Dr Usui Mikao

Sharry Traver Underwood

No Daughter of Mine is Going to Be a Dancer!

This is the dancing memoir of one young woman, who, through courage, hard work, and persistence managed to not only become a dancer, but to work with some of the greatest legends in the business. Read about her determined journey and meet Agnes de Mille, Ted Shawn, Ruth St. Denis and go back in time to the very first Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in the Berkshires of Massachuetts.

Sharry ran away to dance just as the Theatrical Revolution of the 40s was underway with Agnes de Mille's "Oklahoma!". American choreographers threw out the chorus lines, choosing professional ballet and modern dancers like Sharry for their Broadway shows, generating a distinctly American theater dance.

"You write well and you should do more of it."
                                                                            Agness de Mille 1979

From the Foreword by Deborah Jowett:

In her tale of a dancer’s life in 1940s America, Underwood reveals both the rapture she felt in dancing and her refreshingly spunkyapproach to a career. Over the decade, this young woman–experiencing a wide range of performing styles and training techniques–matured and developed as an artist and a person. Her reminiscences, written in the vivid prose style she cultivated in her mature years as a dance critic in Burlington, Vermont (where for decades she also performed, choreographed, and ran a company), she provides an illuminating view of theater and dance during the war and the immediate postwar years.

What the Critics Say:

"This is a riveting work. It is rich in vivid detail and acute in memories that offer the reader into a dancer's world. It holds the tension of not only going passionately into that world but dancing into it against her parent's wishes and without benefit of their financial support. Especially interesting is that the work demonstrates the difficult but exhilerating experiences of both concert and Broadway dance. Once begun, I could not stop reading."
- Lynn Swanson, author of Summer Dance

"Her descriptions of the works in which she danced are so clear and enticing that the reader feels like jumping up to try them."
- Doris Hering, review in Dance Magazine, November 2012

"It is a wonderful first-person account of being a dancer in the 1940s - it will complement so many of our collections and benefit ouor patrons in their research."
- Jan Schmidt, curator of the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection, NYPL, Lincoln Center

"First of all, your book is wonderful! It is not only beautifully written, it is lively, humorous, and full of joy. I have been having a whale of a time reading it."
- Sylvia Bugbee, Archivist UVM