Mari Jo Irbe Barker
Title/s: Adjunct Instructor of Dance, Dance Minor Advisor
Office #: Ralph Arnold Annex 206
Mari Jo, an accomplished performer, choreographer, rehearsal director, and teacher, is originally from La Grange, Illinois, and has called Chicago "home" during much of her career. She has been a featured performer with River North Dance Chicago (RNDC), under the direction of both Sherry Zunker and Frank Chaves, for 15 years and continued on as rehearsal director for another 10 years. She has toured extensively, performing works by internationally acclaimed choreographers.
Mari Jo also danced with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and toured the United States and Mexico with Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre, under the direction of Randy Duncan. In addition to her extensive modern and jazz background, Mari Jo has been a guest artist with Especially Tap Co., under the direction of Bruce Stegmann. In 2001, she received the Ruth Page Chicago and Music Alliance Dance Achievement Award. From August 2001 to April 2002, she danced for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) "Adventure Of The Seas" production cast, under the direction of Harrison McEldowney and Sherry Zunker.
Mari Jo continues to choreograph and teach extensively throughout the metropolitan area, nationally, and internationally. Mari Jo is thrilled to be a certified BeMoved instructor, a new dance fitness experience designed by Sherry Zunker for adults of all ages and skill levels.