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Department of Theatre and Dance

  • Wideman Davis Dance Company members

Wideman/Davis Dance

The University of South Carolina dance program is proud to be home to Wideman/Davis Dance, our resident professional company, whose innovative works have been created here since 2010. 

Led by Associate Professors Thaddeus Davis and Tanya Wideman-Davis, Wideman/Davis Dance creates choreographic works that spark dialogue about the human condition by using dance as its central voice but not the sole voice.  The company strives to bridge cultural gaps through dance by bringing all communities and ethnicities together to view dance in its contemporary aesthetic. 

In addition to performances at the university, Wideman/Davis Dance performs both nationally and internationally and the company includes professional dancers from around the country. Current students and alumni have also been cast to perform with the company. 

A sample of works performed at the university include:

  • "Based on Images," a work exploring the social aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster;
  • "Balance," a work dealing with the issue of homelessness; and
  • "Bosket Affair," which uses the true story of convicted murderer Willie Boskett, Jr., to explore the familial and cultural roots which lead to violence in our society.

Thaddeus and Tanya also create works specifically for the USC Dance Company, which are performed during concerts throughout the year.


The Directors

Davis was featured in Dance Magazine’s January 2002 issue as one of  “25 To Watch In The World.” The premiere of his first choreographic work, “Once Before Twice After,” was named one of the top ten moments in dance for 2002 by The New York Times, which called it “reassuring evidence of New York dance’s promising future.” A year later, he was the 2003 recipient of the prestigious Choo San Goh Award for Choreography. In 2006, he received First Prize in Ballet Austin’s New American Talent/Dance Choreography Competition.

Davis danced with Donald Byrd/The Group for four years, where he also served as Byrd’s creative assistant. In addition, he has danced with Indianapolis Ballet Theatre, Fukuoka City Ballet, Atlanta Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Fugate/Bahiri Ballet NY (Dance Galaxy). As a teacher and choreographer, he has done residencies at The Juilliard School, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Butler University, Arizona State University, Ballet Austin Academy and has served as guest faculty at The Alabama School of Fine Arts. 

Davis has created choreographic works for Fugate/Bahire Ballet NY (Dance Galaxy), Donald Byrd/The Group, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, Ballet Austin, Ballet Memphis, Configuration Dance Company, Reflections Dance Company, Nashville Ballet, Ballet Met and Wideman/Davis Dance.

Born in Montgomery, Alabama he began his studies with The Montgomery Civic Ballet, Carver Creative Performing Arts Center and Alabama Dance Theatre. After graduating high school he studied and danced with Barbara Sullivan’s Atlanta Dance Theatre and Dyann Robinson’s Tuskegee Cultural Arts Center, before attending Butler University, where he graduated in 1993 with a B.F.A. in Dance. In 2012, Thaddeus received an M.F.A. from Hollins University.

Wideman-Davis has been noted by New York Dance Fax as “distinctive for the power of her secure pointe work and her personality.” She has received international acclaim and was given the honor of “Best Female Dancer of 2001-2002” by Dance Europe magazine. Wideman-Davis has trained with some of the premiere schools in the country, starting with The Academy of Movement and Music, The Ruth Page Dance Foundation, The Joffrey Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Chicago City Ballet and The Dance Theatre of Harlem.

In 1993 she was invited to join The Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she danced works by Balanchine, Glen Tetley, Michael Smuin, Geoffrey Holder, John Taras, Billy Wilson, John Alleyne, Alonzo King, Vincent Mantsoe, Jose Limon, Choo San Goh and Dwight Rhoden. Wideman-Davis joined The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago in 1999, where she danced many roles in the company’s vast repertoire. Upon returning to Dance Theatre of Harlem, she was named principal dancer.

Seeking an experience that allowed more self-exploration, Wideman-Davis joined Alonzo King’s Lines Contemporary Ballet in 2002 and worked there for two seasons before going to work with Donald Byrd at Spectrum Dance Theatre.

As co-artistic director of Wideman/Davis Dance, she has assisted in creating new works and setting existing works for Ballet Memphis, Phrenic New Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Fugate/Bahiri Ballet NY (Dance  Galaxy), The Juilliard School, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Reflexions Dance Company, Alabama School of Fine Arts and Wideman/Davis Dance. Tanya holds an M.F.A. from Hollins University.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.