KAREN CALLAWAY WILLIAMS
Internationally Recognized Tap Artist
Karen Callaway Williams is known for being both the first African-American female tap dancer and dance captain in RIVERDANCE - THE SHOW and the only African-American female tap dancer anddance captain in RIVERDANCE - ON BROADWAY. Other Broadway credits include the Tony Award nominated Duke Ellington musical PLAY ON. She is currently featured on the cover of Flow Magazine and in the wonderful current documentary BEEN RICH ALL MY LIFE the story of the Silver Belle, a group of Chorus Girls from the 1930's and 1940's. She is currently a Second Generation Silver Belle and the Artistic Director of this group.
Karen has toured extensively performing in 31 States and 13 countries having recently returned from a two and a half month run of HINTON BATTLE'S AMERICAN VARIETY BANG in Osaka, Japan. She has also traveled to Zurich Switzerland for the fourth time as instructor for the Zurich Tap Festival, The United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain) with the Duke Ellington Big Band, Armenia and Romania with TAP CITY ON TOUR through the Unites States Embassy, the ALL THAT TAP TAIPEI festival in Taiwan, on Canadian soil with TAP GIANTS and Tap TEL AVIV and in Beijing, China, Canada and North America with the RIVERDANCE Flying Squad and RIVERDANCE, Boyne Company.
In 2013, Karen was a Flo-Bert Honoree and received the Florence Mills Award and will be awarded in July 2015 with the Hoofers Award from the American Tap Dance Federation. DANCE MAGAZINE heralded her as "a graceful dream with taps as happy as a song" and the New York Times called her “a gifted traditionalist with laughing eyes”.
Karen has been featured as a tap solo artist with the Baltimore and New Jersey Symphony Orchestras on several occasions. She was also a featured soloist for the Detroit and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras for their YULETIDE CELEBRATIONS, as well as the BSO HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR and in ALL THAT JAZZ with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In addition she was a soloist and special guest choreographer for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra as well as a special guest solo artist in AN INVITATION TO THE DANCE with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to performing, Ms. Williams has established herself as a prominent tap instructor teaching statewide on a weekly basis for more than 30 years. Her teaching history includes Spelman College, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Poly-Ethnic Preparatory Country Day School, the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan, The New Jersey Performing Arts Center Dance Academy, Art Stone's Dance Olympus, the New York City Dance Alliance, national and international tap festivals, dance camps, master classes and enrichment programs.