Obituary: Sharry Underwood, 1922-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Sharry Underwood, 1922-2022

Vermont dancer studied with dance legends, performed on Broadway

Published November 7, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.
Updated November 15, 2022 at 11:33 a.m.

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Sharry Underwood - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Sharry Underwood

Sharry Underwood was born in Harrisburg, Pa., on May 4, 1922. Sharry received her bachelor’s degree in theater from Syracuse University, followed by her master’s degree in dance from Texas Woman’s University.

A self-proclaimed rebel, Sharry ran away from home to pursue her life’s greatest passion: dance. Sharry’s skill and devotion to her craft led her to Jacob’s Pillow in the Berkshires, where she studied with modern dance legends such as Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. Soon after, Sharry’s exceptional talent led her to New York City, where she performed as a principal dancer on the great Broadway stage in Times Square and toured throughout the United States.

One summer, Sharry left the bustling streets of New York City to teach choreography in the Green Mountain state of Vermont. As fate would have it, that very summer Sharry would meet the love of her life and wonderful husband, the honorable Vermont supreme court judge Wynn Underwood. Sharry and Wynn moved to Middlebury, Vt., in the early 1950s and were married for 58 years until Wynn’s passing in 2005.A modern woman, particularly for the 1950s, Sharry raised five children while continuing to manage her dynamic dance career. Sharry regularly incorporated her five children into her imaginative productions, teaching them a variety of styles from ballroom to modern ballet.

Sharry Underwood - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Sharry Underwood

As an ambassador for Vermont’s dance community, Sharry also worked as a dance critic for Dance Magazine and The Burlington Free Press. Ceaseless in her advocacy for the importance of dance, Sharry left an indelible mark on Vermont’s dance and theater community. She will forever be remembered as a vital and accomplished Vermont dance pioneer.

At 100 years old, Sharry passed away on Thursday, September 22, in Burlington — a city she grew to deeply cherish. Sharry Underwood is survived by her beloved children: Sky Underwood Cardile, Joel Traver Underwood, Andrea Jones, Darcy Carter and Hillary Underwood.

Sharry was a woman of action in every sense of the word. With a strong sense of self and a deep understanding of what was most important in life, she never wavered in her commitment to be the best she could be. A treasured wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and dancer, Sharry will be forever loved, forever missed and never forgotten. We know she is dancing with her beloved husband among the stars.

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