Sam Gaitsch

Sam is a St. Louis based choreographer, educator, and performing artist. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Washington University in St. Louis in 2018. She received her Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Dance, with a minor in Visual Art, magna cum laude from WashU in 2015. Bridging the gap between professional concert dance and theatre, her choreography often uses humor as a tool for social commentary. Her work embraces embodied emotionality to foster empathy in her audiences. Sam brings her jubilant spirit to both the stage and her teaching practice.

Sam is thrilled to be a Rehearsal Director and member of the dance faculty at COCA. Sam also serves as Adjunct Faculty at Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University. From 2015-2018 she was a resident choreographer, administrator, dancer, creative director, and educator with Consuming Kinetics Dance Company, as well as a teaching artist with Springboard to Learning. She choreographed St. Louis University’s Godspell in April of 2019,Stray Dog Theatre’s Evil Dead the Musical in October, and produced a new work for the Big Muddy Dance Company’s concert “Home Grown” in January of 2019. Her choreography for Stray Dog Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening was nominated for the “Outstanding Choreography” Award by the Theatre Circle in 2018.

She has performed in works choreographed (or re-staged) by Christine O’Neal, David Marchant, Cecil Slaughter, Dawn Karlovsky, Jock Soto, Rodney Hamilton, Rob Scoggans, Sylvia Waters and Elizabeth Roxas, Kameron Saunders, Arica Brown, Madison DeWitt, and Lynn M. Bobzin. She has also performed or served as assistant choreographer in drama productions directed by Andrea Urice, Jeffrey Matthews, and Henry Schvey.

Originally from Nashville, TN, her dance training background includes ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, modern, hip-hop, and improvisation. She was accepted to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Professional Division Summer Intensive at 16 years old. In the MFA program she strengthened her performance acumen by taking advanced acting courses under the mentorship of Andrea Urice, Bill Whitaker, and Annamaria Pileggi. Her diverse training and performance background have greatly informed her work as a choreographer and educator.