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Hailed by Deborah Jowitt of the New York Times as “extraordinary” and by Alan Kriegsman of the Washington Post as “….incisive, electric, with deep undercurrents of sensuality, ….wild, willful, and mysterious,” Mary Williford-Shade(Professor and Chair) was a principal dancer with Mark Taylor, Mark Dendy, Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and Maryland Dance Theater. Some of her company repertory includes works by Marta Renzi, David Rousseve, Susan Marshall, Bebe Miller, Doug Elkins, Sean Curran and Molissa Fenley. Since then, she and her Baltimore-based partner, Sandra Lacy, have a solo-duet repertory company called “Lacy & Shade.”  They create their own work as well as commission works by such choreographers as Irene Hultman, Lisa Race, Gabriel Masson, Jeanine Durning, Jose Luis Bustamante, Sarah Sweet Rabidoux, Tonya Lockyer, Melissa Briggs and Michael Foley.

At TWU Mary teaches bodywork, modern technique, repertory, pedagogy and artistic process and has a MFA from Ohio State University and is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst. She is a nationally/ internationally recognized master teacher with teaching credits that include The Klutz Pedagogic Tanz Schule in Hamburg, Germany, Mukagowa University in Osaka, Japan, University of Quebec, Connecticut College, George Washington University, the American Dance Festival and the Bates Dance Festival.

Mary is a recipient of several prestigious university awards that include the 1999 Texas Woman’s University’s Mary Mason Lyon Award for Excellence in Scholarship, Teaching and Service, a 2003 Summer Research Stipend, a 2004 Research Enhancement Award and a 2009 Faculty Development Leave. This leave enabled her to investigate more deeply her research in performance process by commissioning solos from Ursula Payne, John Giffin, Sau Mui Cheung and Mark Dendy. Mark’s role was to take the three solos and direct and develop text, voice and new movement that has become an autobiographical solo evening tentatively titled Little Red. Along with this project, Professor Shade is performing with 6 other women in an evening performance called called SOLA. Last year they toured to such states as Michigan, Florida, Texas, and New York. They will continue their touring this year being produced at the Dance Complex in Boston, MA and the Sarasolo Festival in Sarasota, FL.

Photo Credit: Ella Bromblin

page last updated 9/2/2015 12:42 PM