Tanya Howard

First Soloist

Tanya Howard View Gallery

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


Five Things to Know

  1. 1Tanya was born in South Africa, where she started her ballet training and saw her first ballet, Giselle. She attended an arts high school in Johannesburg before moving to Canada at the age of 18.
  2. 2She has performed two very different lead roles in Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: kind-hearted Alice and the ruthless yet hilarious Queen of Hearts.
  3. 3Her signature roles include Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, Stepsister in Cinderella, Paulina in The Winter’s Tale, Summer and Autumn in The Four Seasons, Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, and the female lead in Voluntaries.
  4. 4In 2019, Tanya created the role of Eurydice’s Mother in the world premiere of Robert Binet’s Orpheus Alive. She also created the role of La Rose in the world premiere of Guillaume Côté’s Le Petit Prince in 2016.
  5. 5Tanya plays a famous ballerina, Jacqueline, in An American Girl: Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight, the eighth film in the American Girl series and the winner of the 2014 National Parenting Publications Silver Award.


Favourite Ballets

  1. 1Voluntaries
  2. 2Désir
  3. 3The Second Detail
  4. 4The Four Seasons
  5. 5Being and Nothingness





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


David Tory Award (2016)

William Marrié Award for Dramatic Excellence for her role as the Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2011)