A New York native, is the Artistic Director and Founder of NUBA Dance Theatre of Oakland CA since 1978.
At sixteen, she audition as a student with the Mobilization Cultural Arts Dance program on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There she trained with Rod Rogers, Pearl Reynolds, Pearl Premus, Luly Santangelo, Chuck Davis of the African American Dance Ensemble and the Juilliard School. There she performed Jose Limon’s “La Pin-lata”.
She studied the Graham Ballet & Limon techniques taught by Helen McGee, Mary Hinkson, Alfredo Corvino, Locus Hoving & Betty Davis. Ms Thomas became a member of the George Faison Universal Dance experience. She toured extensively throughout the US with the company performing major ballets. Mr. Faison casted her as eye of the Tornado in the original Broadway production of the “WIZ”.
Over the years she danced in other productions such as; The Dance Mobile, Derrick Walcott’s “Ti-Jean and His Brother’s, NY Public Theater, Shakespeare Festival, Houston Grand Opera Company’s World Premiere of Noa Ain’s Opera “The Outcast and most recently danced at Central Park’s Summer Stage at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater at Marcus Garvey Park In “The Wiz is 40. A celebration of Music and Dance ”.
Dr. Thomas received the Bay Area Critics Circle award for the Choreography of “Air Guitar”. with The Lorraine Hansberry Theater. She played the role of the “Women” in Lorraine Hansberry’s play “Les Blac” at the Arena Stage, Washington DC and The Huntington Theater Co in Boston MA. During that time she choreographed “Sweet n Hot In Harlem”, Buffalo NY and Springfield MA.
Dr. Thomas received the Peralta Community College Lifetime Teaching Credential in DANCE. She has taught at Community School of the East Bay, Hope Academy, BEACON School, Shelton Primary. Laney College of Oakland, CA, Debbie Allen Dance Academy of Los Angeles, CA, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Repertory Dance Theater in Trinidad & Tobago, Sharmk Daval Performing Arts Institute in Mumbai India; Hillside HS, & Durham School of the Arts.
Her passion has surfaced with a force of determination & purpose to create, design an Original Dance Theatre Production based on The Commemoration Anniversary of 400 Years of African American History.
"As a choreographer, I have always challenged my motives & concepts of not just seeing sequences defying gravity or birthing movements. I see the dancer who explores & transforms the musical dynamic vision of the choreography into great heights with desire, control and respect. " - Dr. Evelyn Thomas