Senior Spotlight: Tyrone’s Berrena Barr Excels at Dance

Dance is an art form that requires grace, agility, and athleticism. From the broken toes and bruised feet, to the countless hours spent in the dance studio, Tyrone senior Natalie Berrena Barr expresses herself in the most graceful way possible: by dancing.

Berrena Barr has been dancing since she was seven years old when mom first put her into the children’s dance camp. She joined the studio that year and was soon on the studio’s competition team. Since then, Natalie has continued to work on a variety of styles to make herself into a well-rounded dancer.

Modern has always been my favorite style of dance. It is a very different style is and a great way to express emotion. I have loved being involved in large group and small group moderns over the years”

— Natalie Barrena Barr

“Modern has always been my favorite style of dance,” says Natalie, “it is a very different style is and a great way to express emotion. I have loved being involved in large group and small group moderns over the years.”

Berrena Barr has danced all styles offered at Dance Fusion which includes tap, ballet, pointe, jazz, acro, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, and modern. Natalie has been exposed to and worked with several different guest choreographers including Ian Shmoke, who used to dance at Abby Lee’s Dance Company in addition to having an incredible contemporary and musical theatre background, and Kenny Sickles who has his own successful dance competition.

“Ever since Natalie was young she has shown so much passion and determination that you just don’t see in every dancer. She has overcome every obstacle, shown incredible strength, and is such a positive light,” says dance instructor Ms. Ana Rossi Lanzendorfer, “I have had the honor of watching and helping her grow into the mature dancer she is today. I am so proud of her accomplishments on and off the stage, and I knew from the first day in my class that she had all the things you can’t ‘teach’ inside of her. I can’t wait to see what she does next.”

Berrena Barr has also traveled all over the upper east coast to compete with the competition team. She has won over twenty first-place awards for her solos, and at least twenty-four overall awards. She received a platinum or platinum plus for the past seven years.

In addition, Berrena Barr has won several judge’s choice awards for duets with McKenzie Johnson and Sage Rumberger.

“Dance has taught me to be a team player, and how to express myself. I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather be a part of than the competition team,” says Berrena Barr, “I also learned patience and how to work hard because the team’s success doesn’t happen overnight.”

Natalie obviously excels with dancing, but is also a great student and friend.

Dance has taught me to be a team player, and how to express myself. I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather be a part of than the competition team”

— Natalie Barrena Barr

Barrena Barr is also incredibly kind-hearted and loves hanging out with her friends. She always goes above and beyond for the people she cares about and has an incredible work ethic, which shows at the dance studio especially since she spends over twelve hours there a week.

“Watching her dance, you will see her do things that are physically demanding in the smoothest way. She was meant to dance and to do what a lot of trained athletes never could so effortlessly,” says fellow Tyrone senior Brandon Homan.

Berrena Barr has been accepted into Penn State Altoona and Gannon University for the fall and plans to major in nutrition or food science. She is still unsure of which campus she will attend, but is excited to make the transition from high school to college.

“I have been thinking about joining the Penn State Altoona dance team in the fall and I hope to eventually become a dance captain by my senior year,” says Berrena Barr.

She has always been interested in science, taking microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and dual enrollment chemistry in high school.

Natalie always maintains a friendly and hardworking personality wherever she is and will continue to be a standout in the community,