Ms. Diana White was born in Park Ridge, Illinois and began her ballet training with local instructors when she was four years old. At the age of 14, she became a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Ballet, then under the direction of Maria Tallchief. There, she was seen by George Balanchine, who awarded her a scholarship to the School of American Ballet. He invited her to join the New York City Ballet one year later.
During her twenty-year career at New York City Ballet she worked closely with Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Her repertoire included principal roles in works by both masters, including Balanchine’s Apollo, The Four Temperaments, Western Symphony, Serenade, Liebeslieder Walzer, and Jewels, as well as Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering, The Cage, Goldberg Variations, Moves, a ballet in silence which was revived in 1987 especially for her, and many more. The year she was promoted to soloist, Peter Martins created a principal role for her in his ballet The Waltz Project. Ms. White toured internationally with New York City Ballet and as a guest artist with other companies. She has appeared several times on public television’s Live From Lincoln Center, and Great Performances.
In 1992, while still performing with the New York City Ballet, she co-founded the Scarsdale Ballet Studio with former partner, Christian Claessens. In addition to teaching and coaching, Ms. White has choreographed several ballets for her students including the Carousel Waltz, which was performed at the Westchester Philharmonic’s 20th Anniversary Gala. From 1998 to 2001 and again in 2010 and 2014 she was on the faculty of the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. She is a master teacher and judge for the Youth America Grand Prix, a competition which awards scholarships to major international ballet schools, and is also a faculty member of Dance New York International, a summer program in Paris and Madrid directed by Kazuko Hirabayashi. As a repetiteur with the George Balanchine Trust, Ms. White stages his works worldwide. She is the author of a children’s book, Ballerina Dreams, published by Scholastic.