Sarah McCormick, Associate Professor of Dance



Department of Visual & Theatre Arts



Dance first.  Think later.  It's the natural order.  ~Samuel Beckett

Sarah McCormick Bio

Sarah McCormick received her BA in World Arts & Culture from UCLA and her MFA from SUNY Brockport. She is currently Associate Professor of Dance in the Department of Visual & Theatre Arts at The University of Tennessee at Martin (2008-present). Previously, she had positions as Lecturer of Dance at Bates College, University of Southern Maine, and as Adjunct Lecturer at SUNY Brockport. While in Maine, she created various works, which were performed in Portland and Freeport. It was also in Maine where she developed her pedagogical philosophies in regards to K-12 learning outcomes, as she was very much involved community outreach programs. But it is in Tennessee where, as Director of UT at Martin's Dance Ensemble she has brought her philosophy of dance as education into action. Dance Ensemble student members have taught and performed at Huntingdon Primary, Dyersburg High School, Martin Primary, and Martin Elementary. Recently, Dance Ensemble student members in Spring of 2012 taught and performed at St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis. Sarah is highly committed towards dance in the community, as well as providing students with as many opportunities to perform their works.

Her choreography embodies a World-dance approach, as she combines her intensive Western modern dance-theater training with her explorations in Indian, Balinese, Japanese, and African movements. She studied ballet with Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo master teacher, Irina Kosmovska at Lichines Ballet Studio in Los Angeles, and with ballet master in Cecchetti Technique, Mia Slavenska, while as a student at UCLA. Her studies in modern dance begin at Eyes Wide Open studios in Venice, CA, with teachers Fred Strickler, Lynn Daly, and Gary Bates, it was also there that she took from Jeff Slayton, former Cunningham Dance and principal dancer of Viola Farber Dance Company. But it would be with modern dance masters Bella Lewitzky and Alwin Nikolais, in addition to her studies in modern dance at UCLA that would further Sarah's approach towards technique, choreography, and pedagogical style. Her solo was part of the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival Choreographers Showcase, and she was also a member of Ferne Ackerman/Big Flood from 1984-1987, and a member of Dance Diner 1987-1988. While in Los Angeles she also collaborated with various Los Angeles Artists, including Steven Craig, David Leahy, and Dan Albert, and danced for John Costagna, Gilberte Meunier, and Sandra Christensen (now Brace).





In heading to NYC she right away participated in Dance Space's Choreographers Series with her solo, "Hume-in-Understanding" based on the philosophies of David Hume. In NYC she further honed her technique and choreography with creating her company Tyndale/Sarah Pogostin. As Artistic Director of the company she produced works in New York and abroad from 1989-1995 in such venues as Movement Research, DIA Art Foundation, Cunningham Studio, St. Mark’s Church and DTW, in addition to performances in Barcelona and Vienna.  Her work has also been highlighted at various Universities, Festivals, and Conferences. She has also presented papers at iNDEO (National Dance Education Organization)m CORD (Conference on Research in Dance), National Women’s Studies Organization, and in 2010 at the Dyersburg Book Festival in Dyersburg, TN.

Mrs. McCormick just completed the third edition of the textbook, Understanding Dance, with additional material. This textbook coincides with her course DANC110 Understanding Dance at the University of Tennessee at Martin.