International master teacher, David Howard celebrated his 40th year of teaching in America in 2006. Born and educated in England, Mr. Howard was trained at the Cone-Ripman School, now the Arts Educational School in London. He completed the RAD Syllabus and at age 16 was awarded the Adeline Genee Medal, the highest honor a British dance student can receive.
David Howard’s career began as a child performer in radio, films and commercials. Later, working as a principal dancer at London’s famed Palladium Theatre; he had the honor of appearing in a Royal Command Performance before Queen Elizabeth II. He later joined Sadler’s Wells Theatre Ballet, now The Royal Ballet and was promoted to soloist status. Mr. Howard danced with the National Ballet of Canada and appeared in London’s West End musicals; among them Bob Fosse’s Little Me. He performed in cabaret throughout Europe and was featured in many television productions.
After a successful performing career, in 1966, he was invited by Rebekah Harkness to join the faculty and later direct the Harkness Ballet School in New York City. With the Harkness Ballet Company, he held the positions of Principal Teacher and Ballet Master. In 1977, Mr. Howard opened his own school adjacent to Lincoln Center. His classes became the mainstay in the professional training of many notable dancers. On any given day, scattered among the serious ballet students who found their way to David’s barre, one could plie, tendu and pirouette next to the most elite in the field. Makarova, Baryshnikov, Gelsey Kirkland (“I am forever indebted to David Howard for his enlightened teaching for over 20 years. He imparts his love of dance by inviting you to take a journey with him…you only have to want to go.”), Peter Martins, Cynthia Harvey, dancers from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and numerous other companies throughout the world have made David the most sought after teacher. Currently, he teaches classes at Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center and coaches Angel Corella, Michele Wiles, Jared Matthews, Yuriko Kajiya and many of the next generation of ABT and New York City Ballet dancers can be found in his daily classes. In 2000, he was Artistic Director of the First World Congress of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in Mexico, and for many years taught for the New School/Joffrey BFA program (presented later as the New School University/Engene Lang College program). In addition, he now teaches open classes at MMAC/Studio Maestro.
Mr. Howard still keeps his international ties teaching twice a year for The Royal Ballet in London working with Sylvie Guillem, Tamara Rojo (“If I ever become a ballet teacher, I hope I am as important to my students as David Howard is to me”.), and the up-and-coming young dancers in the company. In addition he works with companies in Denmark, Germany, Holland and Sweden. He has coached many successful competition winners and worked with theatre, television and motion picture stars, most recently Bebe Neuwirth, Mary Tyler Moore and John Lithgow.
The David Howard Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) was established to help young dancers and choreographers; create a dance library, with historical and technical books, videos, DVDs and dance music CDs; and sponsor research work connected with dancer’s diets, dance-related injuries and kinesiology. The Foundation presents teachers’ training workshops around the world and A Month of Sundays master classes for serious teen age students each January in New York City.
David Howard is the recipient of the 2006 Dance Magazine Award and is the 2007 Educational Spokesperson for National Dance Week. He received a Doctor of Performing Arts Honorary Degree from Oklahoma City University and the Dance Masters of American Award. David served as President of the National Association of Regional Ballet in America and for many years as an adjudicator and master teacher at the West Virginia Dance Festival in Charleston. He is prominent on the boards of many dance affiliated companies and dance publications. He has made over 100 CDs and numerous videos of classical instruction distributed by Roper Records, Jay Distributors and Danceables. His DVD Turns, Leaps & Bounds was produced by Bob Rizzo Productions and another DVD Legends produced by Bodarc and distributed by Jay Distributors will be released in the spring of 2010.
Mr. Howard was profiled in People Magazine, Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Pointe Magazine, Dancer Magazine and Ballet Review. He gave the keynote address at the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) at their 2008 annual meeting in Cleveland, Ohio. He is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World and The Art of Teaching Ballet…Ten Twentieth Century Masters which quotes its author, Gretchen Warren: “David Howard’s wizardry is something dancers feel in their bones. For years they have flocked to him in large numbers and today he is the best know, most popular ballet teacher working in America.”
Q&A with David Howard from Indianapolis City Ballet on Vimeo.