T.U.P.A.C. 705 Opera Alley Tacoma 98402

T.U.P.A.C. 705 Opera Alley Tacoma 98402

T.U.P.A.C. 705 Opera Alley Tacoma 98402 T.U.P.A.C. 705 Opera Alley Tacoma 98402 T.U.P.A.C. 705 Opera Alley Tacoma 98402

Classes in Classical Ballet, Contemporary, West African, Flamenco, Tap & POSE/VOGUE


A Ballet by Klair Ethridge

Inspired by conversations with the late Kabby Mitchell III & Dr. Maxine Mimms 

Featuring: Jade Solomon Curtis 


Sunday, March 29th 7:00 pm

Tacoma Little Theatre

201 N. I St. Tacoma 9840


All  attendees must have a ticket  - reserve your seat today!

Limited VIP tickets available (suggested Donation, $100)





Community Outreach by an Organization - 

Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center

This award goes to Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center for helping bridge the gaps in dance education for marginalized communities in Tacoma.

Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center (T.U.P.A.C.) was the long-planned vision of the late Kabby Mitchell III, who was the first Black soloist dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet, and co-founder, Klair Ethridge, also a former dancer. Mitchell and Ethridge recognized the inequity of classical ballet education for historically marginalized children and were determined to provide them high quality dance instruction in Tacoma. 

With the participation of Pacific Northwest Ballet artists, talented instructors, and dedicated administrators, the ballet instruction at T.U.P.A.C. is on par with that offered in other metropolitan areas. T.U.P.A.C. offers high quality classes for all ages including West African, Flamenco, Contemporary, Tahitian, POSE/Voguing and Hip Hop, which enhance their vigorous ballet program.

Students have performed in T.U.P.A.C. productions of The Urban Nutcracker and Harriet: The Black Swan as well as monthly Community Contemporary Classes at Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Mayor's Inaugural Ball, National Black Women's Caucus, Ocean Fest, State of the City Address, Murals through Dance, Ethnic Fest, Hilltop Street Fair, Kaleidoscope, and The Links of Tacoma Gala. T.U.P.A.C. also offers specialized dance workshops in partnership with instructors from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Spectrum Dance Theater.

Learn More


The AMOCAT Arts Awards recognize the people and organizations that positively impact the community with their passion, innovation, and commitment to the arts.  

AMOCAT Arts Award recipients are nominated by the public and the Tacoma Arts Commission selects one finalist in each award category based on the breadth and depth of the nominee's community impact as well as the quality of work being done by the nominee. 

There are three categories for recognition:

  1. Arts Patron
  2. Community Outreach by an Organization
  3. Community Outreach by an Individual

PNB Shares with T.U.P.A.C. Students & Teachers

Freed of London Pointe Shoes sponsored by PNB for T.U.P.A.C. Students


 Ballet is all about graceful lines. A pointe shoe that matches the ballerinas skin tone extends the line a ballerina makes from her leg to the tip of her toe. 

Complimentary PNB Performances for T.U.P.A.C. Students


PNB hosts T.U.P.A.C. Students to inspiring complimentary PNB performances!

Guest Teachers from PNB


Current PNB Company members and Instructors share their professional curriculum with T.U.P.A.C. Students.

Tuition Assistance for T.U.P.A.C. Instructors


 Teaching Artist Training Lab The Washington State Teaching Artist Training (TAT) Lab is a seven-month professional development program with a focus on supporting arts education as part of basic education in K-12 schools. 

2020 Teachers' Seminar


  The Teachers’ Seminar brings together dance educators from across the country for a four-day total immersion experience into the dance training, philosophies, syllabus, and dancer wellness program that makes Pacific Northwest Ballet School one of the nation’s finest professional ballet training institutions. 

PNB & Project Equity


 Thank you, Peter Boal, Ellen Walker, Denise Bolstad, Shannon Barnes, and the entire PNB Family for your generosity and commitment to The Equity Project: Increasing the Presence of Blacks in Ballet," We are elevated by PNB's commitment to even the Ballet playing field by sharing so many of their resources with T.U.P.A.C.

Community Outreach by an Organization - 
Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center
This award goes to Taco

An EASY way to support T.U.P.A.C.


Check out this great video of our 2018 Urban Nutcracker rehearsal.


TTT: 2nd 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,  Erricka Turner. 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!


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.

A C Davida Ingram Film

Check out this great video

Kabby Mitchell III and Mikhail Baryshnikov on Tour


Kabby Mitchell  III will always be our touchstone. TUPAC would not exist without Kabby's  vision. 

We shall forever be grateful for how he shaped our lives and shared with us his discipline, grace, fortitude, truth, constant quest for excellence and laughter. 

We shall always honor his memory by keeping his 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.


Adult Beginner Ballet

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)

$13/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)

$140 10-class card

$110 10-class card (students/seniors)

$95 10-class card (Barre Only)

Open  Adult Ballet 

Monday: 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Friday: 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Saturday: 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Open West African

Sunday: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

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





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.


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.

T.U.P.A.C.  would like to acknowledge our studio is on the land of the  Indigenous Puyallup tribe.  The Puyallup Tribe of Indians have lived along the shores of the Puget Sound in Washington State for thousands of years. The people of the Puyallup Tribe have been know for "generous and welcoming behavior to all people who enter our lands."  

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

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Donate to T.U.P.A.C.

Help our Cause


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

Be a champion to Tacoma’s youth in 2019.

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.

EIN#: 82-0972418

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.


A 501 (c) 3 Organization


Ivy, a T.U.P.A.C.  Ballet Student has written a book entitled, DANCE. Ivy and her family are supporting T.U.P.A.C. by DONATING a signed copy of her book  for every donation of $25.00 and more to support our scholarship program. 

Your generous donation will help  fund our mission.

A great gift for every lover of dance and literacy!

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


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

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Drop us a line!


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Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center

705 Opera Alley, Tacoma, Washington 98402, United States


Administrative Office Hours 2020

Open today

09:30 am – 01:00 pm

Come and dance with  us !

T.U.P.A.C. reserves the right to refuse  service to anyone at anytime for disruptive behavior or actions.

T.U.P.A.C. is a 501 (c) 3 Organization

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