Sarah Elizabeth Stanley was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and resides in Los Angeles, California. Currently, she dances with the DIAVOLO Institute as an apprentice and as a freelance performer.
She has attended the American Dance Festival, The Ailey School, and the Taylor School, among others, and has performed works by Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Jacques Heim, Martha Graham, Bill T. Jones, and Paul Taylor.
She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied dance under the direction of Sara Rudner and John Jasperse. She also holds a Professional Certificate in Grant Writing from San Diego State University.
Sarah was a Taylor School scholarship student for five years. She was the founding senior member of the Paul Taylor Teen Ensemble, where she served as assistant to director Raegan Wood for the 2012-2013 tour season.
Sarah completed the Broadway Dance Center Training Program, Ballet emphasis, with a Certificate of Excellence. Her commercial credits include a feature in the September 2017 issue of Dance Spirit magazine and an appearance in the viral campaign Pantsuit Power for Hillary Clinton 2016.
As a freelance artist, Sarah has performed at the Valley Performing Arts Center, The Metropolitan Museum, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Global Exchange, and Spoleto Festival USA.
A NOTE ON PROCESS AND CHANGE:
I find myself in critical state of recalibration, a moment on my artistic timeline that is markedly unlike any other change I have experienced.
For the first time in my life, the only expectations I have to meet are my own. One never truly stops being a student, but there is a shift in ownership of ideas and expression. I am now dancing and making for me.
While I appreciate and continue to choreograph using line, form, and classical techniques, I am no longer interested in being pretty, light, lithe, or thin. I have struggled with and oftentimes failed to meet the expectations of how a female body should take up space. Ugly is ugly. Heavy is heavy. I am these things too. Moreover, I am not interested in making the ugly appear beautiful. Ugly is ugly. Let women be ugly. Let’s get comfortable with being ugly and heavy and harsh and grotesque.
It is in the wake of Paul Taylor's death that I am faced with questions of identity in addition to confronting long-held ideas of bodily aesthetic. I was eighteen when took a Taylor technique class, and I spent the better part of five years at The Taylor School. I am taking this time to examine my own impulses, and determine what is genuine and organic and what is practiced or borrowed.
I feel as though I am looking in two directions at once; oscillating between honoring my past and unflinchingly pushing, crashing, flying into the future. I am constantly moving, but where am I going?