Sarah Ebert is a dance artist educator who has called the Pacific Northwest home since 2001. She began her movement studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then moved to Chicago, Illinois where she danced professionally with wonderslamdance under the direction of Asimina Chremos, Hedwig Dances under the direction of Jan Bartoszek, and numerous independent choreographers, including Bob Eisen and Lisa Wymore. Ebert came to Oregon with her husband, Christian Cherry, composer and Music Director of the University of Oregon Department of Dance. She earned an MFA in Dance from UO, where her research focused on the role of the dancer in bringing a work of art to life. This research culminated in an evening of solo performance, including original works created specifically for Ebert by Portland choreographers Linda K. Johnson and Mary Oslund, and featured Ebert’s performance of Yvonne Rainer’s Trio A, which is now considered the seminal work of post-modern dance. This emphasis on a dancer’s agency has continued to inform her somatic approach to performance, choreography, and pedagogy.
As a performer, Ebert is well-known for her adaptability to a variety of choreographic methods and aesthetics, and has worked with a reputable collection of dance-makers, including Alito Alessi of DanceAbility International, Brad Garner, Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner, Gabriel Masson, Shannon Mockli, Minh Tran, and Margo Van Ummersen, among others. As a choreographer, she has received many commissions from the Eugene Ballet Company involving musical collaborations with the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Pink Martini, and Gabriela Montero, who is internationally known for her piano improvisations. She is also the Artistic Director of a branch of the Eugene Ballet Youth called Contemporary Practices, which focuses on a contemporary modern dance aesthetic. In her creative processes, Ebert cultivates a dynamic community of movers where all people are valued.
As an educator, Ebert has taught contemporary modern, ballet, jazz and hip-hop dance classes at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Robert Morris College in Chicago, Lane Community College and the University of Oregon. She is a featured teacher of DAN 251 – Looking at Dance at UO, where she emphasizes experiential learning when exploring dance as a reflection of self-expression, cultural values, and a way of being in the world. She is currently faculty at the Eugene Ballet Academy as well, where she directs the contemporary modern dance curriculum. Ebert is a Somatic Movement Educator and Embodied Anatomy and Yoga Teacher, certified through the School for Body-Mind Centering®, and these practices are woven into her personal and professional pursuits.