Valarie Williams

Valarie Williams

Valarie Williams


614 292-5727

301 Sullivant Hall
1813 North High Street
Columbus, OH

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Areas of Expertise

  • Archiving and Documenting Dance
  • Labanotation/ Dance Notation
  • Repertory
  • Classical Ballet
  • Administrative Leadership


  • PhD, Texas Woman's University
  • MFA, Texas Woman's University
  • BFA, The Juilliard School

Professor Valarie Williams, a 1987 Presidential Scholars in the Arts honorable mention recipient in ballet, is a certified professional notator and teacher of Labanotation. She apprenticed at the Paris Opera Summer Program in Evian les Bains, France; toured with Lincoln Center Institute Touring Programs for four years serving as dance captain; and performed with the Dallas Opera and Sharir Dance in Austin, Texas. 

Current funded multi-year research collaborations Archiving Black Performance and DaNCe2U#mentalhealth engage with faculty, staff, students, and internal and external organizations such as Dayton Contemporary Dance Company; Department of African American and African Studies; Frank W. Hale, Jr. Black Cultural Center; University Libraries; The George Balanchine Trust; Anna Sokolow Dance Foundation; and Ballet Met 2 to develop artistic projects that produce critical conversations connecting engaged research and creative activity with solutions for global societal change. Williams' project Embodied Access: Global movements from around the world received the 2020 Ronald and Deborah Ratner Distinguished Teaching Award, and in this same year she was nominated for the Ohio Governor's Award for the Arts. In 2021 she received the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award from The Ohio State University Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry. 

Williams' teaching and research projects have been supported by grants from National Endowment for the Arts to restage, notate, and design content for multi-media documentation projects. She received project and operating support from the Ohio Arts Council and Greater Columbus Arts Council, along with donor and sponsorship support from such organizations as the Schottenstein Group, Steuben Glass, the Skylark Foundation, Taikang Life Insurance, among others. She teaches and sets works around the world on national companies in Peru and Ecuador, Nanjing University of the Arts and Beijing Normal University in China, and the Jakarta International School in Indonesia, as well as at home for Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Repertory Dance Theater, Emory University, and University of Texas at Austin. She has notated works by William Forsythe, Beverly Blossom, Yvonne Rainer, Bebe Miller, and traditional dances of the Hunan Province in China. Williams directs works from Labanotation scores by Humphrey, Graham, Sokolow, Taylor, Momix, Morris, Balanchine, Petipa, and many others.

Committed to shared governance, she currently serves on the University Senate as senator for the division of arts and humanities and works with members from across campus to bring a unique perspective as an artist and faculty member dedicated to solving problems though collaboration and negotiation. She served as the inaugural associate dean for Outreach and Engagement for the College of Arts and Sciences (2017-2018) and collaborated with faculty and staff to serve the college in creating and supporting a vision and strategic plan for engagement in developing an outreach presence that highlights engaged scholarship.  She served as the former associate dean for Arts (2006-2009), Arts and Humanities (2009-2017), and executive director of Arts Initiative (2012-2017) where she led The Ohio State University’s award-winning Urban Arts Space. She held leadership roles in The Ohio State University/Royal Shakespeare Company Partnership and the Town and Gown Advisory Committee that resulted in partnerships that highlighted faculty and student scholarship throughout the world. 

She serves on the boards of OperaColumbus, Columbus, Ohio; Dance Notation Bureau in New York, New York; and as Vice–Chair of the International Council of Kinetography Laban/Labanotation, Paris, France. She recently served on the boards of Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (A2RU) at the University of Michigan (2012-2018) Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Columbus Cultural Leadership Consortium (2015-2017), Columbus, Ohio.