Barbara Atkins Ruhman studied ballet with Edna McRae for 10 years and joined the American Ballet Theater upon graduating from Senn High School. While maintaining a career as a performer and ballet teacher back in Chicago, Barbara also pursued degrees in psychology and social work. She worked as a psychotherapist at the Chicago Academy for the Arts and volunteered with Career Transitions for Dancers.


These artifacts were collected over time by Barbara Atkins Ruhman. Photographs, newspaper articles, and programs all reflect her extensive career as a ballet dancer, teacher, and psychotherapist.

All images and video on this site are the property of Chicago Dance History Project. To request permission to use these materials, please contact CDHP.

Full interview videos and transcripts also available upon request.

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