E. Gaynell Sherrod, Ed.D., began training with Kariamu Welsh Asante and (the late) Pearl Primus, studying African-derived dance forms and the Dunham technique. Upon 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, and subsequently pursued a career in dance performance. She joined the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), under the direction of Joan Meyers Brown, Founder and Artistic Director – and a host of acclaimed teachers and choreographers. After 15 years of performing, touring and teaching with such celebrated companies as Philadanco! and Urban Bush Women, Inc., she returned to school and earned a M.Ed. in dance education and an Ed.D. in dance pedagogy and theory from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Temple University Alumni Fellow Award.
Dr. Sherrod is a Fulbright-Hayes scholar wherein she traveled throughout Brazil as pedagogy scholar. Her artistic and theoretical works are steeped in the pedagogy of dance, music and theater out of the African Diaspora cultural traditions. She has taught at Florida A&M University (FAMU) and New Jersey City University, and at New York University. As the Director of Dance Education for New York City public schools (2000-2003), she designed and implemented professional training initiatives for dance educators, teaching artists and classroom teachers. Most notably 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, Dr. Sherrod is an Associate Professor in the Department of Dance and Choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, and the author of The Dance Griots: The Teachings of Katherine Dunham and Black Dance Pioneers In Chicago and New York City from 1931-1946 (Mellon Press, Fall 2017).
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