Oklahoma City University News
World-Renowned Ballet Instructor Deems OCU ‘Finest in the Country’
OKLAHOMA CITY— World-renowned ballet instructor David Howard returned to the Oklahoma City University campus this summer to teach at the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management’s “Learning Intensive in American Dance.”
Howard holds an Honorary Doctor of Performing Arts from OCU. He taught last week alongside internationally-renowned dance accompanist Steven Mitchell and the nationally-recognized OCU dance faculty. The workshop was created for dance instructors and high school students ages 15 to 18 who are serious about studying dance.
“This intensive is geared toward teachers’ and students’ abilities to problem solve ballet technique,” said Jo Rowan, OCU dance department chair. “Teachers are learning how to create both an inspirational and technically-safe class and students are learning to teach themselves properly because dancers are always in charge of their own success.”
Howard said he enjoyed returning to OCU.
“I received an honorary doctorate degree from OCU in 1999 and it’s been wonderful to see all the people that were part of that. This is a fabulous program. The school has a reputation of being the finest of its kind in the country and it is.”
Howard began his career as a child performer in commercials and radio shows. He worked as a principal dancer at London’s Palladium Theatre and appeared in a Royal Command Performance before Queen Elizabeth II. Howard was promoted to soloist status in The Royal Ballet and had danced with the National Ballet of Canada, appeared in London’s West End musicals and performed in numerous television productions. Howard opened his own Manhattan dance school in 1977 and now teaches at Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center.
Rowan said Howard brought tremendous insight to the intensive.
“He is pertinent and sensitive to what we need to know as teachers in order to improve the quality of our students’ technical ability and artistry,” she said.
“This has been a completely breathtaking experience,” said participant and dance teacher Erika Johnson, of Portland, Ore.
“The best part is that David is so much fun,” said participant and teacher Diane King, of Chicago, Ill.
“His unique approach to teaching ballet in a kinesthetic manner is such a logical approach for the mind and body,” said Kay Sandel, OCU dance pedagogy artist in residence.
For more information about Oklahoma City University dance intensives, visit www.okcu.edu/dance_amgt .