Britt Smith Photography-Diana-009Diana Madrigal-Barnitz began her ballet training at the Myra Mier School of Ballet, under the direction of Myra Mier. At the age of 12, Diana joined the Jefferson Ballet Theatre, where she performed many roles, including Spanish Coffee from The Nutcracker, Jeremy Fisher from Tales of Beatrix Potter, and Wicked Stepmother from Hansel and Gretel.  She spent her summers studying with several distinguished teachers of the dance community, including Edward Villella, Susan Anderson, Marcus Alford, Stanislav Issaev, and Cindy Flach.

At the age of 15, Diana started her instructor training in the Vaganova Method, under Myra Mier. In 2016 she completed her training with Mr. John White and Mrs. Margarita de Saa White of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet.

Diana attended Loyola University, New Orleans where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing.

In the fall of 2013, Diana opened the doors to The Studio School of Dance, with a vision to provide dancers in the Greater New Orleans area the space to learn and explore various styles of dance. It is her belief that dance provides a foundation for success in life and the skills learned in the dance studio transfer to other areas of a life. The Studio School of Dance offers a holistic approach to movement discovery, including a pre-professional training program, adult classes, and classes for those new to dance.

As a teacher and coach, Diana’s students have been accepted to pre-professional programs that include Texas Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, Cary Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Kaatsbaan, Royal Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Kirov Academy, Boston Ballet, School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.

Diana’s students have also participated in internationally renowned ballet competitions such as Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP), Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition, World Ballet Competition, and Universal Ballet Competition. Diana’s ensemble work titled, Ave Maria, placed top 12 in the Dallas Regional YAGP, making it The Studio School of Dance’s first nationally recognized choreography.

In the fall of 2017, Diana founded NOLA DANCE PROJECT, a non-profit youth dance company with a mission to enhance and enrich the local dance community. With its creation, Diana has explored the idea of choreography and has premiered three unique works entitled, Ballet SinfoniaThe Stories of Mother Goose and Chromatics.

It has always been Diana’s intention and dream to give dancers in the New Orleans community a chance to share their passion for dance through movement, performances, and collaborations, not only with other dancers, but also with artists in other fields of the creative arts. Currently, NOLA Dance Project consists of 21 dancers between the ages of 7-18 years old.