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Professor / Researcher

Dr. Gaynell Sherrod

Began training with Kariamu Welsh Asante and (the late) Pearl Reynolds, 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 and other acclaimed teachers and choreographers. After 15 years of performing, touring and teaching with such groups as PHILADANCO and URBAN BUSH WOMEN, Inc., she earned a M.Ed. in dance education and an Ed.D. in dance pedagogy and permative theory from Temple University in 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 to study African-derived spiritual dance forms. 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 an adjunct professor. 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. From August 2019-August 2020, Sherrod served as the Interim Executive Director of the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHLADANCO!), a position funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Trust. Dr. Sherrod is an Associate Professor in the Department of Dance and Choreograohy at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.