Tamara Bliss is originally from Washington State, and for 18 years, danced and taught professionally throughout the United States. Dance companies she worked with included Metro Theatre Circus of St. Louis, Lynne Wimmer and Dancers of Salt Lake City & Philadelphia, Waves Jazz Dance of Philadelphia. In New York City, she danced with Peter Pucci Plus, Ed Henry, Matthew Diamond Dance and Rachel Lampert and Dancers.
Ms. Bliss taught in the faculties of Marymount Manhattan College and the 92nd Street YM/YWHA, (both NYC) and the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia. From 1976 to 1992, she toured throughout the United States performing for and teaching with these companies. Moving to Edmonton in 1993 to pursue graduate studies, Tamara performed with Linda Rubin, Kathy Ochoa, Kathy Metzger and Tony Olivares. Since 1997, she has collaborated with Usha Gupta on 5 different projects. “Nari, Nari My Love”, one of these collaborative performances with Usha, toured India, 2008-09.
Tamara is an Academic Lecturer in dance studies in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the U of A. She became the director of the Orchesis Dance Program in 1995, and continues to seek ways to serve dance and teach in the community. She received an award of merit for Excellence in Teaching from the PER faculty in 2007 and in 2012 was recognized as The Most Inclusive Educator through the On Campus program, including students with disabilities in many of her dance classes over the last 20 years. In 2013, she received a Foundation Award from Recreation Services at the U of A for her continued dedication and leadership with students through the Orchesis Dance Program. In May of 2017, she received the ATCO Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mayor's Celebration of the Arts - a huge honour.
Additional passions that inform and augment her dancing life include practicing and teaching yoga and Garuda, designing and creating costumes for dance and other performers, and traveling.