When Ballet Theater and the Metropolitan Opera House collaborated to open a school at the Metropolitan in 1950, she remained there to teach. It later became the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School, and Miss Craske became its director during her nearly-20-year association with the school. She left in 1968 to become ballet mistress of the Manhattan Festival Ballet. She also taught at Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Dance, and for many summers at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. She continued to teach at Manhattan School into her 90's. Among her students were Melissa Hayden, Hugh Laing, Nora Kaye, Carmen Mathe, Paul Taylor and Sallie Wilson.


Injury Ended Performing


Miss Craske was born in Norfolk, England. She began her professional career dancing in music halls. Serge Diaghilev chose her for his company in 1920 after seeing her in a class taught by Cecchetti. When a serious foot injury forced her to stop performing, Cecchetti asked her to help him teach at his London studio. In 1931, she set off for India to study with Meher Baba, an Indian guru. She remained with him for seven years and continued as a disciple for the rest of her life.

An austere, private woman with a sense of humor, Miss Craske was an extremely popular teacher who was known for the consistency and clarity of classes in which she would sometimes spend hours on a single step. ''She was a tiny woman - maybe all of five feet tall - with little feet in pink ballet slippers,'' a student, Nancy Reed, told Klasina VanderWerse for a 1983 feature on Miss Craske in Ballet News. ''She'd wear bell-bottomed trousers to teach in, and her feet would dart out of the trousers like hummingbirds, the pants flapping.''

Like Cecchetti, Miss Craske stressed exact technique and attention to detail in her teaching, emphasizing balance and encouraging her students to pay attention to the quality of movement and the anatomical and physiological workings of the body.

Friendly Competitiveness

Miss Craske was thought by many to have influenced Tudor's choreographic style, though she herself dismissed the notion. She and Tudor ''nipped'' at each other's teaching, as one student put it, as colleagues at the Metropolitan, with Tudor sometimes teaching students wild variations on the strict steps and gestures she had taught them the day before.

Like Tudor, however, she believed that movement must ''mean something,'' as she put it. ''There is no room in the world for dancers running around and around the stage and then kicking their right ear,'' she said in a 1983 interview. ''That doesn't mean a thing.''

Miss Craske retired from teaching in 1986, moving to Myrtle Beach, where she had served as a director of the Meher Spiritual Center for 11 years.

She was the author of two standard references on the Cecchetti technique: ''The Theory and Practice of Allegro in Classical Ballet,'' written with C. W. Beaumont in 1950, and ''The Theory and Practice of Advanced Allegro in Classical Ballet,'' written with Derra de Moroda in 1956. She also wrote ''The Dance of Love,'' published in 1980, and the recent ''Still Dancing with Love,'' a journal of her work with Meher Baba.