Damien Diaz was born in Montebello, California and began his first ballet training in Miami, Florida with Thomas Armour and Renee Zingraft. He was a full scholarship student at the North Carolina School of the Arts, The School of American Ballet in New York City, the Alabama School of Fine Arts and the Houston Ballet Academy. At the age of seventeen, Damien performed his first professional full length “ Swan Lake “ as Prince Siegfied as well as the Cavalier in “ The Nutcracker “ and Romeo in “ Romeo and Juliet “ with Ballet South under the direction of Dame Sonia Arova. He then accepted a corps de ballet contract with the Zurich Ballet of Switzerland under the direction of choreographer Uwe Scholz. After the fall of the Berlin wall, Damien followed director Uwe Scholz to the Leipzig Ballet, Germany, where he became a  soloist and later a principle dancer. His roles with the Leipzig Ballet where Prince Desire in the full length “ The Sleeping Beauty “, the lead male dancer in “ Symphonie Fantastique “, the lead male in Beethoven’s “ 7th Symphony “, Adam in Haydn’s “ The Creation “ and the lead male of “ Bach Creations “. Damien has danced as a guest artist with the Stuttgart Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Tokyo Ballet, Dallas Ballet, Tuzer Ballet, Warsaw Ballet, Dance Theatre of Vienna, Clair Obscur Dance Company and the world renown Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo in New York City. He was resident choreographer for the California Riverside Ballet and has choreographed the musical event “ The Silence Is Broken “ at the Saban Theatre in Los Angeles. Damien currently lives in West Hollywood, California and is the Ballet Master of the Luminario Ballet of Los Angeles.

Pilates for Dancers

Body Arts and Sciences ( BASI ) certified Pilates instructor

Pilates is an essential training for dancers, athletes, and those recovering from injuries or simply wanting to avoid them. Pilates movements are initiated from the very core of the body creating powerful, controlled movements with optimal strength and maximum flexibility. Pilates also develops and improves a mind to body connection essential for precision of technique and injury prevention. Originally and still used as a form of physical therapy, Pilates has developed into a foundation for physical endurance and aesthetic which is a huge part in defining and preparing today’s professional dancers for the rigorous demands of their profession. As a result of Pilates, muscles become leaner and stronger and movement become light and effortless. Dancers who practice Pilates have experienced less injuries and longer careers.

Purpose : Overall strength, especially core strength, Flexibility, injury prevention

create and/or improve the mind body connection for the dancer

Format : 60 minutes mat class focusing on foot work, abdominals, hip work, spinal articulation, arm work, stretches, full body integration, lateral flexion with rotation, additional footwork, back extension

Attire : Dance clothes, sweats, form fitting tops for abdominal cueing

Equipment : yoga mats



Picture and bio courtesy of the teacher.