Tabitha Williams made her transition today at 3:45pm. While I prayed for her recovery over the past few weeks, I also reflected on the possibility that this day might come and how I’d remember Tabitha in the unfortunate case that she didn’t pull through. I reflected back to our Dre and Company days, when Tab was chubby with spiked hair, and we’d all be dressed in matching Dre and Company T-Shirts for a group demonstration. Some nights Tab, Dre, and I (among others) would dance at “The Other Place” until 4am and then drive her back to Kankakee and crash on her couch until the next morning. We were constantly cracking jokes on each other and having fun. Like many who step, I recall my early days of dancing with a certain fondness that can never be duplicated as I grow older in the culture.
Little did Tabitha and the rest of us who danced and competed in the early 2000’s realize, we were creating history as the leaders of a growing New Skool movement in the dance. Tabitha was among the most talented dancers of her era, and her talent was such that she would remain a force on the dance floor competitively for another 15 years, having competed and won a number of Steppers competitions with top dancers from three different generations.
Many of the people who have taken the time to read this knew Tab personally. She was kind, she had a great sense of humor, she could be a little fiery at times, and she was always classy. Many of us watched Tab transform in front of our very eyes from a chubby soccer mom with baggy jeans and short hair, to a bombshell with a new slim physique, a fly wardrobe, and a sleek half shaved head. She also had a new partner, Peaches Anderson, who became a very instrumental part of her life.
To that end, Peaches and Tab were about as synonymous as Peaches and Herb. When you saw one you knew the other was not far behind. We loved to watch Peaches and Tab dance, or listen to Peaches cheer her on from the sidelines at one of her many dance competitions. ChiStepper sends its condolences to Peaches, as we are sure this is a difficult time for her.
Tabitha also had a close friendship with her dance instructor L. C. Henderson, who is undoubtedly devastated by the loss of an 18 year friend, and one of the most talented women to ever come from his famed stable of dancers. We also send condolences to Tab’s other instructor Andre Blackwell, another friend an instrumental figure in Tabitha’s dance career.
As I close, I want to say that Tabitha’s death hit me harder than most, and I’m very clear as to why. Without going into too much detail, Tabitha was supposed to have a quick surgery and be back to normal functioning in 48 hours. Unfortunately, God had other plans for Tab. At such a young age we lost an angel from a seemingly harmless procedure. Her death forced me to reflect on everything from my poor eating habits to grudges I’ve held. We often live like tomorrow is promised – like we’re guaranteed another day to make things right. As a result, I’ve made some real life changes in honor of Tabitha’s life, but ultimately to improve my own life. I’ve also seen changes in Steppers who knew Tabitha. Random Steppin friends and family who knew Tab have reached out to me just to tell me that they love me. I hope in some way, if only a small one, we allow Tabitha to teach us a lesson from heaven … to be more forgiving, more understanding, and more loving – to others and ourselves.
To that end, I send condolences to Tabitha’s family and her three sons, who were all little boys when I met her. Tabitha we love you and you will be missed.