Tamieka Patterson

Tamieka PattersonLamar University Department of Theatre & Dance, fostering community connection and collaboration in order to empower young artists in SETX toward a path in higher education, was invited by Odom Academy dance program director, Tamieka Patterson, to offer dance theory and practice in aerial, jazz and modern dance. It was through this program I was able to meet Tamieka and her vibrant young students. Impressed by not only the student’s eagerness to try something new, but the school’s commitment to fine arts as a part of a well-rounded academic experience, Ms. Patterson illustrated the passion and relentless dedication a teacher can and must possess to empower her students beyond the academic norms to maximum success.  

Tamieka, a graduate of the LU Department of Theatre & Dance, has spent the past 18 years developing a program at Odom Academy that surpasses any of its kind in the area. Growing up in SETX, she trained at Marsha Woody Academy of Dance. During her time at LU, she studied with the Cecchetti USA Classical Ballet and continues her education with the Texas Dance Educators Association each year. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with Tamieka on her experience during and after her time at LU. 

Tamieka, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments (both personally and professionally)? 
My greatest accomplishment professionally would be when I see my former students that are successful in life. But it's even better when you have those former students that pursue a career in dance. It just thoroughly warms your heart knowing that before they walked into your studio they had no experience and when they left you, not only did they have a love for it, but they kept dancing beyond high school and into college.   

My greatest personal accomplishment would be when I decided to step outside of my comfort zone professionally and push myself to get my master's degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration. But the decision came when I decided that I wanted to be the best me for my dancers and for my athletes.   

What is your most fond memory or favorite story of your time at Lamar University? Tamieka Patterson
Because we were such a small department at the time, the friendships that we developed were the greatest.  Therefore, there isn't one particular memory, but anytime we went to the American College Dance Association Conference was a time and a half, I will say that! 

What advice would you give current students and young alumni in your field? 
To always have a backup plan. At some point our bodies are going to tell us that we can't do this anymore despite what our minds say. And we may be able to continue to a degree, but not to the same extent. But always have a plan for yourself that you can live with when the time comes. 

A special thank you to Tamieka Patterson for taking the time to speak with us. It was such a pleasure to meet you, your students, and see how dance is thriving through the public-school system in SETX. We look forward to watching your students grow and seeing you use your passion and talent to empower the next generation of performing artists.