"Where Classical Ballet Legends are Trained!"




Dance Theatre of Harlem Master Class at T.U.P.A.C.

Thursday April 25th, 5:30pm - 7:00pm


Seattle Theatre Group presents the Dance Theatre of Harlem celebrating 50 years of Amazing Ballet at the Paramount Theatre April 27th – 28th, 2019. 

You will want to attend the only Master Class taught by a DTH Artist in Tacoma while they are in the PNW during their tour. Ages 13+ must have at least 3 years of formal ballet training. Only $20.00! Space is limited, register now.

Dance Theatre of Harlem 

by Djassi DaCosta Johnson 

In 1968, at the height of the civil rights movement, Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook founded Dance Theatre of Harlem. Their vision remains one of the most democratic in dance.

In moments of extreme injustice and frustration the most impactful art is born. This is true of the inception of one of the most influential American ballet companies of the last five decades, Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Arthur Mitchell created the company in New York City, after making history in 1955 as the first black principal dancer at New York City Ballet. He was also the famed protégé of George Balanchine—the Russian-born dancer, choreographer and co-founder of the School of American Ballet. Mitchell’s impulse to start Dance Theatre of Harlem is said to have been spurred by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968.

Celebrating 50 years

 "The arts ignite the mind, they give you the possibility to dream and to hope." - Arthur Mitchell 

Register now to secure a space

Tupac's Urban Nutcracker

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The 2018 Cast & Creators of The Urban Nutcracker

TTT: Thursday's @ TAM w/T.U.P.A.C.


Community Contemporary Dance Classes

Join us at TAM every 2nd Thursday of the month for our Community Contemporary Dance Class taught by Master Teacher, and Artistic Director of T.U.P.A.C., Kara O'Toole. Join the Free class, just observe or sketch our T.U.P.A.C. students from 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM every 2nd Thursday from October thru June!


Dance is a Living Breathing Art Form



2nd Thursday's are free at TAM after 5:00 PM

Dance with us at TAM. For more info, call: 253-327-1873.

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A C Davida Ingram Film

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705 Opera Alley, Tacoma WA 98402

We mourn the passing of Arthur Mitchell 1934-2018

Mr. Arthur Mitchell & Kabby Mitchell III
                       (not related)

Mr. Mitchell changed the world, he will always be our touchstone. TUPAC would not exist without Mr. Mitchell's vision and direction of The Dance Theatre of Harlem. 

We shall forever be grateful for how he shaped our lives and instilled in us discipline, grace, fortitude. truth, determination and the constant quest for excellence. He was a no-nonsense complex man, and over time we came to love him for exhibiting those traits. 

We are so fortunate to have studied and danced under his tutelage. We shall always honor his memory by keeping Mr. Mitchell's passion for not only educating marginalized communities with high quality classical ballet technique, but also setting an example for guiding students in being respected world citizens. Thank you, Mr. Mitchell - we stand on your shoulders, and will always strive to relay your high standards to our students.

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Try a class and experience the joy of dance!


Whether you are a beginner or seasoned professional, T.U.P.A.C.  has something for everyone. Classes for teens and adults provide a wonderful dance experience on a drop-in basis with no pre-registration required.

Try a class and experience the joy of dance!

Class Rates:

$20/class (single class African)

$15/class (single class drop in rate)

$12/class (single class drop in rate for students with valid ID & seniors aged 65+ years, Military)

$10/barre only (single class drop in rate when taking barre only)

$145 10-class card

$110 10-class card (students/seniors)

$95 10-class card (Barre Only)

Open Ballet Int.

Monday: 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Friday:  10:15 am - 11:45 am  

Saturday: 10:00am - 11:30 am

Open Ballet Beg./Int.

Friday: 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Open Tahitian

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Open West African

Sunday: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Open Contemporary

Tuesday: 6:00  pm - 7:00 pm

2nd Thursday of the month Off-Site at TAM: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm





Posted on February 19, 2012 by 3 comments

Tupac Shakur, hardcore rapper, was a former ballet dancer. Below is an excerpt of his biography

Tupac Shakur’s mother was a Black Panther activist and she was in prison during her pregnancy. Her militancy influenced both his upbringing and later, his music. But it was acting that first attracted the young Tupac, who became a member of the 127th Street Ensemble, a Harlem-based theatre company.
As a teenager, Shakur attended the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he took acting and dance classes, including ballet. He later said that he would have been a completely different person if it was not for these experiences, and from that, we can take it, he would have lived the violent life, but without the music.
And it was while living in Baltimore, he discovered rap and began performing as MC New York. In the late 1980s, Shakur and his family moved to the West Coast. He joined the Oakland, California-based hip-hop group ‘Digital Underground’, which earlier had scored a hit with the song “The Humpty Dance.”
In 1991, Shakur emerged as a solo artist — using the name 2Pac — with his debut album ‘2Pacalypse Now’. The track “Brenda’s Got a Baby” reached as high as number three on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart. His second album ‘Strictly 4 My N. I. G. G. A. Z.’ crossed over to the pop charts, with singles “I Get Around” and “Keep Ya Head Up.” The album went platinum, selling more than a million copies. Around this time, Shakur also appeared in several films, including ‘Poetic Justice’ (1993) opposite Janet Jackson.

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About T.U.P.A.C.


"Where Classical Ballet Legends Are Trained!"

Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center (T.U.P.A.C.), a 501(c)3, offers classical ballet and multicultural dance instruction for children and teens ages 6-18 that aims to provide the discipline, the creativity and the confidence to reach their highest potential. Classes in ballet, liturgical, West African, hip-hop and Pilates concentrate on proper placement and gradual advancement of motion.


Provide our most deserving  racially and socioeconomically diverse youth with world class opportunities to achieve Artistic Excellence in the performing arts. 


T.U.P.A.C. envisions a future where our students will be globally recognized as T.U.P.A.C. artists by the content of their character, their poise, the generosity of their spirit and the phenomenal contributions they make to their communities and the planet. 


Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities accorded or made available to students at the school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its education policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs or any other school-administered programs.

We reserve the right to refuse services to  any person for any reason.

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Share the Love with T.U.P.A.C.: "Where Classical Ballet Legends are Trained!"

Be the champion to Tacoma’s youth in 2018.

Make  a gift to T.U.P.A.C. today and ensure our diverse and under-served  youth of Tacoma are able to explore the joy of classical ballet in an  inclusive and empowering skill building environment.

With  your support, the Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center will continue to  be a proactive, dedicated, goal oriented classical ballet school amid  the unpredictability in our city, our state and our nation.

Click below to make your 100% tax-deductible gift to T.U.P.A.C. 

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T.U.P.A.C. "Where Classical Ballet  Legends Are Trained!"

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Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center

705 Opera Alley, Tacoma, Washington 98402, United States


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