January 28, 2022

Jan 30: My life in dance: A talk by Dr. Elgie Gaynell Sherrod

Dr. Elgie Gaynell Sherrod

Ananya Dance Theatre will present Dr. Elgie Gaynell Sherrod in an online talk, Sunday, January 30, 4:30pm-6pm. Dr. Sherrod will share insights from her rich experiences in concert dance, with specific reference to Black legacies in American dance.

Join the conversation on two platforms: (1) Zoom • Meeting ID: 491 001 6901 • https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4910016901 or (2) Instagram • Live-stream on Ananya Dance Theatre’s page: @ananyadancetheatre

Dr. Sherrod began her formal dance training in high school with Dr. Kariamu Welsh and (the late) Pearl Reynolds, studying African-derived dance forms Umfundalai and the Katherine Dunham technique.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in Psychology, she joined the dance faculty at the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts, a public arts academy in Buffalo, New York.

She subsequently pursued a career in dance performance and joined the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco!), where she refined her craft under the direction of Joan Meyers Brown and other acclaimed teachers and choreographers.

After 15 years of performing, touring, and teaching with PHILADANCO! and Urban Bush Women, she earned a master’s degree in dance education and a Doctorate in the pedagogy of performance from Temple University in Philadelphia.

In 2003 she completed coursework at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and earned a New York State Department of Education Certification in School Administration and Supervision (SAS).

Dr. Sherrod is a Fulbright-Hayes scholar in dance research. Her artistic and theoretical works are steeped in the dance and music of the African American vernacular and the African Diaspora – mentored by acclaimed scholars Drs. Brenda Dixon-Gottschild, Kariamu Welsh, and (the late) Katie G. Cannon.

From 2001-2003, she was the Director of Dance Education for New York City public schools, where she designed and implemented professional training initiatives for dance educators, teaching artists, and classroom teachers. Most notably she co-founded and directed the New York City Department of Education Dance Institute, based on the Katherine Dunham model, and for which she was awarded a DANA Foundation Grant.

Dr. Sherrod began her academic teaching career at New Jersey City University and New York University (NYU). From 2004-2014, she taught at Florida A&M University (FAMU), earning tenure (Associate Professor) and becoming the Interim Chair of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER).

In 2014, Dr. Sherrod joined the faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and served as Chair of the Department of Dance and Choreography for three years. Currently, she is an associate professor in Dance at VCU, after serving as the Interim Executive Director of PHILDANCO! from 2019-2020.

She is the author of Katherine Dunham and The Dance Griots: Reading the Invisible Script(Mellen Press – August 2021).Dr. Sherrod proudly serves on the boards of CultureWorks (Richmond, Virginia), the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), and Ananya Dance Theatre (St. Paul, Minnesota)