Tommie Waheed Evans headshot

Tommie-Waheed Evans is currently the artist in residence at PHILADANCO and assistant professor of studio practice at University of the Arts.

Dance training can’t be separate from life training. Everything that comes into our lives is training. The qualities we admire in great dancing are the same qualities we admire in human beings: honesty, courage, fearlessness, generosity, wisdom, depth, compassion and humanity. – Alonzo King


2021 Guggenheim Fellow Tommie-Waheed Evans is a queer Black dance maker, born and raised in Los Angeles, California, amidst racial divide, gang warfare and earthquakes. His work explores Blackness, spirituality, queerness and liberation. 

Evans began his formal training with Karen McDonald before receiving a fellowship for the Ailey School, and a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography from Jacksonville University. He has toured and performed nationally and internationally as a company member of Lula Washington Dance Theater, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Philadanco. Since 2004, he has created more than 50 original dance works that range widely in scope, length, tone and subject matter. waheedworks, his Philadelphia based dance company, is the primary vehicle for his creative research. The company’s mission is to create a radically collaborative body of work that speaks to the human condition. 

His work brings together urban street dance styles and contemporary dance vocabulary through bold and raw movements propelled by gospel music and polyrhythmic sounds. 


Evans has been commissioned to create works for

  • BalletX, Philadelphia; 

  • Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Texas; 

  • PHILADANCO, Philadelphia; 

  • Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Ohio; 

  • Verb Ballets, Shaker Heights, Ohio; 

  • Ballet Memphis, Tennessee; 

  • University of the Arts; 

  • Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Massachusetts; 

  • Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Los Angeles; and 

  • Louisville Ballet, Kentucky, among other organizations. 

He has received accolades and honors including Resident Fellow at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University, Princess Grace Honoraria Award in Choreography, New Music Project Grant, Howard Gilman Foundation Fellowship, Joffrey Ballet Winning Works, and recently a Dance Research Fellowship at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. 

UArts’ School of Dance is a beautiful community—a place where being creative is contagious.

Visit Tommie-Waheed Evans’ website. 

Awards & Accolades

Evans has been recognized numerous times for his work.

  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 2021

  • Dance Research Fellowship at the New York Public Library of Performing Arts, 2021

  • Princess Grace Special Project Grant, 2021

  • Center of Ballet and Arts Fellowship at NYU, 2020

  • Princess Grace Honoraria Award in Choreography, 2019 

  • Ballet Memphis New American Dance Residency, 2019 

  • Joffrey Ballet Winning Works Winner, 2019

  • Ballet X Choreographic Fellow, 2017

  • Billy Penn/Knight Foundation Who’s Next: Arts Award, 2016

  • The Howard Gilman Foundation Fellowship/Jacksonville University, 2014

  • Philadelphia LGBT Society Lights Award for Outstanding Achievement, 2014

  • Philadelphia Rocky Award for Outstanding Achievement, 2013