Dancer and Choreographer Tamisha Guy Awarded $50,000 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance

The Vilcek Foundation Prizes celebrate the contributions of immigrant professionals in the United States

Tamisha Guy: 2022 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance

Tamisha Guy, a dancer with A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham, a dance instructor, and a choreographer, is the recipient of a 2022 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance. Her work engages elements of contemporary, modern, and narrative dance traditions to inform her performance language, which is intuitive and compelling. 

The Vilcek Foundation Prizes are awarded annually in recognition and celebration of the contributions of immigrants in the arts and humanities and in biomedical science in the United States. The prizes serve the Vilcek Foundation's mission to acknowledge and honor the positive impact of immigration on arts, culture, and society. Recipients of the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise each receive a commemorative trophy and an unrestricted cash award of $50,000. 

Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Guy immigrated to the United States with her family when she was 10. The transition was difficult for Guy. She found an outlet in dance, taking courses at Ballet Tech, the New York Public School for Dance. Guy went on to complete studies in modern and contemporary dance at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

Guy graduated from Purchase College, SUNY, in 2013, with a BFA in dance and BA in arts management. She credits her studies with Kevin Wynn at Purchase as having a profound influence on her development as a dancer, and on helping her find her voice. She joined the Martha Graham Dance Company and, in 2014, she joined A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham. Guy's position with leading dance companies honed her practice, enabling her to emerge as a new force in contemporary dance. Her work draws from the fluidity of modern dance as much as it draws from the rigor of ballet and the vernacular of hip-hop. In 2016, Guy received a Princess Grace Foundation Fellowship in Dance, and was included in Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" list.

Says Vilcek Foundation President Rick Kinsel, "Tamisha Guy is a maestro of her craft. She incorporates multiple influences into her work with a precision and dedication on par with masters of modern dance. To see her performances is to be struck to your core. Guy's deft movements are precise in their conveyance of universal emotions."

In addition to her choreographic and performance work, Guy is passionate about teaching; she is a lecturer in dance at Barnard College, and has taught at Purchase College, SUNY, at Gibney Dance, and at STEPS on Broadway. "I feel so fortunate to be able to share with other artists who are in their own sort of developmental stage," she says. "My hope is to be authentic and intentional in my work, to serve as a source of inspiration to other artists hoping to lead a career in the art form."

Read more about Guy at the Vilcek Foundation: Tamisha Guy: Finding her voice through movement

The Vilcek Foundation

The Vilcek Foundation raises awareness of immigrant contributions in the United States and fosters appreciation of the arts and sciences. The foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the foundation — to honor immigrant contributions to the United States, and to foster appreciation of the arts and sciences — was inspired by the couple's respective careers in biomedical science and art history. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded over $6.4 million in prizes to foreign-born individuals and supported organizations with over $5.6 million in grants.

The Vilcek Foundation is a private operating foundation, a federally tax-exempt nonprofit organization under IRS Section 501(c)(3).

Press Contact:
Liz Boylan (she/her)
Communications Manager
The Vilcek Foundation
+ 1 (212) 472-2500

Contact Liz Boylan by phone or email for further information and for any requests on image use or permissions. 

Source: Vilcek Foundation