Karen Callaway Williams '84
Professional Tap Dancer, Tap Instructor
“Having the freedom to be creative as a teenager taught me the importance of encouraging my students to be creative.”
Did George School influence your experience as a tap dancer?
I began dancing at age three and arrived at George School at fifteen. Unfortunately, the George School of the early ’80s had no dance program, so I took my tap shoes to the basement of Main to practice.
George School had many amazing, creative students who inspired me. I remember both dancing and choreographing for school musicals, including Among Friends, written, directed, and choreographed by students. They trusted me with the choreography, which helped build my confidence.
At the same time, a few teachers saw that I had an interest in dance and took me to a local school for lessons and to the musical That’s Dancing in Philadelphia. Both faculty and students left the door open for me to keep growing and kept encouraging me toward my future as a tap dancer.
Today, in addition to performing, I teach nineteen classes a week. Tap is my passion. I want to carry on the rich tradition of American tap and then pass it on to the next generation.
More about Karen:
The first female tap dancer in Riverdance, a second-generation member of the Silver Belles (a group of African-American dancers), and a guest tap teacher on Sesame Street, Karen currently works as a tap instructor. She attended Spelman College as well as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center.