Diana White, Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus, was a ballerina of the New York City Ballet under George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. An internationally sought-after master teacher, she is also one of a select group of former dancers who have been chosen by the the George Balanchine Trust and the Robbins Rights Trust to stage their masterpieces on companies and schools world-wide.
Diana started dancing at age four and at age fourteen, became a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Ballet under the directorship of the legendary Maria Tallchief. There, she was seen by 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 NYCB she worked closely with Balanchine, Robbins, and Peter Martins. Her principal repertoire included many roles in classics such as 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, and more. She toured internationally with NYCB and as a guest artist and appeared several times on television’s Live From Lincoln Center and Great Performances.
In 1992 she co-founded the Scarsdale Ballet Studio with Christian Claessens. Diana choreographed several ballets for SBS, including the Carousel Waltz, which was performed at the Westchester Philharmonic’s 20th Anniversary Gala. She has served on the faculty of the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College and is a master teacher and judge for the Youth America Grand Prix, a competition which awards scholarships to major international ballet schools.
Since 2004, in addition to teaching classes and Balanchine repertory at SBS, she has traveled to six continents, where she has worked most recently with such companies as the Paris Opera Ballet, the National Ballet of China, the Boston Ballet, the Hong Kong Ballet, and the English National Ballet, to name just a few.
Diana’s many years of teaching and her constant engagement with the professional ballet world give her a unique perspective on training and nurturing young dancers as she encourages them to pursue their goals in dance.