Darrell Williams has a unique and diverse background that has brought together discipline, training, hard work, and dedication that can be witnessed when he takes the stage or enters a classroom at a dance studio. From 1981 to 1987 Darrell served as a Sergeant in the United States Army. It was during this time that he capitalized on his basic belief in training and discipline – critical tools to the mastery of his craft. Darrell also credits his early years of studying martial arts and playing Semi-Professional Football and Soccer (both in the United States and abroad) to the athleticism that has since translated into agility and grace needed to be a hoofer.
While mastering his craft, Darrell has also dedicated more than twenty years to working with intellectually challenged individuals with varying degrees of special needs. Darrell exhibits a compassion and extraordinary ability to inspire and motivate those he encounters. Darrell is studying to become a life coach who exemplifies that hard work and education mixed with a positive attitude creates a winning combination.
Professionally, Darrell has over 25 years’ experience as a professional dancer and actor. Darrell's talents range from choreographing tap to improvisational hoofing. Darrell is also a Master Instructor at various schools in the Tri-State area as well as a major force in the Philadelphia tap scene. Darrell began his early training at the Hedgerow and Freedom Theaters. Darrell attended the University of the Arts and was trained by the late, great, legendary hoofer, La Vaughn Robinson. He has had roles in various performances at the University of the Arts in such plays as A Streetcar Named Desire, The Colored Museum, and Streamers.
In addition to acting, Darrell has choreographed performances for the City of Philadelphia‘s Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade as well as Showtime at the Apollo. He has received numerous awards in Tap Choreography, including one that was featured on the Sally Jesse Raphael Show. Darrell has performed live at the Philadelphia Arts Bank, American Music Theater, Merriam Theater, Wilma Theater, Trump Plaza, and most recently at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Darrell’s students have won awards at the national level including Philly TAP Challenge, Tap Kids, and Break the Floor. His students also took first place in the tap Awards at New York City Dance Alliance, On Stage and Rising Star Nationals. Personally, Darrell earned two Choreography Choice Awards at Starpower.
Today, Darrell is the founder, producer, director, and choreographer of FOOTWERX, a tap intensive workshop for highly skilled tap dance professionals as well as non-professionals of all ages. FOOTWERX has three annual productions, which include the Holiday Show at The Arts Bank Theater, a summer intensive workshop that was performed at The Wilma Theater, and a professional production at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. One of the most rewarding elements for Darrell is to foster talent and enthusiasm in his students. FOOTWERX continues to offer a fun and competitive environment for growth and exceptional performances. As the Artistic Director of these productions, Darrell would like to thank you. FOOTWERX could not thrive without your continued and devoted support.
Darrell has seen created shows from the conception stage until the staging of the final production. Under his direction, July 2017 will see the 23rd Footwerx Tap Company production at the Suzanne Roberts Theater on Broad Street along the Avenue of the Arts. Footwerx Tap Company has had SOLD OUT shows at various theaters (Wilma Theater, Arts Bank, Kimmel Center) along the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia. Footwerx Tap Company is the only tap company in the Tri-State area to accomplish this milestone. Darrell has created 22 full-length theatrical stage productions – as opposed to recital based productions. He has choreographed Platinum & Platinum Pro award winning dances performed at NYDA Starpower Groove as well as other dances that have won special awards. Along with Footwerx Tap Company, Footwerx the Competition (Footwerx Tap Jazz & Hip Hop WERX/Shop Showcase) has been held annually since 2012 in Philadelphia.
Darrell’s students are inspired to dance by giving them the tools to learn from their mistakes, to let them know that it is okay to make errors and to let them be themselves. Darrell inspires them to be the best that they can be and let their love of dance shine through. He gives them all he has to give, and he makes the classes fun. Yes, you will work hard, but there are games and fun times too. The games help them to listen and focus - they do not even know that he has them working on those skills. Darrell often says that the dancers inspire him. Watching the dancers grow not only as dancers but as leaders. He also loves to watch them when they master a difficult step for the first time. They take such pride in their work. Darrell Williams is dedicated to his craft; he works well with his dancers – they want to come to class! He invests in his dancers! Teaching is not a hobby but a full-time profession for him!
Darrell is well versed with various programs such as Adobe, Premier Suite, Motion Graphic Designer and Graphic Designer. He is also well versed in video editing production on top of sound editing productions. Darrell is responsible for creating, maintaining, and running the websites and www.footwerxshowcase.com. He is also CBT and Mindfulness certified (By PESI). Darrell is currently working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT OCW.
All of Darrell’s talents can be transferred into all aspects of his career and what he sets out to accomplish – will be accomplished!
(aka) Tapmaster "D"
“One becomes a beginner after 1000 days of training. One becomes a master after 10,000 days of practice.”
– Master Mas Oyama, 20th century Karate master
"Slow is smooth and smooth is fast"
- US Miltary Training Mantra