Provide superior instruction, exceptional curriculum, nurturing environments, rigorous standards, and rewarding performance opportunities for aspiring young dancers.
In the fall of 1992, Bayside Youth Ballet was founded by Debbie Diggs, owner of Diggs School of Dance, to provide young dancers with enhanced instruction and extra performance opportunities. Dancers auditioned for membership as an apprentice or senior dancer and set to work on the first performance on May 1, 1993. Over the years BYB has brought the gift of dance through lecture demonstrations and community performances. In 1996 BYB performed its first full length ballet, “The Snow Maiden.” This ballet was performed annually for several years before the company began showcasing excerpts from classical ballets and original choreography. In 2011 BYB returned to a story ballet performing “Peter and the Wolf”. Since that time, the company has presented The 12 Days of Christmas, Les Patineurs, Journey to the Land of the Sweets, as well as other excerpts from major classical ballets.
Bayside Youth Ballet, serving the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck regions of Virginia, has a long history of community involvement and exceptionalism through dance and leadership. Community service and outreach are an integral part of the membership experience, and are reached through benefit performances and community projects. BYB has fundraised and performed for a variety of needs ranging from local families to Operation Smile. In 2009 BYB started its first annual “Summer Dance Experience,” a free summer dance camp taught and led by BYB dancers under the supervision of the faculty of Diggs School of Dance.
BYB continues to look to the future as it continues to enhance the community through dance. The mission of Bayside Youth Ballet is to provide superior instruction, exceptional curriculum, nurturing environments, and rigorous performance standards for aspiring young dancers. As a result, many of the dancers have pursued a career in the performing arts field and dance education. Currently, alumni are faculty members of Diggs School of Dance as well as dancing and choreographing for companies in New York and international dance companies. Several alumni have or are currently pursuing a degree in dance from colleges and universities.
Board of Directors
The company is governed by a Board of Directors established to assist the company in realizing its mission and positively contributing to the quality of life in local communities
Judy Rowe, President
Sudy McNight, Secretary
Ann Andrews, Treasurer
Stephanie Erickson, Volunteer Coordinator
Debbie Diggs, Artistic Director
“Things can seem so small living in a small town, but dancing with Bayside Youth Ballet has opened a whole new world for me and allowed me to experience a greater world. I owe my whole dance experiences to Mrs. Debbie and BYB.”
Kamilah Turner, Professional Dancer
“Diggs School of Dance and BYB have been a wonderful experience for my granddaughter. Teachers are knowledgeable, caring but also require discipline. Great qualities!”
Betty Hudgins, Grandmother of Aubrey
“The adage it take a village to raise a child is exemplified as BYB members are encouraged to dream big, work hard, tackle challenges and know that you are loved for who you are by our peers and teachers. BYB became an extension of my family: the dancers were my friends and sometimes felt like sisters. There are difficult and various pressures on teenagers; dancing during these formative years gave me a purpose to keep my mind and body healthy. Mrs. Debbie told us “We only get this one body. We must take care of it so that it will last.” Dancing with BYB built my self-confidence, communication, collaboration, stamina/drive, time management skills and more. I owe much of my life’s successes to the foundation the BYB village supported within me.
Cory Richardson Allen, National Board Certified Elementary Teacher