Toinette Evelyn Tamayo is a Kansas City native and a third-generation dancer, with a lifelong passion for ballet and proficiency in various forms of dance. Her journey in dance began under the tutelage of her mother, Evelyn Lee, a pivotal figure in Kansas City’s dance history as a member of the Ebony Dancers and the Slick Chicks, two influential African American dance groups.
Immersed in the world of dance at an early age, Toinette further honed her craft at the University of Kansas City (UMKC) under the guidance of Tatiana Dokoudovska. Her dedication led her to pursue additional training in New York with prestigious institutions such as Dance Educators of America and Dance Masters. Notably, Toinette made history as the first African American female to join the esteemed ranks of the Kansas City Ballet. Her artistic prowess also graced the stage of the State Ballet of Missouri in a performance of Alvin Ailey’s Memoria.
Beyond her achievements as a performer, Toinette has been a dedicated educator, sharing her expertise with students throughout the greater Kansas City area. She has made significant contributions to dance education within the Kansas City Public School District and currently serves as a substitute dance teacher through a collaborative program with Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey.
Her impact extends to her 20-year tenure teaching dance for Kansas City Parks and Recreation, where she founded the Dance Revolution, a highly successful competitive dance team. Under her guidance, the Dance Revolution achieved numerous accolades, including three-time Overall Division Winner at the Spotlight Dance Cup and Overall Top 5 placement at Dance Champs Dance Competition. Toinette’s choreographic talent has been recognized with prestigious awards from competitions such as Dance America Dance Competition and International Dance Challenge Dance Competition.
In recognition of her outstanding contributions to both dance community and the broader Kansas City area, Toinette was honored with the “A Kindest Kansas Citian” award from the Maxey Dupree Humanitarian Award, a testament to her impact as a compassionate and dedicated leader in her community.