Fabian Barnes of the Dance Institute of Washington Has Passed Away

Fabian Barnes with DIW dancers, from our cover story with him in February 2007

We’re saddened to report that Fabian Barnes, founder of the Dance Institute of Washington (DT, 2007), passed away unexpectedly this week.

Barnes, who discovered dance after teasing his brother for taking class (he called him “twinkle toes”), spent 15 years dancing with Dance Theatre of Harlem. He founded DIW while on a summer break from DTH in 1987, with grant money from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities to run a summer youth program. For the past 29 years, Barnes has inspired pre-professional and recreational dancers alike. Alumni have gone on to dance for The Lion King, American Repertory Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Suzanne Farrell Ballet.

Many friends and former students are sharing their memories of Barnes on DIW’s Facebook page. Plans for a memorial service are forthcoming.

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Photos by John Woo

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