William Patrick Howell was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He started his dance training at age 15 at the Giacobbe Academy of Dance. At age 18, he was offered a full scholarship to train at The Rock School for Dance Education of Pennsylvania Ballet. After two years there, he trained at the School of American Ballet in New York City on full scholarship, where he also appeared in the feature film "Center Stage."
Howell started his professional career at BalletMet Columbus, where he danced many leading roles including Laertes in Hamlet, Benvolio in Romeo & Juliet, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jonathan Harker and Renfield in Dracula, among others. From 2004-07, he danced as a soloist with the United Kingdom's Northern Ballet Theatre, where he performed roles including the title role in Peter Pan, Gypsy pas de deux in La Traviata and D’Artagnan in the critically acclaimed Three Musketeers, a role that Artistic Director David Nixon created on him. While dancing in England, Howell was named dancer of the month in Dancing Times magazine. He also traveled throughout Germany and France dancing Don Quixote, and served as a staff member to the Blue Lakes Fine Arts Camp.
In 2008, Howell joined Milwaukee Ballet as a Leading Artist, where he performed numerous principal and soloist roles. His personal favorites include the title role in Stephen Mills' Hamlet, Frolo in Michael Pink’s Esmeralda and Captain Hook in Michael Pink's Peter Pan.
In 2011, Howell took a three-year leave from Milwaukee Ballet to dance with Germany's Theatre Augsburg, where he worked under some of the great choreographic masters of the 21st century, including William Forseyth, Christian Spuck, Itzik Gilili, Edward Clug, Demis Volpi, Douglas Lee, Maurice Causey, Annabelle Lopez ocha, Young Soon Hue and Kevin O’Day. He had many works created for him, including The Prince in Cinderella choreographed by previous Genesis winner Mauro De Candia. In 2012, he won a prestigious theatre prize for this role in William Forseyth’s Herman Scherman. Howell also performed alongside some of Europe’s greatest dancers at several galas and dance festivals throughout Germany, Turkey, and Serbia.
In December of 2013, Michael Pink joined Howell in Augsburg to create the title role of Dorian Gray on him.
Howell returned to Milwaukee Ballet in 2014, soon reprising the role of Dorian Gray in 2016.