Runqiao Du, Founder and Artistic Director of “Runqiao Du Ballet Coaching”, a ballet educational program that provides quality live virtual ballet lessons for worldwide access. The program also conducts teachers training workshops, seminars as well as In Person summer and winter ballet intensives. As an active member of the international ballet community, Mr. Du teaches master classes, holds lectures at schools and multiple ballet companies. He is also a jury member for Youth America Grand Prix. Star of Canaan International Ballet Competition, and DANCE OPEN AMERICA.
Mr. Du was born in Shanghai, China. At the age of 11, he was selected and awarded a full scholarship to study at the famed Shanghai School of Dance. Upon graduating with honors, Mr. Du moved to the United States to begin his performing career with The Washington Ballet. During his nearly 20-year tenure with TWB, he performed various leading roles in classical and neoclassical ballets including Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Albrecht in Giselle, Prince Charming in Cinderella, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Prince in Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, and the Cavalier in The Nutcracker.
He also had the opportunity to dance leading roles choreographed by some of the most influential choreographers including works by Jerome Robbins, Christopher Wheelden, Nacho Duato, Mark Morris, Edwaard Liang, Septime Webre, Twyla Tharp, William Forsythe, Trey McIntyre, Lila York, and Jiri Kylian.
In 2000, while maintaining his principal position with The Washington Ballet, he accepted an invitation from the legendary ballerina, Suzanne Farrell, to join her brand-new company The Suzanne Farrell Ballet as a principal dancer. Under her coaching, Mr. Du danced some of the most important works created by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Maurice Bejart.
In 2008, after his illustrious performing career, Mr. Du accepted a lecturer position from the Dance Department of Towson University where he teaches Ballet Technique to the top level BFA Majors. He also teaches Ballet Repertory, Men’s Ballet Technique, Partnering, and is the Artistic Director of the Towson Dance Company for the fall semester. In the Dance Department, Mr. Du has played a major role in cultivating an environment for male dancers. He has written a new comprehensive curriculum to train male ballet students in college. He has also developed a new course called Method of Teaching Ballet Technique as a part of the K-12 teaching curriculum.
Mr. Du joined the American Dance Institute faculty in 2009 and was the Artistic Director of the ADI School from 2010 to the spring of 2015. He also formed Ballet ADI, the resident company of American Dance Institute from 2010 to 2015. The company produced two highly acclaimed productions each year during its tenure. In 2010, he completed an entire production of The Nutcracker for the ADI School students. The school performed The Nutcracker annually at the ADI Theater as well as benefit performances at The Children’s Inn at NIH and Walter Reed Army and Naval Hospital in Bethesda MD. In 2016, as Co-Director, Mr. Du created and successfully launched ADI’s Future Artists Initiative to promote and support diversity in dance.
In 2018, Mr. Du was invited to join the renowned Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC as a master teacher to teach a Career Seminar Course, Ballet Technique, and a Choreographic Composition Class to the school’s pre-Professional level and Senior level students. He became Artistic Director of Kirov Academy 2019-2021, under his direction, Kirov Academy was awarded Outstanding School at YAGP in 2020 and 2021. Mr. Du was awarded YAGP Outstanding Choreographer in 2020.
In the summer of 2018, Mr. Du was invited to participate as a master teacher in the Master Class Summer Intensive that was part of the 6th Shanghai International Ballet Competition. He taught the Senior level Men’s class and choreographed a new work for the class to be performed at the culmination of the Intensive.
Mr. Du has been a guest artist, master teacher, repititeur, and adjudicator nationally and internationally. He has choreographed over 30 classical and neoclassical works for various companies, schools, and universities, including his own version of the full-length ballet, Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker. His choreographic work has also been presented in festivals and competitions, including Youth America Grand Prix, VelocityDC Dance Festival, New Jersey Youth Ballet Competition, and the Millennium Stage at The John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts Center.