Patricia Barker was born in Richland, Washington, USA. She trained with Lynne Williams-Mullins prior to studying at Pacific Northwest Ballet School on scholarship. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 1981, became a full company member in 1982 and was promoted to soloist in 1984. She became principal in 1986. She has performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.
Her reperoire includes Rubies, Agon, Concerto Barocco and Violin Concerto, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Alice in Glen Tetley's Alice in Wonderland, Titania in George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Theme and Variations, Cinderella (which was created for her by Kent Stowell) and Juliet in Stowell's The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.