A renowned philanthropist, author, motivational speaker, professional classical ballerina and more,
Barbara Barrington Jones has dedicated her entire life to helping women and children throughout the world realize their potential to lead more fulfilling and productive lives.
"What we are, is a gift from God. What we become, is our gift back to Him."
- Barbara Barrington Jones
Barbara Barrington Jones is a former professional classical ballet dancer. Her dancing career took her to several large cities including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Montreal. She was a demi-soloist with the Atlanta Ballet Company, and a soloist and the assistant artistic director of the ballet company at the University of Texas. Barbara's extensive ballet training and career detailed below has colored her entire life with beauty, self-discipline, poise, dedication, and refinement.
Barbara began her ballet training at age 6 in Texas with Katherine Clark (formerly with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo). She then studied with Ingieborg Heuser (formerly with the Paris Opera Ballet Company). During those early years she also studied with guest artists Maria Tallchief, Fernando Schaffenburg, and Frederick Franklin (all former soloists with Ballet Russe).
At age 14, Barbara danced her first solo role in the University of Texas Civic Opera Production The Merry Widow. During the summers, Barbara studied in Chicago with Robert Lunnon (former ballet master of the Norwegian Ballet Company). She also studied in San Francisco at the San Francisco Ballet School and the Pacific Ballet School.
Barbara danced in the debut performance of the University of Texas Ballet Company. In this performance, she worked with Nikita Talin (formerly with Ballet Russe) as she staged the ballet Sylvia. Guest artists for the following season were Irina Borowska and Alan Howard (dancers with Ballet Russe) dancing the pas de deux in Raymonda. Barbara danced Raymunda’s solo variation.
At age 16, Barbara was personally mentored by Alan Howard (principal dancer with Ballet Russe). While the company was on tour in Houston, he arranged a private audition for her with Sierge Denham, director of Ballet Russe. Mr. Howard later created a new ballet for the company with Barbara in mind - Quiet City.
Barbara traveled to New York City at 17 years old and took classes at the Ballet Russe school. Upon attending, Mr. Denham accepted her into the Advanced/Professional Class. During this time, Barbara auditioned and was also accepted into the professional class of the New York City Ballet, studying with teachers Anatole Obukhoff, Felina Dubrovska, Pierre Vladimiroff and George Balanchine. To be in the same class with Diana Adams, Patricia McBride, Patricia Neary, Jacques de Amboise, and Edward Valella was a dream come true.
During Barbara's training in New York, Robert Barnett (former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet) was looking for dancers nationwide to form The Atlanta Ballet Company, a professional AGMA company. Mr. Barnett had been contracted as guest artist by the University of Texas Ballet Company to dance the leading role of Cavalier in the ballet Sleeping Beauty. Barbara had also been invited back to perform the role of Lilac Fairy in this production. After their production together, Mr. Barnett invited Barbara to join the Atlanta Ballet Company as a demi-soloist. The company opened its season with a program of Les Sylphides and George Balanchine’s Symphony in C. The dancers were honored to have Mr. Balanchine attend the opening night performance. Christmas season opened with The Nutcracker and was followed by Serenade, The Abyss, and Divertimento.
After her time with the Atlanta Ballet Company, Barbara traveled to Montreal, Canada. She took classes with Les Grand Ballet Canadienne in preparation to audition for the company's European tour. Being accepted and invited on tour initially appeared to be another dream coming true for Barbara. However, when she learned she would be unable to take her son on tour, she declined the invitation. She returned to the University of Texas Ballet Company and became Principal dancer and Ballet Mistress. She danced in the ballets Paquita and Jazziana, performing with Scott Douglas (former soloist with American Ballet Theater). The following winter, Barbara danced the role of “Pigtail Girl” in Graduation Ball (staged by Victor Moreno, of Ballet Russe).
During the winter season’s Nutcracker performance, Barbara danced the principal role of Snow Queen. The following spring season she danced the lead role in Color Me Bach (staged by Patrick Crommet of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company). While attending The University of Arizona, she danced as the guest artist in the Orchesis Dance Concert.
Following her years of training and performing, Barbara was contracted by the Corpus Christi Civic Ballet to stage the full length German ballet Die Puppenfee. She taught ballet as a faculty member of both the Olstowsky School of Ballet and the Lorenz School of Dance. In Corpus Christi she also taught ballet at the University of Texas at El Paso, the Ballet Center, Peter Pan Kindergarten, and at an orphanage on the Mexican border. (Oscar Antunez, one of these orphans, went on to become the Principal Dancer of the Royal Danish Ballet Company.) During this time, Barbara received official commendation by the Texas Association of Teachers of Dance for her outstanding work in the field of pre-ballet. Barbara also taught in San Francisco at St. Peters Elementary School and St. Stephens Elementary School.
Following her ballet career, Barbara went on to become a designer with GuyRex Associates. Here she designed costumes, wigs, headpieces, and designer evening gowns for the Miss America Pageant Organization.
