Ann M. Williams founded Dallas Black Dance Theatre in 1976. She is a founding member of the Dance Council of North Texas, the Advisory Board of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and The International Association of Blacks in Dance.
She received her early dance training under Barbara Hollis (a member of the Katherine Dunham Dance Company), Edith James, Doris Humphrey, and Charles Weidman. She received additional training under Alvin Ailey and Arthur Mitchell. Ms. Williams is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University and the first African American to earn a Master of Arts Degree in Dance and Related Arts from Texas Woman’s University. She was honored as a “distinguished alumna” by both Universities in 1990. She holds a certificate in Arts Management from Texas A&M University, received an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Northwood University, and in May 2008 was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Dance from TWU. She served six years on the Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents. She is a 2002 inductee into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame; and in April 2005, she was honored at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as a part of the Masters of African–American Choreography series.
For 40 years, Ms. Williams directed Dallas Black Dance Theatre from a community-based organization and a semi-professional organization to a full professional dance company. The company performs in the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre located in the AT&T Performing Arts Center and tours yearly throughout the State, Nationally and Internationally. During its 45-year history the Company has performed in 31 States, 16 Countries and on 5 Continents.
In May of 2014, Ms. Williams officially retired as Artistic Director of the organization. She remains actively involved with the dance company as an emeritus member of the Board of Directors.