With strong footholds in the both the world of dance and the realm of education, Dr. Elgie Gaynell Sherrod knows more than one way to expertly communicate with a crowd. Dr. Sherrod’s artistic and theoretical works are steeped in the dance of African diaspora cultural traditions. She has created original works and choreographed for theater, as well as taught at New Jersey City University, New York University and Florida A&M University.
Dr. Sherrod is a Fulbright-Hayes scholar in African-derived dance research. In high school, under the tutelage of choreographer and scholar Kariamu Welsh Asante and Pearl Reynolds, Welsh-Asante’s mentor, Sherrod studied African-derived dance and the Dunham technique. Armed with a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she taught at the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts before joining the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) to begin a performance career. After 15 years with Philadanco and Urban Bush Women, Inc., she earned a M.Ed. in dance education and a doctorate in dance pedagogy and performance from Temple University. As the Director of Dance Education for New York City Public Schools, she founded and directed the New York City Department of Education Dance Institute: Based on the Katherine Dunham Model, for which she was awarded a Dana Foundation Grant. Currently, she is the chair of the Department of Dance and Choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University.