Barbara became the Director at the Barbizon School of Modeling and Fashion Merchandising in El Paso, Texas. She later owned that school and administrated a second Barbizon School in Dallas, where she received her teaching and administrative certification from the Texas Education Agency. As part of her administration with the school, Barbara wrote the Barbizon Sales Training Manual for all 50 schools worldwide.
During this time, Barbara remarried and moved to San Francisco. She became the fashion coordinator for Ghirardelli Square, coordinating fashion shows for 23 fashion shops and the “Assemblage" - 20 San Francisco Fashion Designers.
Barbara won a Miss America preliminary in the state of Texas at age 19 (dancing the Prelude from Les Sylphide). She went on to train 21 national winners in pageant competitions, including 6 Miss USA’s and 10 America’s Junior Misses. She won a Production Award for her exemplary work in the America's Junior Miss program, which is now known as the Distinguished Young Women Program.
Today, Barbara currently trains young women in the Distinguished Young Women Program from all over the country to compete at Nationals. She has been a part of DYW since 1985 and in 2007 trained internationally-known violinist, Lindsey Stirling. As the DYW Premier Sponsor, Barbara loves sharing her knowledge and training to help these young women fulfill their potential and share their gifts with the world.
A DIFFERENT STAGE
Barbara’s life changed considerably after she joined the National Speakers Association and became a Christian speaker. She has lectured for the Church Education System for 30 years with such programs as Education Week and Especially for Youth. Over the years, Barbara has given lectures and presentations in 15 countries and 30 states, including the University of South Africa. With her experience in writing and speaking, Barbara became a renowned author, motivational speaker, and image consultant. She is the author of 6 books (including a book in Spanish), and participating author in 10 others. Barbara is fluent in Spanish, and studied at La Universidad International in Cuena Vaca, Mexico.
THE BARBARA BARRINGTON JONES FAMILY FOUNDATION
In 1999, the Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation was formed and became dedicated to helping women of all ages throughout the world realize their potential to lead more fulfilling and productive lives.
For the past 30 years, Barbara’s philanthropic efforts have helped girls and women improve their situations and have hope for their future. Her desire to help stems from surviving a 12 year abusive first marriage, being a single mother for two years, and then being blessed with a wonderful second marriage. A woman of abiding faith, her philosophy is “there is no earthly force greater than the divine power within a woman to RISE.”
Celebrating 20 years this past summer, the Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation has sponsored a self-esteem camp for teenage girls, Be the Best You Camp. This program includes 250 girls attending annually to participate in daily service projects and be inspired by speakers and Barbara’s daily devotionals. The Foundation previously sponsored two other programs : a women's retreat, A New You, as well as a student mentoring program at BYU Hawaii, The International Institute of Professional Protocol.
In addition to these programs, the Foundation has funded countless scholarships for organizations around the world. Barbara supports two preschools and one grade school in Knysna, South Africa, provides assistance for Chinese and Cambodian orphanages and has contributed to the South Africa Homeless Peoples Federation. She also supports WELL Africa, which has provided preschools in the Congo and housing for teachers in a village in the Ivory Coast. Barbara has most recently funded the building of a maternity hospital in Basra, Iraq, and currently supports the AMAR Foundation helping Emma Nicholson, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, as well as the Run On Organization, providing wheelchairs to those in need.
Barbara has in recent years formed a wonderful relationship with Utah Valley University in a variety of capacities. In 2013, Barbara continued her support of women by donating a major gift for the expansion of UVU’s Wee Care Center, which provides reliable childcare for UVU students with children. In January of 2014, she established the Barbara Barrington Jones Professorship in Ballroom Dance, the first professorship to be established in the Utah Valley University School of Arts. Barbara Barrington Jones now sponsors a Ballet West performance in the new Noorda Performing Arts Center at UVU each year. In addition to her support of UVU students, she has mentored students in the Enactus Program and has taken them to be recipients of the World Championships.
In 2011, Thanksgiving Point became the new home to the Foundation's office and annual Be the Best You camp. Barbara has made a beautiful impact on Thanksgiving Point by donating to the construction of the Museum of Natural Curiosity as well as the Butterfly Biosphere, in honor of her mother who was known as the “Butterfly Lady".
Barbara has also formed a wonderful association with Utah’s Ballet West company. In August of 2014, the Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation sponsored the new Ballet West Academy at Thanksgiving Point. This association has brought Barbara the opportunity to recently perform as the Queen in Ballet West’s Sleeping Beauty and the Queen in Swan Lake for two seasons. She has also been privileged to witness Ballet West perform the ballet of her life, choreographed by principal dancer Christopher Rudd. As dance has had such a profound influence on her life, Barbara's foundation has also supported the I CAN DO program, which gives children the opportunity to experience dance first hand.
Recently, Barbara was named Woman Making a Difference by the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce. She was the recipient of the Utah Valley University Distinguished Service Award for 2013 and the prestigious Utah’s Philanthropic Leadership Award for 2014. Utah Valley University also presented Barbara with an Honorary Doctorate degree in Fine Arts and Humanities.
Barbara continues to help all she meets and touches the hearts of many. Through the stages of her life, she has learned that “Life is not just getting through the storms, it’s learning to dance in the rain.”