30 Under 30: Tara Williamson

Tara Williamson has danced title roles in Romeo and Juliet, Carmen and Cinderella.  -
Tara Williamson has danced title roles in Romeo and Juliet, Carmen and Cinderella.
— image credit:

Age: 25

High school: Matthew McNair

As Tara Williamson describes it, she’s always had a passion for dance. She started at age three at Richmond Arts Centre with teacher Melanie Pudlas, who eventually pointed her toward Richmond Academy of Dance.

Her dedication to training was rewarded in 2005, when Alberta Ballet came calling. She’s still with the professional company today, and has danced title roles in Romeo and Juliet, Carmen and Cinderella.

Born and raised in Richmond, Williamson now calls Calgary home but visits her family in Richmond—including her brother who has Down syndrome—as much as possible.

The demands of a professional ballet company are great—physically and mentally. There’s training, rehearsals, choreography to learn, improvements to make, movements to master and strength training. She finds the time to teach ballet part-time and has also mentored young dancers with Alberta Ballet’s summer intensive program.

Inspiration? “The people close to me really inspire me. I like taking the amazing traits I find through my friends and family and using that as inspiration. My little brother inspires me.”

Most proud of? “I am most proud of my title role in Romeo and Juliet. I felt I really connected with the character as well as worked so hard to achieve quality in my movement. Actually, the first time I rehearsed the death scene in the studio, I cried. It was so incredibly emotional, and I was so into me being Juliet, I believed it myself, that I was about to kill myself for love. As I lifted the dagger to ‘kill’ myself, I started balling my eyes out and couldn’t stop.”

Advice? “My advice for others would be to have passion in your life and to have something to work towards. I believe success is not measured by how much you have, but how hard you’ve worked to achieve greatness. It doesn’t come easy. You must work hard. And you must have passion. Without passion, there is no desire to push.”

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