Barbara Bears joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as a rehearsal director in 2023. Born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Bears received her early dance training from Victoria Leigh and James Franklin. She was the winner of the silver medal at the 1991 International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland. Bears was a dancer with the Houston Ballet for more than 20 years, including as a principal dancer for 15 of those years. Houston Ballet’s diverse repertoire of classical, neoclassical, and contemporary ballets afforded her the opportunity to perform leading roles in various works and to create a significant repertoire. Bears created roles in over 30 different ballets, most notably roles in Stanton Welch’s Indigo, Marie, Romeo and Juliet, and The Four Seasons and Ben Stevenson’s Dracula and Evening. After her retirement, she served as a teacher and coach for Houston Ballet, Houston Ballet 2, and the Ben Stevenson Academy before joining the professional company’s artistic staff as a ballet master in 2016. As Ballet Master, Bears staged works by Ben Stevenson and Stanton Welch and had the honor of working alongside many notable répétiteurs and choreographers. She is married to Garrett Gadbois, with whom she shares a son, Ethan, who is currently studying chemical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.