Mari DiLena began her professional career while on scholarship at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School, studying with Margaret Craske and Alfredo Corvino. As a child she was a member of the Met's Children's Chorus and danced leading roles in the children ballets produced by The Little Orchestra Society. At 17 she became principal dancer with the future Maryland Ballet Company. She also danced with Manhattan Festival, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and was a principal with Ballet Guatemala and the Dortmunder Ballet. After a long career as a dramatic and classical ballet dancer she joined Pina Bausch’s Wuppertaler Tanztheater where she was also responsible for giving ballet classes. After leaving the company she opened her own ballet school which she directed for 20 years. She taught extensively at the Folkwang Hochschule and taught company ballet classes for the Daniel Goldin Dance Theater in Muenster for many years. Since returning to the States in 2008 she has given Master Classes at different Universities and schools in the New York area and surroundings. Last year she was asked to choreograph a piece for the Harkness Repertory Ensemble at 92nd Street Y where she currently teaches adult ballet classes.