In May of 2014, Ms. Williams officially retired as Artistic Director of the organization. She remains actively involved with the dance company providing guidance for the annual Founder’s Luncheon and as an emeritus member of the Board of Directors.
Ann M. Williams, founder and artistic director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre, is a founding member of the Dance Council and The International Association of Blacks in Dance. Ms. Williams 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 earned a Master of Arts Degree in Dance and Related Arts from Texas Woman's University. She holds a certificate in Arts Management from Texas A&M University and received an honorary degree, 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.
She has received many awards and honors for her support and commitment to the arts and service organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Phi Delta Kappa, Sankofa Foundation Legacy Award of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Dallas Dance Council, NAACP, the Dallas Historical Society, Zeta Phi Beta's "Woman of the Year," and she was honored as a "distinguished alumna" by Prairie View and TWU in 1990. Ms. Williams is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Trinity Chapter-The Links, Inc., The Society, Inc.—Dallas Chapter, Charter 100, Dallas Chapter Associates of Jack and Jill of America, Lifetime member of NAACP, and the Black Chamber of Commerce. She has received The Real Estate Council's "Dreamers, Doers & Unsung Heroes" Award for 1996, the TACA (The Auction for the Cultural Arts) Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts.
For 37 years, Ms. Williams has directed Dallas Black Dance Theatre from a community-based organization and a semi-professional organization to a full professional dance company. Presently, the organization has an administrative staff of twelve and twelve dancers on an eleven-month contract. The company presents six series of performances at the AT&T Performing Arts Center Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre and Winspear Opera House; Dallas' new City Performance Hall; Ft. Worth's Scott Theatre; the Ailey Citigroup Theater; and tours nationally and internationally. DBDT's repertoire includes works of such noted choreographers as Alvin Ailey, Ulysses Dove, Talley Beatty, Christopher Huggins, Elisa Monte, Milton Myers, David Parsons, Darryl B. Sneed, and others.
She serves on the Board of Directors of Texas Ballet Theater and The International Association of Blacks in Dance. She is a dance consultant and has served as a dance panelist for the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs, Texas Commission on the Arts, Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, Houston Arts Council, Arkansas Arts Council, the Corsicana PRIDE Project, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
For 44 years, she was married to the late Nathaniel Williams, a retired administrator of the Dallas Independent School District. They are the parents of Angelia Williams, a graduate of Florida A&M University School of Business and Industry and University of Dallas School of Business Management.