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Former Royal Ballet Soloist David Howard dies

Former dancer went on to set up school in New York, coaching thousands over four decades.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

12 August 2013 at 5.28pm | 3 Comments

Former Royal Ballet Soloist David Howard has died.

David danced at Covent Garden for seven years before joining the National Ballet of Canada in 1963. In 1966 he moved to New York where he taught at a new dance school set up by Rebekah Harkness. There he coached Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov, and in 1977 he set up his own dance school in Manhattan, which he ran for 18 years.

He returned to Covent Garden as a guest teacher, and also coached at American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada.

Director of The Royal Ballet Kevin O'Hare said:

‘It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of David Howard.  David was a highly respected and popular guest teacher and will be remembered by myself and the current generation of Royal Ballet dancers.  He first came to teach for the Company in 1997 and returned annually until 2011 when his decreasing mobility prevented him from continuing to do so.  David was a highly knowledgeable teacher who continually inspired the dancers and always brought us up to date with what was happening in the New York dance world. He will be sadly missed by the enormous number of dancers he has helped and encouraged over several decades.’

Read a 2012 interview with David about his four decades in New York

Read the notes from a Ballet Association demonstration by David in 2003

Did you see David dance? Share your memories of his performances and teaching.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

12 August 2013 at 5.28pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged David Howard

This article has 3 comments

  1. Joanne Simmons responded on 12 August 2013 at 7:17pm Reply

    Another sad loss to the dance world - RIP Mr Howard

  2. Amanda Jennings responded on 12 August 2013 at 8:09pm Reply

    He was a wonderful teacher, one of the best.

  3. David Howard, ballet Master teacher, has been a guide to many. I took my first class from him when I was 15 years old. We have attended his classes in New York whenever possible. I clearly remember one class that I took a couple of years ago where the ballet barre area I stood in was filled with other teachers. This was generally the case because he was so well respected. I am really glad that I had the opportunity to attend his class in New York last month. And, I am grateful to him for sharing his knowledge and love of ballet with so many for so long.

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