I was the one who steered the conversation to the topic concerning the number of possible open positions at NYCB.
I wondered about the number of potential hires because I figured that the larger the number of open slots, the better chance a person of color might join the ranks.
Another reason I wondered about the lack of East Asian dancers in City Ballet, was because I was under the impression that ballet was becoming very popular in parts of Asia.
That lead me to assume, evidently incorrectly, that this would mean an increase in the number of foreign Asian students in top American ballet schools like SAB.
Not to fret -- of course these are interrelated topics, but a conversation format like BA seems to work best with singular topics. And these are both so discussable, I'd hate to miss a connection in either one.
So back to diversity. I don't know enough about the recruiting policies at SAB to speak with authority, although I do know that, like the rest of the field, they do not work in isolation -- they have 'graduates' and colleagues everywhere who help to funnel students their way. But in general, those students have to already be in a pipleline, so unless their families are enrolling them in dance training to begin with, they need to be recruited in some other fashion.
Pacific Northwest Ballet's Dance Chance program has been discussed on this board several times, so I didn't want to brag on it again, but one of its main goals is to open up the possibility of a career in dance to kids who otherwise would not have had that thought cross their mind. While it's not exclusively about kids of color, they are a part of the target population. Like all dance training, the attrition numbers are big, but there have been some real success stories come out of the project, including Eric Hipolito (who was mentioned above)
I think it's pretty clear that there are many more highly skilled dancers coming out of professional training programs every year than those home organizations can hire. So on one level, artistic directors are making decisions among these potential new hires, and may bring unconscious biases of many kinds to those decisions. But their preeminent obligation is to find the best dancers they can to fill the spaces they have at that time, keeping their repertory and artistic vision in mind.