Dallas Black Dance Theatre
Texas Women’s University (TWU) honored Ann Williams, the founder and artistic director of the world-renowned Dallas Black Dance Theatre, with an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Dance at its spring 2008 commencement. The ceremony took place in Pioneer Hill on the TWU Denton campus.
Williams is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University and earned a Master’s Degree in Dance and Related Arts from Texas Women’s University. She is a TWU Distinguished Alumna, a former member of the university’s Board of Regents and the TWU foundation, and a past president of the TWU Former Student Association. In September 2002, she was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, and in April 2005 she was honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of the Masters of African-American Choreography series. She has also been honored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
“It is rare for TWU to award an honorary degree said Dr. Ann Stuart, TWU Chancellor and President, Ann Williams has made profound contributions in the arts and is most deserving of this prestigious recognition – one of the highest commendations the university can confer on an individual. Her work embodies the mission of community and beyond. With an international reputation, Ann Williams continues to bring distinction and prominence to the university.”
Founded in 1976 by Williams, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) creates and reproduces contemporary modern dance at its highest level of artistic excellence through performances and educational programs that bridge culture and reach diverse communities. For 32 years, Ms. Williams had led the Dallas Black Dance Theatre from what began as a community-based and semi-professional organization to a full professional dance company with an international reputation. It is the oldest, continuously operating professional dance company in Dallas. Over the course of its history, DBDT has performed for 1.5 million arts patrons worldwide (40,000 of which were children).
Ann Williams has received numerous awards and honors. She serves on the Board of Directors of Texas Ballet Theater and The International Association of Blacks in Dance. She is a dance consultant and has served as a dance panelist for numerous organizations such as the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs, Texas Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.