Carrie Diamond Receives 2019 Apogee Award

Executive Artistic Director Carrie Diamond was the recipient of a 2019 Apogee Award for Excellence in Dance Education or Training. Apogee Awards, presented by Nebula Dance Lab, “focus on Honoring those who dedicate their lives to Dance Education/Training, and the students who are the future of our craft.” The award was presented on February 28, 2019 at Center Stage Theater during a gala evening of dance works by children and youth of Santa Barbara. Here is the text of her acceptance speech.

Thank you Devyn [Duex], and Nebula Dance Theater for this award. This recognition for the hard work and persistence is greatly appreciated and I’m honored to be here tonight.

Fortunately for me, I started dancing in Los Angeles at 15 years old and my life changed for the good. I wish to recognize the phenomenal educators that shaped my understanding of what dance could be during that time. Mari Sandoval, who gave her inexperienced students a toolkit to start making dances, to explore creativity from the inside out. Don Hewitt, a ballet teacher whose sensitivity to music and deep love of ballet is an inspiration to me always, and Virginia Storie-Crawford, an energetic, highly creative woman and my first modern dance teacher. She is a terrifically theatrical choreographer and gave me my first professional experiences with her company. I performed in Schoenberg Hall at UCLA in a piece called Realtime Shadows with a score by composer Eric Valinsky who later became my husband. I am happy to say that Eric is the brilliant Music Director and Technical Director at AD&M and The Dance Hub today.

Fast forward: we spent 23 years in New York City. Came back to California, but this time to Santa Barbara, in 2002 and with two fabulous kids, Nik and Francesca!

The Santa Barbara Chapter: AD&M was founded in 2006 as a non-profit organization. Our idea has always been to make dance accessible to all. We strive to make dance accessible to people of all ages, including folks who might never have an opportunity to dance or lack the funds or mobility to attend a dance performance. I want to thank our board of directors for their commitment and support helping make these things happen in Santa Barbara. But our most amazing achievement was the opening of The Dance Hub on Victoria Street in the old remnant store, in the winter of 2017. Against all odds, we made it happen. We realized a dream!

The space, The Dance Hub, houses all the programs that we’ve built over the years in a space that allows them to flourish. We invite you to come visit the studio and take class and see what we’re all about. Our niche is to support the adult community by offering a diversity of classes and performances for all ages. You can easily find us online at

Thank you again for this award!