Diana White, former soloist of Balanchine’s NYC Ballet, is a Repetiteur and Master teacher for the George Balanchine Trust and the Jerome Robbins Trust.
She began ballet lessons when she was four years old in Chicago Illinois and made her professional debut at age ten as a bug in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream when the New York City Ballet came to Chicago. That experience set her on a lifetime course of studying, performing, staging, and coaching Balanchine’s works.
At fourteen, Diana joined the Lyric Opera of Chicago Ballet under the direction of legendary American ballerina, Balanchine’s former wife, Maria Tallchief, as the youngest member of the company. At sixteen, she was seen in Chicago by Balanchine himself, who offered her a scholarship to study at his School of American Ballet in New York. In 1977, she became an apprentice to the New York City Ballet and one year later, entered the company.
During her twenty-year career, Diana worked directly with Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. She danced corps de ballet, soloist, and principal roles in over fifty Balanchine and twenty Robbins ballets, including Theme and Variations. Some of her favorite principal roles were Balanchine’s Rubies, Serenade, The Four Temperaments, Apollo, Liebeslieder Walzer, Agon, and Robbins’ The Cage and Dances at a Gathering. Her performances were well received by critics in New York, as well as on international tours. In addition to working with Balanchine and Robbins, she was mentored and coached by the ballerinas Suzanne Farrell, Violette Verdy, and Karin Von Aroldingen.
Several years before retiring from the stage, at the encouragement of Suzanne Farrell, Diana began to teach and opened her own school. The process of passing on Balanchine’s choreography, aesthetic, technique, musicality, and philosophy sparked her passion to work with dancers around the world. Since 2004, as a Repetiteur, she has staged ballets on professional companies and schools on five continents. She is thrilled and honored to be in the land of Balanchine’s birth and to be working with dancers who were trained in the same great traditions of Russian classical ballet.