Amara Tabor-Smith

Continuing Lecturer


  • Bancroft Studio Office
  • Fridays 2:00-4:00 PM by appointment only
  • Email

Amara Tabor-Smith, artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater (DWDT), received her MFA in dance from Hollins University and The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts in Germany. She has performed in the works of theater and dance artists such as Anna Deveare Smith, Ronald K. Brown, Faustin Linyekula, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Paloma McGregor, Herbert Siquenza, Joanna Haigood, and she is the former associate artistic director and dancer with the Urban Bush Women Dance Company (1996- 2005). She has created work in collaboration with many dance and theater artists such as: Ellen Sebastian Chang, Jose Navarrete, Christal Brown, Byb Chanel Biben and was the co artistic director of Headmistress (2009-2013); an ongoing collaboration with dancer Sherwood Chen. Amara describes her choreographic work as Afro Futurist Conjure art. Her dance making practice utilizes Yoruba spiritual ritual to address issues of social and environmental justice, community, identity and belonging. Her work with DWDT and Headmistress has been presented at Judson Church, CounterPULSE Theater, Rue Danse Festival in Brazzaville, Congo; Dancer’s Group/ONSITE, ODC Theater, Dance Mission Theater and other venues both nationally and internationally. She has had the great pleasure of teaching at institutions such as SF State University, Naropa University, University of Colorado, Boulder, and Columbia College in Chicago. Residency awards include, The Headlands Center for the Arts artist in residence, CHIME Mentorship Exchange grant, CounterPULSE artist in residence, Green Choreographers exchange at Dance Exchange in Tacoma Park,MD, ODC Theater in SF (2013-2015), and she is a 2018 residency artist fellow at Sacatar in Bahia, Brazil.  Amara has received grants from The Zellerbach Family Foundation, East Bay Community Foundation, The Creative Work Fund, The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, Theatre Bay Area/CA$H. Amara’s recent grants and fellowships include, Creative Capital Grant (2016) and she is part of the inaugural cohort of the UBW Choreographic Institute Fellowship awards (2017).