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Theresa Ruth Howard began her professional dance career with the Philadelphia Civic Ballet Company at the age of twelve. Later she joined the Dance Theatre of Harlem where she had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Africa. She has worked with choreographer Donald Byrd as a soloist in his staging of New York City Opera’s Carmina Burana, his critically acclaimed Harlem Nutcracker, as well as the controversial domestic violence work The Beast. She was invited to be a guest artist with Complexions: A Concept in their 10th anniversary season. In 2004 she became a founding member of Armitage Gone! Dance.
As a writer Ms. Howard has contributed to Russell Simmons’ One World magazine (art), and The Source (social politics), as well as Pointe and Dance Magazine. While teaching in Italy for the International Dance Association she was asked to become a contributor for the premiere Italian dance magazine Expressions. Her engaging, no nonsense writing style caught the eye of both the readers of Dance Magazine and its Editor in Chief who not only made her a contributing editor and has collaborated with Ms. Howard in See and Say Web-reviews. Her articles about body image prompted her to develop a workshop for young adult (dancers and non-dancers) My Body My Image that addresses their perceptions both positive and negative about their bodies and endeavoring to bring them closer to a place of Acceptance and Appreciation. She recently launched a blog by the same name to reach a broader audience (mybodymyimage.com)
As a teacher Ms. Howard has been an Artist in Residence at Hollins University in and New Haven University in addition to teaching at Sarah Lawrence College, Marymount, Shenandoah, and Radford Universities, and the historical American Dance Festival. As a result of her work at ADF Ms. Howard was invited to Sochi, Russia to adjudicate the arts competition Expectations of Europe and teach master classes, and in Burundi, Africa where she coached and taught the Burundi Dance Company. Currently she is on faculty at The Ailey School but also extensively throughout Italy and Canada.
Ms. Howard’s belief in the development, and nurturing of children lead her to work with at risk youth. At the Jacob Riis Settlement House in Queensbridge New York, she founded S.I.S.T.A (Socially Intelligent Sisters Taking Action) a mentoring program for teen-age girls where she worked to empower them to become the creators of their destinies. In addition she developed a dance program, which lead to an exchange with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Through her teaching and travels Ms. Howard began to observe a universal disenchantment and disconnection in teenagers that disturbed her, thus she set out to address it. Combining her philosophies of life and teaching, with the skills she garnered through outreach programs with diverse communities, she developed the personal development workshop Principles of Engagement: Connecting Youth to the Infinite Possibilities Within which gives teens a set of workable tools to increase their levels of success at tasks, and goals not only in dance, and all aspect of their lives.
Theresa Ruth Howard is certainly diverse and multifaceted as an artist, and is moved to both write and create work; however she sees every student she encounters as a work in progress, and the potential to change the world one person at a time.
The only was to make this world a better place it to be better people in it!