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David Howard RIP


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I was just hit with this news in my Facebook feed and it was like a punch to the stomach. My experience was watching him teach at STEPS and what an experience that was, every time! Master teacher indeed, but much more - an inspiration to generations of dancers, students and professionals alike. His passing will be felt by dancers around the globe and will reverberate for years to come. RIP, Mr Howard.

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Around the globe indeed Marga. Several years ago I was sitting in a cafe in Tel Aviv eavesdropping on a couple at the next table discussing David Howard's classes.

He was a great teacher. May he rest in peace.

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In June of 1983, 14-year-old Katherine Haley participated in the Varna International Ballet Competition, winning gold medal in the Junior Division.

This piece was choreographed by master ballet instructor David Howard especially for the event! Her partner was Greg Larson and the music was arranged by Lynn Stanford.

Ms. Healy went on to an illustrious career in dancing, figure skating, film, and graduated from Princeton in Art History.

Here is a video of that performance.

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When I was a ballet student in the early-mid 70s our studio in Calif went to two "dance conferences" for lack of a better term. I no longer remember who the organizers were but one year it was in Seattle and another year in Sacramento. Students were able to take various master classes and the weekend ended with a performance done by invited studios. I was lucky enough to take David Howard's classes there and enjoyed them immensely. My memory is of a very kind man who gave clear instructions and interesting combinations. I remember thinking "this is the kind of class real dancers take". I believe he also taught us some Bournonville technique but my memory might be faulty on that. Rest in Peace, Mr. Howard

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From the Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1024048/DavidHoward.html

Attracted to new ideas about kinaesthetic teaching – based broadly on learning by doing, rather than by watching or being told – David Howard rapidly became known for his independent-minded insights. He proposed that dancers should rely less on their mirror image and understand inside themselves what their best dancing felt like, infusing it with their instinctive musicality. “I think syllabus work is terrible,” he once said, arguing that it resulted in, formulaic, identikit dancers. “It’s so set, it produces cookie cutters.”

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I studied with David Howard at Harkness House in 1969. I loved his classes... I remember they were beautifully structured with wonderful movement quality. We always began with the Theraputic Barre. He was funny! He was kind! He was supportive! I liked him a LOT! He liked me! So many years ago, but he lives in my memory as a great teacher... He shall be missed by all his former and MANY students...

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I'm so sad to hear this! I took quite a few classes from David Howard back in the early 1980s in NY. Very good teacher, although by then his classes were so crowded that the experience was somewhat different from those lucky enough to study with him in more private settings. I really appreciated his manner of teaching, open, funny and clear.

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