Earle began dance training at the age of five. He acted for eleven years with the Toronto Children's Players, directed by Dorothy Goulding. His modern dance training began with Yone Kvietys in Toronto and he spent two years on scholarship at the Martha Graham School in New York.
He danced in New York with the Jose Limon Dance Company and assisted Robert Cohan with the newly-formed London Contemporary Dance Theatre. Returning to Toronto in 1968, Mr. Earle co-founded Toronto Dance Theatre with Patricia Beatty and Peter Randazzo. He was appointed sole Artistic Director in 1987, taking the company to its first two triumphant seasons in New York and tours in Europe and Asia.
In his 30 years as a choreographer, Mr. Earle has created over 100 works including Sacra Conversazione, Baroque Suite, Atlantis, Boat River Moon, Dreamsend and Court of Miracles. Court of Miracles had 10 Christmas Seasons in Toronto and toured Canada and the USA. David Earle has created a large repertoire of passionate dance works for which he has been awarded the Order of Canada (1997).
Earle originated the School of Toronto Dance Theatre's Professional Training Program in 1979, and has taught at the University of Quebec in Montreal, L'Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, the Banff School of the Arts, New York University, U.Q.A.M. and Danse Partout in Quebec City, and for six years has given summer workshops in Victoria, British Columbia.
In 1987, he received both the Clifford E. Lee Award from the Banff Festival of the Arts and the Dora Mavor Moore Award for best new choreography for Sunrise. In 1988, along with Toronto Dance Theatre co-founders Peter Randazzo and Patricia Beatty, he received the Toronto Arts Award for Performing Arts. In May 1994, Mr. Earle received the Jean A. Chalmers Award for Distinction in Choreography.
Earle left the Toronto Dance Theatre in December 1996 to pursue an independent career. He launched Dancetheatre David Earle to support continuing creation, for the preservation of his repertoire, and to serve as a forum for younger artists whose concern is the expression of humanity in dance.