Barbara Schumacher (founder, director) was born in Seattle Washington to a family of notable bakers and boat racers. Despite the family businesses, she was destined for something else. Her kindergarten report card stated that she was an excellent student that corralled all the children into the corner to teach them how to dance. She was yet to have a dance lesson of her own. At nine, she began to take dance lessons at the Barclay dance school in Seattle Washington. She became a top pupil of George and Florence Barclay. Barbara’s dance and theatre education continued at the University of Washington where she earned a degree in dance and drama. She studied with the great Ruthanna Borris. She also spent a summer at Connecticut College and took classes with Martha Graham. After her education, Barbara began running the Burien branch of the Barclay dance school. When that school closed, she already had a large following in the Burien area and opened the Burien Dance Theatre.
Teacher and Director
Brigitte Graf (teacher, director) is Barbara Schumacher’s daughter and was born and raised at the dance school. Luckily, she loved every minute. Her soul lives to dance and to share the joy it brings her with as many people as possible. She followed in her mother’s footsteps and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in drama and dance. During college, she began a 15 year career in musical theatre while teaching at the Burien Dance Theatre as much as she could. She performed in over twenty shows locally at the 5th Avenue and Village Theatres. Her favorite shows were Singin’ in The Rain (ensemble) and A Chorus Line (Kristine). She is very grateful for her time on the stage and the opportunities it gave her to travel and perform in different places throughout the country. Life in the theatre is full of adventure and brilliant spirits that continue to inspire her to this day. Now she spends her days running the Burien Dance Theatre and playing with her two little girls.
Kristi Freeman (teacher/choreographer) - Kristi started dancing when she was 5 years old with Barbara Schumacher and the Burien Dance Theatre. She has participated in many dance competitions and conventions, as well as performing at many community events, pageants,
the Seafair parade, Seattle Car Show, and at the Seattle Mariners baseball games for two seasons. She graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Sociology, and took classes in ballet, modern, jazz, and drama. She also has studied jazz and tap in Las Vegas, LA, and Seattle. Kristi started teaching at BDT at 16 years old, and has taught all ages and styles of dance. 35+ years later she is still loving every minute of it! She also loves to travel and spend time with her husband, puppy, three children, family and friends.
Anna Marie Curtis (teacher/choreographer) - Anna has been dancing for over 20 years starting at the Burien Dance Theatre when she was 7 years old. She took a variety of classes ranging from pointe, ballet, jazz, modern, showbiz, and spanish. After attending Kennedy High School, she went off to Gonzaga University where she was part of the Gonzaga dance team for four years. In 2014, she graduated with a degree in math, a teaching certificate, and a minor in dance. She came back to the Burien Dance Theatre after college and has been dancing and teaching there ever since. Anna believes that dance is a beautiful way to express yourself through movement and music. She couldn’t imagine her life without it and she can't wait to share her love and joy of dancing with you.