TRENT WILLIAMS, Modern/Contemporary
Monday, Nov. 20th
TAMARA DYKE COMPTION, Jazz
The BFA in Dance at the University of Arizona is a professional training degree, emphasizing performance, creativity, and career-sustaining practices. We offer experiences that optimally prepare dancers for future professional careers in dance. Students conduct their studies along three pathways relative to the student’s career goals: Commercial Dance; Concert Dance; or Dance Portfolio. The Dance Portfolio pathway provides a foundation for those interested in a range of career outcomes beyond performance. Students with a double degree are also able to craft a plan of study that allows for successful completion of both degrees. Students receive a well-rounded education and mentorship from a dance program with an intensive focus on professional dance performance, housed within a nationally lauded research-1 (R1) institution.
Trent D. Williams
Trent D. Williams, Jr. is set to join the esteemed faculty of the University of Arizona School of Dance as an Associate Professor this fall. He comes with an impressive background in dance, education, and artistic research, and the School is thrilled to welcome him. We are excited about the wealth of experience he brings to the position. Williams previously taught at the University of Florida, among other renowned institutions, establishing himself as a highly respected figure in the field of dance.
Throughout his career, Williams has made significant contributions to the dance field. He was a founding member of the Urban Souls Dance Company in Houston, Texas, and has performed with prestigious companies such as the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) and Tallahassee Ballet. His talent and versatility have even led him to share the stage with renowned artists like Destiny’s Child, 112, and Janelle Monae.
Williams’ creative research focuses on exploring the African diaspora, encompassing Latinx traditions, Caribbean traditions, and African-American traditions. Through his choreography and dance films, he sheds light on social inequalities and universal human experiences. One of his recent works, the dance film “Black Stains,” in collaboration with filmmaker Tiffany Rhynard, has garnered recognition both nationally and internationally.
Williams holds an MFA in Dance Performance & Choreography from Florida State University and a BA in Psychology from Morehouse College. His dedication to his craft and commitment to advancing dance education make him a valuable addition to the University of Arizona School of Dance faculty.
The University of Arizona School of Dance warmly welcomes Trent D. Williams, Jr. to its faculty, and students can look forward to learning from his vast knowledge, mentorship, and expertise. With his impressive track record and dedication to artistic exploration, Williams is poised to make a lasting impact on the School of Dance and the broader dance community.
Tamara Dyke-Compton serves as the Associate Director, Associate Professor, and Director of Graduate Studies at The University of Arizona School of Dance in Tucson, Arizona. She teaches jazz technique, modern technique, teaching methods, choreography, and dance ensemble. Tamara earned her MFA in dance, specializing in choreography and performance, from the University of Arizona in 2013 and her BFA from the Juilliard School in 2003.
Throughout her career, Tamara has been on the faculty at various dance schools, community colleges, and dance conventions across the U.S. and Canada, contributing to programs like Dance Masters of America, Domain Forget in Montreal, and The Dance Project in Toronto. She has also shared her expertise at renowned institutions such as Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, and The Alvin Ailey School in NYC, as well as the Red Rock Dance Festival in St. George Utah. During the summers, she co-directs the dance program with her husband Christopher Compton at Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, bringing in artists in residence such as Still Motion Stacey Tookey, New Dialect Banning Bouldin, Chuthis Peter Chu, The Limon Dance Company, YYDC Yin Yue, The Foundry Alex Ketley, and The Company Jacob Jonas.
Tamara’s performance career includes principal roles in Twyla Tharp’s Broadway first national tour of “Movin’ Out” and the first national Broadway tour of “Fame” the musical. She has participated in various industrials, music videos, commercials, and benefits, sharing the stage with notable figures like Paula Abdul, Patti LaBelle, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Ted Danson. Tamara has worked with esteemed choreographers such as Michael Rooney, Marguerite Derricks, Jimmy Locust, and Joe Lanteri. She has been a company member with NOVA Ballet and Convergence Ballet in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as dancing with The Juilliard Dance Ensemble, performing works by choreographers including Robert Battle, Aszure Barton, Peter Chu, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Amy Hall Garner, and Jose Limón.
Tamara’s choreography has been showcased at esteemed venues such as The Clark Studio Theatre in Lincoln Center, The Juilliard Theatre, DUMBO Dance Festival at The Gelsey Kirkland Theatre, and Mark Morris Dance Theatre. Her works have been featured globally, including performances with Ballet Jazz De Montreal in Quebec, Canada, Jazz World Congress in Tokyo, Japan, and Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, among others. Notably, her piece “Dead In the Shell” won Best In Fest at the Bell House Choreography Exchange in 2002.
During her academic journey at the University of Arizona, Tamara showcased her choreographic talent by choreographing shows for the University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film, and Television, including the musicals “Nine” and “Batboy.” She also served as Co-Choreographer, collaborating with Christopher Compton Leanard Berstein’s Mass at Centennial Hall, in collaboration with True Concord, Jubilant Sykes, and James Clouser. Stravinsky’s Les Noces was co-choreographed with Elizabeth George-Fesch and presented in collaboration with The School of Music at the Stevie Eller Theatre in Tucson, Arizona, highlighting Tamara’s diverse choreographic contributions.
In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field, Tamara has received numerous prestigious awards, including the University of Arizona Five Star Faculty Award Finalist (2022) and Semi-Finalist (April 2021). She was also honored with the Emerging Scholar Award from The International Conference on Arts and Society at San Jorge University in Zaragoza, Spain, and another Emerging Scholar Award from the International Conference on Health and Wellness Society in Vancouver, Canada. Both awards acknowledge Tamara’s outstanding scholarship and potential for future accomplishments in her research. Tamara’s research, in collaboration with her colleague Christopher Compton, titled “The Mindful Dancer,” focuses on implementing mindfulness, healthy rhythms, and habits in the technique class.
Furthermore, she was bestowed with the Charles and Irene Putnam Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona in September 2021. During her graduate studies at the UA School of Dance in 2013, Tamara was honored with The Ralphie Spirit Award, recognizing qualities such as optimism, kindness, aspiration, a unique sense of self, and a noble attitude. These accomplishments reaffirm her dedication to excellence in choreography, scholarship, and teaching in the realm of dance and performing arts.