Richard Englund, 59, director of the Joffrey II Dancers and a leading figure in the American regional ballet movement, died Feb. 15 in New York of chronic lymphatic leukemia.

Englund, credited with training many young dancers and choreographers, had been head of the Joffrey’s training company since 1985.

He was founding director of the American Ballet Theater II (originally the Dance Repertory Co. and later the Ballet Repertory Co.), serving in that capacity from 1970 through 1985.

Englund also was co-director with Oliver Smith of American Ballet Theater’s Emerging Artists Laboratory, a choreographic workshop, from 1981 to ’83.

A native of Seattle, Englund began as a dancer, performing with the American Ballet Theater, the National Ballet of Canada and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and in such Broadway musicals as “Camelot,” “The Most Happy Fella” and “Greenwillow.”

In the regional ballet field, he had been director of the Birmingham (Ala.) Ballet and established the Huntington (N.Y.) Dance Ensemble. He also choreographed frequently for various regional groups.

He was a member of the original dance panel of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Survived his wife, dancer Gage Bush, and two daughters.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more