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David Howard
David Howard

View a video biography of David Howard
Produced by Bob Rizzo

A Tribute to David Howard

David Howard, "Teacher of Stars," trained at the Cone Ripman (now Arts Educational) School and the Royal Academy of Dancing, winning the prestigious Adeline Genee Award at 16. Mr. Howard was a soloist with the Royal Ballet for 7 years before joining the National Ballet of Canada President of the national Association for Regional Ballet from 1976-1979. He guest taught for Royal Ballet, ABT, Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and National Ballet of Canada.

After a successful performing career and at the invitation of Rebekah Harkness, Mr. Howard came to New York in 1966 to teach and later direct the Harkness Ballet School. In 1977 he opened his own school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, adjacent to Lincoln Center. On any given day, scattered among the serious ballet students who found their way to David’s barré, one could plie, tendu and pirouette next to the most elite in the field. Makarova, Baryshnikov, Gelsey Kirkland, Cynthia Harvey, members of England’s Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and numerous other companies throughout the world have made David the most sought after teacher. Since closing his school in 1995, he has traveled the world giving master classes to ballet companies, their affiliated schools, independent schools universities and regional festivals. He has coached many successful competition winners and given private lessons to television and motion picture stars.

Mr Howard is well-known for his work with international ballet competitions, adjudicating the 1979 Jackson competitor and coaching Gold medal winners, Katherine Healy (Varna 1983) and Jennifer Gelfard (Jackson 1986). The David Howard Dance Center was founded in NYC 1986. Committed to teacher education, Mr. Howard has created several instructional recording and videos.

David's unique methodology is founded in scientific approach to movement involving kinetics and anatomical principles. His teaching techniques are as revealing and applicable to the teaching of emerging young dancers and adult beginners as to established professionals. David Howard approaches the acquisition of ballet through dynamics of movement, musicality, and energy patterns. His kinesthetic approach eliminates much of the tension and resulting injury associated with technique as it is traditionally taught.


Words cannot express the deep sorrow the dance community is feeling over the passing of David Howard. He was a very productive teacher who believed in passing along his knowledge of ballet. His many training DVDs and CDs are a testament to his devotion to the art of ballet.
David Howard passed away on August 11, 2013.

New York Times Obituary


David Howard with his cousin Gillian Harrup Drapper, circa 1940.

David Howard’s career began as a child performer in radio shows and commercials. Working as a principal dancer at London’s Palladium Theatre he was honored by 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, appeared in London’s West End musicals, among them Bob Fosse’s Little Me, performed in cabaret throughout Europe and was featured in many television productions.

CD & DVD Titles by David Howard


Order #
2056 Millennium Capital of the World Tim Grundmann David Howard CD & DVD
2161 Look to the Rainbow Whit Kellogg David Howard CD & DVD
2368 World Tour Steven Mitchell David Howard CD & DVD
2471 Celebration Tim Grundmann David Howard CD & DVD
2574 A Dancer's Class Dmitry Polischuk David Howard CD & DVD
8201 Music for Ballet Class Lynn Stanford David Howard CD
8403 In Private Lynn Stanford David Howard CD
8711 In the Spirit of Dance Douglas Corbin David Howard CD
8914 Another Great Class Lynn Stanford David Howard CD & DVD
9018 Popular Songs Lynn Stanford David Howard CD & DVD
9224 Classics for Kids Mark Jelks David Howard CD & DVD
9225 25th Anniversary Douglas Corbin David Howard CD & DVD
9326 Class at 6:15 Lynn Stanford David Howard CD & DVD
9429 Favorites Douglas Corbin David Howard CD & DVD
9535 Music for Ballet Class Douglas Corbin David Howard CD
9639 Ballet of Today Steven Mitchell David Howard CD & DVD
9640 Ballet & Opera Classics for Kids Adam Pernell David Howard CD & DVD
9744 From the Americas Steven Mitchell David Howard CD & DVD
9748 Master Class Lynn Stanford David Howard CD & DVD
9849 The Harkness Years John Childs David Howard CD & DVD
9951 Hits from the Stage & Screen Steven Mitchell David Howard CD & DVD
9952 Classics and More Steven Mitchell David Howard CD & DVD