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Ann Marie Williams

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Information about Ann Marie Williams

Profile image of Ann Marie Williams

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Artistic Director

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Martin
Favorite Quote:
Let's Get Moving.

Birthplace

Born:
10/21/1937
Birth Location:
Coolidge, Texas

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Artistic Director

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Martin
Favorite Quote:
Let's Get Moving.

Birthplace

Born:
10/21/1937
Birth Location:
Coolidge
See how Ann Marie Williams is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Ann Marie Williams was born Annie Marie Ferrell on October 21, 1937, to Lloyd and Izora Ferrell in Coolidge, Texas, in the Sandy Community of Limestone County. She attended the Sandy Community School, Phyllis Wheatley Elementary School in Hubbard, Texas, St. Anthony’s Catholic School, and Lincoln High School in Dallas, Texas, where she graduated in 1955. She was first exposed to the arts in high school. The field trips to the opera, symphony and ballet provided exposure to dance as a profession, and she also took private dance lessons at the YWCA in Dallas.

Williams attended Prairie View A&M University where she received her early training from Barbara Hollis, who was a member of the Katherine Dunham Dance Company. After receiving a degree in health and physical education in 1960 from Prairie View A&M University, she traveled to New York City to study under Arthur Mitchell. Williams, then, returned to Dallas as a dance teacher for the Dallas School System where she met and married her husband, Nathaniel Williams, in 1963. She took additional dance instruction under Edith James, Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman and Alvin Ailey. In 1968, Williams was the first African American woman to receive a M.A. degree in dance from Texas Women’s University. She also holds a certificate in arts management from Texas A&M University. Williams was hired to head up the first dance department at Bishop College in Dallas, where she received a $1 million grant to fund the program. She formed the Dallas Black Dance Academy to teach children who no longer had a place to take dance lessons after the funding for continuing education ended at Bishop College. At the coaxing of her staff, Williams also started a dance company. As the popularity of the dance company escalated, in 1976, the Dallas Black Dance Theater was born.

Williams serves on the Board of Directors of the Dallas Opera, Arts District Foundation, TAPER, Dallas Dance Council, the Texas Women’s University Alumnae, Dance USA and the International Association of Blacks in Dance. She has received a number of awards and honors for her support and commitment to the arts. The Dallas Black Dance Theater was commissioned to perform during the 1996 Olympics.

Williams lives in Dallas with her husband of forty-three years, Nathaniel Williams. They are the parents of Angelia Williams, a graduate of Florida A&M University School of Business and Industry.

See how Ann Marie Williams is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ann Marie Williams' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ann Marie Williams lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ann Marie Williams describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ann Marie Williams describes her maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ann Marie Williams describes her hometown of Coolidge, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ann Marie Williams describes her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ann Marie Williams describes her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ann Marie Williams describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ann Marie Williams describes her eleven siblings, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ann Marie Williams describes her eleven siblings, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ann Marie Williams describes her eleven siblings, pt. 3
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ann Marie Williams describes the Sandy community of Limestone County, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ann Marie Williams describes the families of Sandy, Limestone County, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ann Marie Williams describes Sandy Community School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ann Marie Williams recalls attending Phyllis Wheatley High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ann Marie Williams talks about her family's landownership in Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ann Marie Williams recalls becoming interested in dance at Lincoln High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ann Marie Williams recalls her decision to attend Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ann Marie Williams remembers Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ann Marie Williams recalls teaching dance at a middle school in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ann Marie Williams describes her friends from high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ann Marie Williams recalls her family's involvement in the Masons and the Eastern Stars
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ann Marie Williams recalls earning her master's degree in dance at Texas Woman's University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ann Marie Williams recalls founding the dance department at Bishop College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ann Marie Williams remembers founding her dance company
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ann Marie Williams describes the Dallas Black Dance Theatre style
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ann Marie Williams describes the Dallas Black Dance Theatre repertory
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ann Marie Williams remembers being honored in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ann Marie Williams describes her community dance school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ann Marie Williams describes the company of Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ann Marie Williams recalls hiring an administrator after her car accident
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Ann Marie Williams describes Chuck Davis' programs at Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Ann Marie Williams recalls her dance company's trips abroad
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ann Marie Williams describes the Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ann Marie Williams recalls finding a permanent home for Dallas Black Dance Theatre, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ann Marie Williams recalls finding a permanent home for Dallas Black Dance Theatre, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ann Marie Williams describes the renovation of the former Moorland YMCA
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ann Marie Williams describes the community's support of Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ann Marie Williams describes her requirements for members of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ann Marie Williams talks about the future of Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ann Marie Williams recalls advice from Alvin Ailey
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ann Marie Williams describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ann Marie Williams narrates her photographs