Torya Beard is a New York-based director, creative consultant/strategist, choreographer, and producer specializing in dance and theater. Her curvy professional path reflects a deep curiosity about and belief in the boundless possibilities at the intersection of creativity, artistic expression, and social justice. Torya is currently Executive Director at A BroaderWay Foundation, Director of Original Tap House, Artistic Director at Excellence Community Schools, Co-Founder of the artist-led social enterprise tall poPpy, and serves on the boards of Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance and Raja Feather Kelly’s the feath3r theory.
After studying dance at The University of Michigan, she toured with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, David Rousseve/Reality, The Kevin Wynn Collection, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Earl Mosely’s Diversity of Dance, Deeply Rooted Chicago Dance Theatre, and Donald Byrd’s The Harlem Nutcracker, among others. Torya was a featured dancer in the film Idlewild and made her Broadway debut in Disney’s The Lion King.
It has been an absolute joy to collaborate with Ayodele Casel on various projects. Among them: Ayodele Casel + Arturo O’Farrill (Creative Director/Assistant Choreographer), The Joyce Theater; Diary of a Tap Dancer V.4 (Director); While I Have the Floor (Producer); Really Rosie (Assistant Choreographer), City Center Encores! Off-Center; “Rooted” (Creative Director), for the inaugural five-borough tour of New York City Center’s On the Move; Diary of a Tap Dancer V.6: Us (Co-Curator/Co-Director), commissioned by New York City Center. She and Ayodele are Resident Directors of Dance Lab New York’s inaugural Tap Project and Co-Curators of the Little Island Dance Festival.
Other projects: Funny Girl (Assistant Director), Broadway 2022; Waitress (Assistant Director), Broadway Reopening 2021; YoungArts (Regional Multidisciplinary Co-Director); The First Noel (Associate Choreographer), Classical Theatre of Harlem; (All-Female) Jesus Christ Superstar – In Concert; She is Risen (Producer); Idina Menzel 2017 World Tour (Creative Director); Harvard University ArtLab (Arts Administration Consultant, Fall 2019).