Diana Byer is the founder and artistic director of New York Theatre Ballet and its official training school, New York Theatre Ballet School. Ms. Byer has performed as a principal with the Company and as a guest artist with ballet companies throughout the U.S. Before establishing the Company and School, she performed as soloist with Les Grandes Ballets Canadiens, Manhattan Festival Ballet, New York City Opera Ballet, and the Juilliard Ensemble. Ms. Byer received her principal dance training from Margaret Craske and Antony Tudor.
Ms. Byer teaches adult professional through beginner ballet, pointe technique, and children’s classes at NYTB School.She has taught at Manhattan School of Dance and abroad at Compagnie de Michel Hallet (Lyon, France) and Cascina Bela (Milan, Italy).In the United States, she has been a guest instructor of the Cecchetti Society of America, the Cecchetti Society of Canada (Toronto), Cornell and New York Universities, State University of New York at Purchase, Martha Graham School, and other centers of dance.In 2003 she gave master classes in the Ballet School of Pecs, Hungary, and she regularly provides master classes in schools and performance settings across the U.S.The LIFT Community Service program, which provides dance classes, performance opportunities, scholarships and services for the homeless and at-risk children of New York City, was initiated at NYTB through her vision and commitment.The program has won recognition from the Clinton White House and National Endowment for the Arts as a national model. In 1992, Lincoln Center produced at Alice Tully Hall a one-hour program for children called Dreams On A Shoestring, featuring an original script based on Ms. Byer and LIFT.Ms. Byer coached the principals in the Columbia Pictures film, Center Stage.She was a member of the Antony Tudor Centennial Celebration Committee and in 2008 staged Tudor’s Judgment of Paris for the American Ballet Theatre Gala at The Metropolitan Opera House.She is a repetiteur for the Antony Tudor Trust, a member of the Board of Directors of the Dance Notation Bureau, a member of the Selection Committee for the Bessies and Clive Barnes’ Awards, an Education Ambassador for the New York Pops, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.In 2010 she assisted Kevin McKenzie in ABT’s restaging of Antony Tudor’s Jardin AuxLilas (Lilac Garden) and staged Agnes de Mille’s Three Virgins and a Devil for the Alabama Ballet. In 2011 Ms. Byer restaged Antony Tudor’s Soiree Musicale and the dances from Agnes deMille’s Carousel, Oklahoma, and Brigadoon for American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company. She was selected by Good Housingkeeping Magazine as the 2018 Humantarian Hero.