Project Description

Zippora Karz born on June of 1965 at the age 15, she left her home in Los Angeles and moved to New York City to study at the official School of the New York City Ballet. By age of 18 she was a full member of the famed NYC Ballet, rehearsing all day and performing every night.

She says: It was the stuff dreams are made of. It was a magical time. Then my world came crashing down when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 21. My body fell apart as I tried desperately to hold on to my dancing and my life. My story is about many things. On the one hand, it is about diabetes: the insulin shots, the blood sugar management, the diet, the exercise, and the psychological effects of having a disease. It is about overcoming the hurdles and going on to become a soloist ballerina, performing with the New York City Ballet for 16 years, and then becoming a teacher, coach, and repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust.

I am proud of the career I had as a ballerina, but my real story is about learning how to live with, honor and respect the self and the body.

My story is about living a full life, and not letting obstacles defeat you and dissuade you from following your heart.

Just as she was being featured in solo roles, Zippora found a way to continue to live her dream despite her illness. She became as passionate about health and healing as she is about dance. Today she not only teaches and coaches dancers, she motivates and inspires people of all ages to fulfill their dreams and potential through her teaching and public speaking. Zippora is currently working on her memoir, which will be published by Harlequin. Danced feature roles choreographed by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, as well as works choreographed specifically for her by such choreographers as Peter Martins and Lynne Taylor Corbett. Some of her featured roles by George Balanchine include: the Sugar Plum and Dew Drop Fairies in The Nutcracker, Agon, Apollo, Coppelia, Divertimento #15, The Four Temperaments, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Serenade, Swan Lake, Symphony in C. Featured roles by Jerome Robbins include: The Concert, Fanfare, The Goldberg Variations, In G Major, and Gershwin Concerto. Roles created specifically for her by NYC Ballet master in chief Peter Martins include: Les Petit Riens, Mozart Serenade, and The Sleeping Beauty. Zippora was featured in the documentary Reflections of a Dancer, Alexandra Danilova, Prima Ballerina Assoluta. She can be seen in Dance in America, broadcast on PBS in Balanchines Western Symphony, and was also featured in Balanchines Agon for The Balanchine Celebration, also on PBS.

She works as a motivator, teacher and speaker with organizations such as Children with Diabetes and The American Diabetes Association. She presently sits on an advisory board for the American Diabetes Associations Advocacy Leadership Council.

Zipporas self-authored work includes; chapter opening for Conquering Diabetes, by Dr. Anne Peters, Dance magazine, and Dancing with Diabetes, 1988. Zippora is a contributing health writer for, a website devoted to lifestyle and healthy eating specifically at the beginning of life.

Zipporas childrens story, Ballerina Dreams, published by Wiley, was launched in NY on Nov. 13th in honor of World Diabetes Day and the UN Resolution.

Is heading the non-profit arm of a new company,, which is a green and organic landscaping/construction company working with leaders in the field of sustainable agriculture and environmental design. As head of the non-profit arm of the company, this initiative is one more aspect of Zipporas dedication to teaching others how to be responsible for their own health.