Theresa Ruth Howard

Theresa Ruth Howard began her training at the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts under  Marion Cuyjet. The later she later studied at the Pennsylvania Ballet School before being her  professional career at the age of 12 with the Philadelphia Civic Ballet Company. She was a  member of the Dance Theater of Harlem, a founding member of Armitage Gone! Dance has  worked extensively with choreographer Donald Byrd, and has been a guest artist with Complex ions Contemporary Ballet. As a dance educator Ms. Howard was a member of the Ballet Faculty  at the Ailey School, for over 20 years, and has taught and choreographed internationally in conservatories, universities, festivals, and intensives.

As a writer Ms. Howard written for: The Source, Pointe, Expressions (Italy), and Tanz (Germany)  Magazines, and is a contributing writer for Dance Magazine. Her articles on body image lead  her to create blog which offers tools (specifically for dancers) to create a  healthier sense of self through principals of: Respect, Acceptance and Appreciation.

In 2019 she was invited to be a Jacob’s Pillow Scholar in Residence.Her Pillow Talk: Remembering Arthur Mitchell with founding DTH members Virginia Johnson, former principal dancer  and current Artistic Director of DTH, and former soloist and Ballet Mistress Gayle Mckinney not  only drew the largest audience for a Pillow Talk to date, but also received a standing ovation,  the first in Pillow history.

Theresa Ruth Howard in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem. On Aug. 14, leaders from more than a dozen ballet companies and schools will convene for an online discussion about the impact of Black Lives Matters on their institutions.
Credit…Elias Williams for The New York Times

In 2015 Ms. Howard founded Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet ( a digital platform that  preserves, presents, and promote the Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet. She is a respected advocate  and leader in the conversations surrounding diversity and culture in Ballet and the arts and is an internationally sought after diversity strategist, speaker and consultant. For the past four years  she has been member of the design team for the Dutch National Ballet’s (DNB) the bi-annual  conference Position Ballet a convening of over 40 European and international companies to dis cuss issues including: Heritage, Identity, Diversity, and the culture of Ballet. She curated the  DNB 2019 Black Achievement Month photo exhibition paying homage to all of the Black Ballet  artists who have danced with the company since1961.Ms. Howard also curated The Royal  Opera House’s inaugural Young Talent Festival 2019, Symposium Exposure, Access and Opportunity: Exploring the Cultural Barriers to Ballet Training. She is a member of the Design and  Facilitation Team of The Equity Project: Increasing the presence of Blacks in Ballet a three-year  initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation which has assembled a cohort of 21  North American Ballet companies into a learning community to address the issue of the lack of  diversity in the field. To address the issue of equity, in October 2019 they held their first MoBBallet Symposium(MBBS) a multi-generational personal development and educational intensive  which convenes an elite and diverse faculty of black ballet professionals and pre-professional  ballet students.

Ms. Howard and William Isaac in Karole Armitage’s “Time is the echo of an axe within a wood,” in 2006.
Ms. Howard and William Isaac in Karole Armitage’s “Time is the echo of an axe within a wood,” in 2006.Credit…Stefanie Motta, via Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Archives

She has been a mentor for many of the young men and women that she has taught over the years.
“The only way to make the world a better place, is to be better people in it!” ~T’Ruth