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Sarah Lane to become School Director of Ballet RI

Sarah Lane. Photo by James Jin, courtesy of Ballet RI.
Sarah Lane. Photo by James Jin, courtesy of Ballet RI.

Ballet RI has announced that world-renowned dancer, teacher, coach and rehearsal director Sarah Lane will become the next director of the School of Ballet RI, taking on a major artistic role as the leading dance educator at the organization. Lane, a former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT), has performed extensively as an international guest artist with ballet companies around the world. She will take on the role of School Director overseeing the education arm of the leading dance institution in the region, with more than 350 enrolled students annually, more than 70 scheduled weekly classes during the academic year, and 25 faculty members with a broad range of styles and backgrounds. Lane will begin on September 1, prior to the start of fall classes.

“Dance education is one of the most impactful things that we do, and I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Sarah as she takes on this important role,” said Kathleen Breen Combes, director of Ballet RI. “Sarah’s extensive resume as an international principal dancer, teacher and coach, along with her leadership skills and education, made her the ideal candidate on paper, but her warmth, love of teaching, and passion for this art form and its future made her the ideal candidate for our organization. I am excited for the future of our school, and ballet in Rhode Island, as we continue to train the next generation of artists and leaders with comprehensive, rigorous, and compassionate dance education.”

“I am honored to assume this important role at Ballet RI!” Lane said. “Many gracious and distinct teachers and coaches have influenced me over the years, and sharing that knowledge and love for the art is my profound pleasure. As I acquaint myself with the communities that Ballet RI serves, my sincerest hope is to inspire self-expression, creativity and good values in the next generation. Alongside the talented faculty, I will strive to offer the highest quality dance education giving students a solid platform for success in and beyond dance. Moreover, I aim to nurture the healthiest environment possible so that decency, equality, and wellness pave a better way for this art form and the beautiful humans involved.” Lane’s arrival follows current School Director Marissa Parmenter’s announcement she will be transitioning to the role of Associate Professor of Dance at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

In addition to her 18-year tenure with ABT, Lane has been an international guest artist and performed with major ballet companies around the world. A native of San Francisco, Lane is the recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Award, the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts, a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach specializing in Hormone Health, an alumna of the Harvard Crossover into Business program, and is completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She performed as the dance and body double for Natalie Portman in the movie, Black Swan.

Lane’s transition comes as the School of Ballet RI continues on a trajectory of growth, having expanded its programs to create a broad and inclusive curriculum of dance education. The nonprofit School of Ballet RI provides world-class training and offers its students the unique distinction of being affiliated with the premier professional company in the region. Lane will lead all aspects of the School, which provides classes for students from age three through seniors. Lane will also oversee the ProviDANCE Academy, the in-studio component of the new afterschool program in four Providence and Pawtucket elementary schools. Additionally, Lane will work with the Trainee program offering education and mentorship for students pursuing a career in dance, in addition to the many other specialized programs the School offers.

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