Tanya Howard

First Soloist

Tanya Howard View Gallery


Tanya 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.

“Tanya Howard, debuting as Cinderella's assertive stepsister, reveals a comic mastery.”
Toronto Star

Most recently, Tanya created the role of Eurydice's Mother in the world premiere of Orpheus Alive. Her repertoire also includes Alice and the Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, Stepsister in Cinderella, Paulina in The Winter’s Tale, Summer and Autumn in The Four Seasons, La Rose in the world premiere of Le Petit Prince, Snow Queen in The Nutcracker and the female lead in Voluntaries. Her repertoire also includes feature roles in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Anna Karenina, The Merry Widow, Don Quixote, The Taming of the Shrew, Frame by Frame, Les Sylphides, Opus 19/The Dreamer, Elite Syncopations, Serenade, Jewels, Symphony in C, Monotones II, Désir, The Four Temperaments, Glass Pieces, Etudes, Paquita, Petite Mort, The Second Detail, Approximate Sonata 2016, Chroma, Genus, Angels' Atlas, Being and Nothingness and Night.

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

Quick Facts

Born: Uitenhage, South Africa
Trained: The National School of Arts in South Africa and Canada’s National Ballet School
Joined: 1998
First Soloist since: 2007


Swan Lake  
“Tanya Howard particularly shines as the Spanish Princess with her sky-high extensions and musicality.”
— National Post

The Sleeping Beauty
“Tanya Howard [has] one of those faces that just lights up the stage, was [a] charming Lilac Fairy... of the retinue of fairies, I particularly admired Tanya Howard for her expressive quality.” 

— Dance Europe

“Tanya Howard, debuting as the assertive stepsister, reveals a comic mastery one hardly suspected in such an otherwise demurely refined artist.”
— Toronto Star