After 25 Years With The National Ballet of Canada, First Soloist Tanya Howard Retires

First Soloist Tanya Howard is set to retire after 25 years with The National Ballet of Canada at the end of the 2022/23 season. Howard will be honoured onstage by the company at a celebratory performance as she dances the role of the Stepsister in James Kudelka’s Cinderella on March 12, 2023.  

Tanya Howard said:

“I feel so fortunate to have spent my career at The National Ballet of Canada. I have made lifelong friends at this company and shared so many memorable experiences both on stage and in the studio. I have worked with some of the world’s greatest dance artists and been given so many incredible roles that have allowed me to grow as a dancer and a person. My decision that it is time to retire from performing with the National Ballet is bittersweet but there is much to be grateful for and I look forward to celebrating with my colleagues and our audiences on March 12 with one of my favourite roles, the Stepsister in Cinderella.”   

Howard was born in Uitenhage, South Africa and trained at The National School of the Arts in South Africa and Canada’s National Ballet School. She joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1998 and was promoted to First Soloist in 2007. A charismatic artist with a stunning stage presence, Howard shone equally in contemporary works, experimental new productions as well as legacy ballets.

In addition to enchanting audiences in the many roles she has danced, Howard is leaving an indelible mark on such roles as the Lilac Fairy in Rudolf Nureyev’s The Sleeping Beauty and the Snow Queen in James Kudelka’s The Nutcracker.  

In 2016, Howard was awarded the David Tory Award and in 2011, was awarded the William Marrié Award for Dramatic Excellence for her portrayal of the Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

For more information, Howard’s final performance dates visit: The National Ballet of Canada