Robert Steele began his early ballet training in Erie, Pennsylvania at the Erie Civic Ballet. He continued his studies at the Boston Conservatory of Music and the Boston Ballet School, eventually joining the Boston Ballet professional company. Mr. Steele went on to become the first foreign dancer to join the Royal Danish Ballet, where he was frequently cast as an understudy to Peter Martins. After two years in the Danish company, Mr. Steele returned to the Boston Ballet as a principal dancer, performing lead roles in the standard classical ballet repertoire and with leading contemporary and modern choreographers. Mr. Steele was often the first dancer to perform principal roles in major Balanchine ballets outside of the New York City Ballet - frequently under the direction of George Balanchine himself.
Drawing from his own training with such influential teachers as Virginia Williams, Vera Volkova, Stanley Williams, Maggie Black and Bill Griffith, he began his teaching career opening his own studio in Boston. Mr. Steele then accepted a position on the faculty of the Washington School of Ballet, under the direction of founding director Mary Day, where he spent the next eight years developing and directing a student company named "Young Dancers".
Returning to his home roots in Pennsylvania, Mr. Steele revitalized the Erie Civic Ballet, developing and directing it into a touring professional troupe called the Lake Erie Ballet. He later opened the Robert Steele School of Ballet and North Coast Ballet, receiving several grants and choreographic fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
For the past several years Mr. Steele has been a freelance master teacher. Mr. Steele's students have won a gold medal in the Moscow International Ballet competition, a bronze medal in the Varna International Ballet competition and perform in major ballet and dance companies throughout the USA and Europe.
Robert Steele served as a guest faculty member at Project Ballet for many years prior to relocating to Fort Wayne to permanently join our senior faculty in 2018.