- Profile for Sarah McCalister’98 was last updated on Aug 27, 2015
Major: Theatre Arts - Dance
Sarah McCalister, is currently Assistant Professor of Dance in the Department of Communication Arts at Valdosta State University. While at Beloit she served as both dancer and choreographer for Chelonia Dance Company and was honored to be a McNair Scholar, receiving support and funding to conduct independent psychological research at the Milwaukee Women’s Correctional Center, which she presented at the University of California, Irvine.
Ms. McCalister received her MFA in Contemporary Dance at Case Western Reserve University. She has taught Modern Dance at Case, and co-directed and choreographed two seasons of Mather Dance Collective (MaDaCol) productions. During her tenure at Case, Ms. McCalister was honored to receive a Baker Nord Center for the Humanities Research Grant to study in Turkey. She also received a School of Graduate Studies Faculty Mentor Grant. With this funding, she co-presented on the integration of Dance and Technology at the International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities in Italy with Professor Gary Galbraith. Their co-authored paper has been accepted for publication into the International Journal of the Humanities. In addition, she received scholarship monies from Friends of Mather Dance Center and Non-Solo Danza to participate in a dance workshop in Milan, Italy.
Prior to teaching at VSU, Ms. McCalister taught and Modern, Jazz, Tap, Choreography, Improvisation, and Ballet in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and California. Her teaching style of any technique incorporates both classical and contemporary forms, with a focus on proper alignment, kinesthetic awareness, and a clear sense of space, time, energy, and dynamics.
Ms. McCalister’s Modern Dance training has focused on the techniques of Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins, Jose Limon, Lester Horton; her ballet training was primarily in the Vagonova school, with influences from Laura Alonzo and the Cuban school. She studied the jazz and musical theater styles and techniques of Joe Tremaine, Gus Giordano, and Bob Fosse; her Tap studies were influenced by Al Gilbert, Freddy Finn, and Gil Stroming. Somatic studies include Bartenieff Fundamentals, Laban Movement Analysis, and Alexander Technique. She has performed the works of Martha Graham, Pascal Rioult, Gary Galbraith, Richard Dickinson, Judith Moss, Chris Johnson, Jane Hawley, Augustine Bolanos, Linda Kahn, Paloma McGregor, and Liz Young.
In addition to teaching, choreographing, and performing, Ms. McCalister has a great passion for research. She is currently studying the relationship between depression and disordered eating in college-level dancers, and will present this research at the Conference for the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science in Stockholm, Sweden.