The Aiken Civic Ballet's mission is to share the beauty of the art of dance in its many forms; and to provide the premiere training and performance venue for young dancers in the greater Aiken area and beyond.
Email For More Information
Association of the Aiken Civic Ballet
Diane Toole Miller, Artistic Director
Diane is a native of Aiken, SC who started studying dance under Carl Crosby at age 8 and by age 13 became a member of the Aiken Civic Ballet Company. At age 17 she was crowned Miss South Carolina in the 1978 Miss South Carolina Pageant in Greenville, SC and was a Talent Award Winner. At the Miss America pageant the same year in Atlantic City, NJ, she also received Talent Award Winner and was a recipient of the Talent Scholarship for her performance of the ballet Pas de Quatre.
While attending college in Spartanburg, SC, Diane performed with both the Spartanburg Civic Ballet and the Orchesis Modern Dance Theater. She performed for several years with the Miss South Carolina Pageant Dancers, dancing both jazz and ballet for live and television audiences.
In 1982 Diane auditioned for and joined the Augusta Ballet under the direction of Ron Colton (formerly of the New York City Ballet) and Zanne Colton. As a member of the Augusta Ballet, she performed many roles in the Nutcracker, including: the Dew Drop Fairy, Waltz of the Flowers, Spanish Dancer, Bo Peep, Snowflakes and the Party Scene. She also performed in Les Sylphides, Coppelia, Giselle, Tilt by Stanley Zompakos; Episodes and Symphony 13 by Duncan Noble; and the Augusta Ballet's first Balanchine ballet, Valse Fantasie - among many others.
Diane has worked with teacher Ron Cunningham and choreographer Duncan Nobles of the North Carolina School of the Arts, Tom Pazik of the Atlanta Ballet, and Victoria Simon of the New York City Ballet. She has attended and performed at several Southeastern Regional Ballet Association Festival Galas in Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia; Miami, Florida; and Charleston, South Carolina. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of South Carolina in 1983 and continued graduate studies toward a Masters in Education afterwards.
By 1986, Diane became a Dance Lecturer at University of South Carolina - Aiken and spent several years there teaching Beginning and Intermediate Ballet. In 2006 she became the owner and artistic director of the Crosby School of Dance and continues the tradition started by Carl Crosby with the Crosby-Miller School of Dance.
Most recently, in 2008 Diane attended summer training in Taos, NM with Jilliana (formerly of the New York City Ballet) to study the Balanchine Technique and Balanchine Style of ballet.
Carl Crosby, Director Emeritus
Carl Crosby is a native of South Carolina. Carl's early training was in Columbia, SC, where he was considered for many years the outstanding male dancer in the state. He studied extensively in New York under such renowned instructors as Leon Fokine, Maggie Black, Valentine Pereyaslaveek, Igor Scwezoff, and many others.
He danced on Broadway in several musicals and performed on television in the New York area. While in the military he taught dance for the USO. Carl founded the Crosby School of Dance in the 1950's and was director of the school for over 50 years. He also taught dance in the Aiken County Schools and at the University of South Carolina - Aiken.
Carl received a Certificate of Merit from the Governor of South Carolina and an award from the director of the South Carolina Governor's School of the Arts in recognition of the superior training he gave his students. He served on the Dance Advisory Committee for the South Carolina Arts Commission for several years. Many of Carl's students how dance professionally throughout the United States and Europe.
Board of Directors
President: Wendy Swygert
Secretary: Mary Lou Wallace
Treasurer: Dennis Harkins
Please Check Back Often For Updates!