Tara is the owner and artistic director of Patti Rutland Jazz in Headland. She was the owner and director of Oz Dance Center in Dothan for 12 years where she won several Studio Excellence and National Choreography awards. Tara strives to create a fun and educational environment for children to find their own artistic voice while instilling technical excellence in her dancers. She started dancing at the age of 8 at Oz Performing Arts Centre from her aunt and mentor Patti Rutland Simpson. She was one of the original founding principal dancers of Patti Rutland Jazz from 1992 – 2010.
When she was 18, she moved to Chicago where she studied with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. While there, she studied under world renowned teachers and choreographers including Gus Giordano, Nan Giordano, John Lehrer, Eddie Ocampo, and Billy Siegenfeld. Tara then moved to Los Angeles to work professionally. Tara worked as a dancer for the MTV Movie Awards with the Pussy Can Dolls, toured the USA with X-box and Wayne Foster Entertainment and starred in a Backstreet Boys Video. Her many television credits include CSI Miami, The O.C., Numbers and Spin City. Movie credits include Old School, American Pie 2, Gigli, Sky High and In The Mix. She also continued to study dance at The Edge in Hollywood.
It has always been Tara’s dream to share the gift of dance with children of all ages and backgrounds. Her mission is to create an innovative dance environment while encouraging self-esteem, respect, and discipline in her dancers.