is Canadian and was born in Quebec in 1986. After living in Canada’s Yukon Territory in the Far North for a few years, her family moved to a small mountain town in British Columbia, where she spent most of her childhood. Emma Barrowman first attended dance school in a neighbour’s garage, but she soon wanted to dance more intensively and applied to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Professional Division. She was accepted and moved to the city all by herself at the age of 13. She stayed there for five years, completing her dance and academic studies and receiving the Prince Edward Award when she graduated in 2004.
She applied to the Cannes Jeune Ballet in southern France at the Ecole Supérieure de Danse de Cannes Rosella Hightower and spent another year with its Junior Company. It was a valuable transition into the professional dance world for her. Monique Loudières, former Étoile at the Opéra de Paris, was director there. “The time with her was very inspiring and shaped me,” says Barrowman. During this period, she also worked on projects with Mattia Gandini's Leggere Strutture in Bologna and performed in Italy.
In 2006 she was hired by the Bavarian State Ballet as an apprentice for one year. By 2010 she was a demi-soloist, dancing important roles, particularly in the company’s contemporary repertoire, by choreographers such as Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, Merce Cunningham, José Limon, Aszure Barton, Simone Sandroni and Jiří Kylián. In 2013 she received the Irène Lejeune Dance Award for her expressiveness and stage presence. "But I never felt at home under the classical ballet structure and at a certain point started looking for something else,” says the dancer.
She already knew the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch from when they had performed in Munich. Just when the Bavarian State Ballet was preparing to stage Pina Bausch’s piece For the Children of yesterday, today and tomorrow, Barrowman had already given notice to quit her contract. The workshops that she was able to complete convinced her to audition in Wuppertal. She has been a permanent member of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch’s ensemble since 2015, dancing many roles in Pina Bausch’s pieces and collaborating on the Underground series.