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Tara Z. Mullins

Director, and Artistic Director of the State Dance Company


Tara Zaffuto Mullins is the director of the NC State Dance Program, where she choreographs for the academic companies, teaches courses, facilitates the Masterclass Series, and creates interdisciplinary projects.  She recently founded the Lunchbox Series, a virtual lunchtime conversation series that uses dance as a springboard to delve into pertinent topics such as Arts and Public Health and the intersection of STEM with dance.

While at NC State, Tara produced Operation Breadbasket, a mixed-media modern dance honoring the civil rights movement, which was featured on WUNC’s The State of Things.

She also created Against the Railing, a digital platform and mixed media dance piece that tells the immigration stories of the NC State community. Her screendance Gull, in collaboration with renowned filmmaker Doug Kass, was screened at 16 international film festivals. Before working at NC State, Tara developed the education and service-based Z Mullins Dance Company. The company founded and facilitated such events as the Virginia Dance Symposium, which brought together high school dancers and professors from dance programs, and the Summer Dance Intensive, a ten-day program for high school and college dancers. She also planned and directed many community projects, such as Fitness, Food and FUN, a nutrition and fitness program for fifth-grade girls, and the Big Gig, a free youth arts festival in Miami. Tara has a B.A. in dance from James Madison University and an M.F.A. in dance from Arizona State University, where she received the Faculty Women’s Association Distinguished Master Degree Candidate Award for her work developing arts programs for homeless youth, as well as the inaugural Herberger College of Fine Arts Fellowship.