dance

Lisa Jo Sagolla

LISA JO SAGOLLA is an arts educator, consultant, critic, choreographer, and historian, whose research interests revolve around the making, history, and teaching of integrated arts genres, such as the Broadway musical, physical theatre, and various forms of American popular culture and entertainment.

Her first book, The Girl Who Fell Down: A Biography of Joan McCracken (Northeastern University Press), was a finalist for the Theatre Library Association’s George Freedley Memorial Award for best book in the area of theatre or live performance. Her second book, Rock ‘n’ Roll Dances of the 1950s (Greenwood Press/ABC-CLIO), is part of the social-history, reference book series “The American Dance Floor.”

Sagolla has written book chapters, scholarly journal articles, and encyclopedia entries on topics ranging from Busby Berkeley to Twyla Tharp, tap dance, the Rockettes, and the influence of modern dance on American musical theatre choreography. Her writings appear in American National Biography, The International Dictionary of Modern Dance, The St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, The Back Stage Actor’s Handbook, Frank Sinatra: The Man, The Music, and the Legend, Italian-American Politics: Local, Global/Cultural, Personal and The Italian American Experience: An Encyclopedia. She has also written more than 600 arts reviews for trade and popular periodicals including Backstage (for which she was the Dance/Movement columnist for 8 years), Playbill, American Theatre, The Kansas City Star, Dance Teacher, Pointe, Film Journal International, The Bucks County Herald, castalbumreviews.com, The Resident, and New York Dance Fax.

Sagolla has choreographed more than 75 productions for Off-Broadway, regional, summer stock, and university theatres and has taught for 35 years in K-12, studio, and college settings, including Columbia University, New York University, Rutgers University, and Marymount Manhattan College. She has also served as an arts education assessment and curriculum development consultant for such institutions as the Lincoln Center Institute, New York City Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Chicago Moving Company, and as an edTPA (Educative Teacher Performance Assessment) scorer for Pearson.

Sagolla received her Ed.D. in Art and Art Education and her M.A. in Dance and Dance Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and earned a B.A. in Music Education from the College of William and Mary.