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Artistic Director & Creator
Urban Nutcracker (2000 to present)

Tony Williams, Artistic Director & Founder 

At age 16, after experiencing trouble as a street gang member, he discovered a pathway to international success through ballet. His strong athletic abilities in track, baseball and gymnastics accelerated his dance training. Mr. Williams began his early training with the Lithuanian ballerina, Tatiana Babushkina. Afterwards, Mr. Williams received a scholarship from the Boston School of Ballet, training with E. Virginia Williams (founder of the Boston Ballet) and Sydney Leonard. Along with Mr. Williams’ first teachers, he also attributes his success to Sam Kurkjian, Hector Zaraspe, Perry Brunson and Frank Bourman. Mr. Williams also owes a great debt to Arnold Spohr, former long-time Artistic Director of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Robert Joffrey, founder of the Joffrey Ballet. These individuals offered invaluable artistic direction which Mr. Williams is totally committed to passing on to future generations of dancers. Mr. Williams joined the Boston Ballet in 1964 and after dancing for only three years, Mr. Williams worked his way up from Corps-de-Ballet to Principal Dancer. He then danced soloist roles with the Joffrey Ballet and was a Principal Dancer with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Gulbenkian Ballet of Portugal, and the Norwegian National Ballet.

Mr. Williams has been teaching in the New England area for over forty years. With this background and as a father of three sons and a grandson, Mr. Williams is very sensitive to the needs of children from all backgrounds.  Widely respected as a progressive dance educator, Williams has won the Dance Teacher Magazine Award and Wheelock Family Theater’s Wheel Award. In 2014, he founded the Tony Williams Dance Center in 2000. He created Anthony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker in 2001. Mr. Williams founded City Ballet of Boston in 2018 and Boston City Youth Ballet in 2019. He also founded BalletRox in 1996, American Concert Ballet in 1992, and co -founded Ballet Theatre of Boston in 1986.  Currently Mr. Williams is a Trustee of the Walnut Hill School of the Arts and a board member of the  Umbrella for the Arts in Concord, MA.