada. My first job was with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. I was an original cast member and a part of the creation of their Criss Angel Believe Show. Since moving to Los Angeles back in 2010, I’ve worked extensively in tv and film.
I’ve been on dancing with the stars, the Ellen Show, American Idol, Glee, the voice, and multiple award shows. I’ve danced alongside artists such as Nicki Minaj, Nick Jonas, Gwen Stefani, Backstreet Boys, Pitbull, and Gloria Estefan. I’ve toured the globe alongside Empire of the Sun and Justin Bieber and did a 2-year Vegas residency alongside Britney Spears.
I’m now trying to transition more into choreography. I choreographed my first feature film last year: Puppy Star Christmas and have choreographed for Betty Who’s New Now Next Awards opening, Cody Simpson, jake Paul and am one of the co-choreographers of Aqualillies: water ballet company.
Has it been a smooth road?
Even though I’ve had some incredible successes in my career, I’ve also had to face a lot of difficulties.
As a Canadian immigrant, I’ve had to work so hard to even get a shot to try and audition for projects in the USA. I now currently have my green card for extraordinary ability, but over the years I’ve had to pay for four o-1 work visas and every three years I had to prove to the government that I deserved to work in the USA. I’ve spent so much of my savings over the years on these visas. Also under the o-1 visa, I was only able to work as a dancer.
That means that I was unable to do any other work to supplement my income and had to work so hard to be able to support myself financially when I was beginning my career as a dancer in Los Angeles. I believe that even though this was difficult, it helped push me to work even harder to achieve my dreams and also to become a hustler and take on many projects both big and very very small in order to work as a dancer and support myself financially.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I am a dancer and creator. I am really versatile in my training and have trained in jazz tap ballet modern hip hop salsa dancing. I also judge dance competitions and teach dance to children and adults.
I am most proud of having achieved one of my biggest dreams: to travel and perform on stages across the globe.
I love to express myself with movement and to create art.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think that the dance industry will continue to flourish over the coming years. You can’t look anywhere without seeing dance. It’s in commercials and tv, movies and music videos. All the time I’m seeing more and more dancers.
I think it’s in part thanks to shows like so you think you can dance, dancing with the stars, ABDC and world of dance that dancers are coming to the forefront and are being celebrated in the media. It used to be that Dancers were just background or moving set pieces but I feel like now and even more so in the future dancers are becoming stars.
Look at people like Derrick Hough or Twitch who have used dance to become recognizable public figures. It’s amazing where dance can take you nowadays!
- Instagram: deirdrebarnes
- Twitter: deirdrebarnes
Lindsay Rosenburg, Laura Ise, @justeeby, Justin Manz