Sam Gaitsch | Creative Director | Dancer | Educator | Resident Choreographer | Administrator
Sam is an MFA candidate in Dance at Washington University in St. Louis, class of 2018. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance and Psychology, with a minor in Visual Art in from Washington University in St. Louis, magna cum laude in May of 2015.
She began dancing at the age of six in her hometown of Nashville, TN. She was painfully shy as a child but learned to come out of her shell by training and performing in various dance techniques with the Bellevue Dance Center. She continued her education with the Ensworth High School Dance program under the instruction of Sarah and Tom Shoemaker, Emily Crampton, Jennifer McNamara, and Erin Law. During her high-school years she attended the Vanderbilt University Summer Dance Intensive each summer. In June of 2010 she was selected to attend the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Professional Division Summer Intensive, where she trained in ballet, Horton, Fosse Jazz, Graham, and Caribbean dance techniques.
During her four years at Washington University in St. Louis, she was selected to perform in various works by resident choreographers Christine O'Neal and David Marchant and also by guest artists Jock Soto of NYC Ballet, Sylvia Waters and Elizabeth Roxas of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Rodney Hamilton of Ballet Hispanico, and Kameron Saunders: in Washington University Dance Theater, 2011-2014. She was selected to perform two adjudicated works at the American College Dance Conferences in 2012 and 2015.
She began working with the Slaughter Project Modern Dance Company in the summer of 2012, both as a company member and choreographer, under the direction of Cecil Slaughter. With the Slaughter Project she participated in annual performances in Edison theater, as well as WUSTL's RePerformance Symposium, several National Dance Weeks, and Dancing in the Streets festivals.
In the course of her undergraduate career she choreographed six original works which were selected for Young Choreographers' and Student Dance Showcases. Her works ranged from an emotionally charged solo to a comical, theatrical piece for six dancers. She assistant directed the Student Dance Showcase her sophomore year, and served as co-director her senior year as part of her senior honors thesis. She served as Performing Arts Department Liaison her senior year and was the recipient of the Ian D. Cramer prize for dance upon her graduation.
Sam is very grateful to be a part of the CKDC family!