Mr. Thomas Armour (1908 – 2006)
Thomas Armour, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 95, was a world renowned classical ballet dancer, trained in Paris by the legendary Olga Preobrajenska. During his career he was a principal soloist with the Ida Rubenstein Company, the Nijinska Company, the Woijikowski Company, the De Basil Company and finally, Leonid Massine’s famed Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo. His performing contemporaries included; Alexandra Danilova, Igor Youskevitch, Andre Eglevsky, Rosella Hightower, Alicia Markova and Frederic Franklin. One of his most celebrated roles was Vaslav Nijinski’s “Spectre de la Rose”.
After being drafted into Military Intelligence during World War II, Mr. Armour’s performing career ended. In 1949, after the war, he returned to South Florida, where he took over a small ballet school. He started the Miami Ballet Guild, which became the Miami Ballet, with 501c3 non-profit status, in 1951.The Miami Ballet’s goal was to provide first class training and stage experience for aspiring dancers, by presenting full-scale classical ballets, with professional guest artists, such as Cynthia Gregory, Edward Villella, Natalia Makarova, Peter Martins, and Violet Verdy, to name but a few. Ballets presented, include: Giselle, Swan Lake, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty and La Bayadere.The Miami Ballet was also a co-founder of the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association (SERBA). Mr. Armour was honored with many awards over the years, most recently a “Lifetime Achievement” recognition from Dance For Life for his contributions to the South Florida dance community.