KAREN CALLAWAY WILLIAMS the Producer of Rhythms for Ruby 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 and dance 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 Belles, having now received the honor of being a Second Generation Silver Belle.
Karen has toured extensively having recently returned from Armenia with TAP CITY ON TOUR thru 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.
She was featured in a Black History edition of ESSENCE Magazine, which highlighted four female African-American tap artists. She was also interviewed on BOJANGLES THE LEGACY for SHOWTIME as well as in a special guest spot on "SESAME STREET". A graduate of Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia, she is also an alumna of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center (AAADC) in New York City.
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".
She was a featured tap solo artist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for their YULETIDE CELEBRATIONS, a special guest solo artist in AN INVITATION TO THE DANCE with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and in ALL THAT JAZZ and the BSO HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
In addition she was a soloist and special guest choreographer for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Two memorable performances were held at THE HOLE IN THE WALL GANG CAMP for Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward and at the APOLLO THEATRE with the Silver Belles for President Bill Clinton.
As a member of DancEllington Dance Company under the direction of Mercedes Ellington, Karen danced with the Duke Ellington Orchestra under the direction of Mercer Ellington and later as a soloist for Paul Ellington nationally and internationally. She was the lone female tap artist in THE MAJESTY OF TAP at Lincoln Center featuring Jimmy Slyde, Lon Chaney, Chuck Green and Bunny Briggs in Lincoln Center's Reel to Real Series, including YANKEE DOODLE BOYS, THE BROTHERHOOD OF TAP and STORY T'ELLINGTON.
In addition to performing, Ms. Williams has established herself as a prominent tap instructor teaching statewide on a weekly basis.
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, the New York City Dance Alliance, national and international tap festivals, dance camps, master classes and enrichment programs.
When not on Broadway, Karen is a soloist and original member of the NEW JERSEY TAP ENSEMBLE, performing in their high energy shows A STOP ON THE A-TRAIN, THE NEXT STEP, RHYTHM IS OUR BUSINESS, BY GEORGE IT'S GERSHWIN and PASS IT ON.
She also gives lecturer/demonstrations and educational assembly programs in elementary, middle and high schools for the Paper Mill Playhouse on "Living Legends of Tap Dance" and other tap dance topics in addition to being involved with "Living Life to its Fullest", a program promoting a drug and alcohol free life style. Look for the upcoming release of her first children's book "Rhythms for Ruby" a bedtime story.