This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Sarah Vance. Sarah is a Dancer, Actor, Singer originally from Waterloo, Ontario. Ever since her first tap class at the age of four, she has been living and breathing dance. Sarah trained extensively in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary and Hip-Hop and went on to complete her RAD Advanced one Ballet exam with distinction as well as winning numerous awards at regional and national competitions. She began her professional career on her 18th birthday with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and has never looked back since.
Sarah made the move to Toronto with the goal of becoming a triple threat. She continued her training not only in dance but focused on acting and singing as well. Sarah soon found success in both stage and screen and has worked in both facets across Canada. While performing she balanced the student/dancer lifestyle and graduated from York University with an Honours Science Kinesiology Degree.
Most recently, Sarah filmed the Stephen King horror movie “CARRIE” starring Julianne Moore and Chloe Grace Moretz premiering in theatres this October. Other FILM/TV credits include: Warehouse 13 (Syfy), Bomb Girls (Global), Christmas Dance (CTV), The Next Star (YTV), King of the Camp (YTV), SYTYCDC (CTV), X-Weighted (Slice) Part Mammas (Slice), Breakaway (Alliance Films).
Sarah’s first love has always been the stage. As a musical theatre performer she has had the opportunity to be a part of such shows as Spamalot, Hairspray, High School Musical (Drayton Entertainment), Music Man (Capitol Theatre), Rave On! (RGA Productions).
Sarah has also appeared in music videos and live performances for such artists as: Carly Rae Jepsen, Victoria Duffield, Vanilla Ice, FeFe Dobson, Aleesia, Shiloh, Kreesha Turner and the Trailer Park Boys.
Other performing ventures include dancing four seasons in front of 20 000 fans as a member of the NBA Toronto Raptors Dance Pak, NBA Europe (Rome/Madrid), contestant for Miss Universe Canada and travelling coast to coast across Canada with the Doodlebops Live! Together Forever Tour (KOBA Entertainment).
Sarah shares her passion for dance with all those around her and continues to train and grow as an artist.
Bio provided by Sarah
Facebook: Sarah Vance
Find out what Sarah had to say in this week’s feature…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Sarah: When I was young I would go over to my Grandma’s house and watch all of her Shirley Temple videos. I would dance and sing along to every single movie and wanted to be just like Shirley Temple. My parents got the hint and enrolled me in dance lessons at age four.
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Sarah: I remember making up dances for hours upon hours in my basement to any music that was on the radio. I also recall choreographing a dance to every single song on the Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys C.Ds. I would then try to teach all the dances to my brothers.
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Sarah: As I got older free styling became a struggle for me. I was always in my head and thinking way too much. My biggest advice is to let go and just let the music guide you. Before I freestyle I always repeat to myself “just listen to the music”. It helps me center my thoughts.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Sarah: I usually like to choreograph really late at night when everyone else is asleep. I find that’s when I feel most relaxed and subsequently end up being more creative. I can tell it’s a good song to choreograph to when subconsciously I immediately start choreographing steps in my head when I listen to it. Certain music whether it be fast or slow just inspires me to move when I hear it. I also love to listen to the same song over and over again while I’m sitting on the bus or subway and visualize concepts and choreo.
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Sarah: My biggest influences are definitely my peers. I’m continuously inspired by the dancers around me. The talent and work ethic of other dancers motivates me to keep working hard and to never stop learning.
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Sarah: I’m so thankful to have worked with many different choreographers here in Toronto and have learnt so much from all of them. However, a choreographer I have recently met this past year and really enjoyed working with is Jeff Dimitriou. Since the first time I took his class he had a way of pulling out new qualities of my dancing I never knew I had. Technique is important to him but he teaches dancers the stories you create with your movement is just as essential. From working with him and taking his classes I learnt to go beyond the steps and truly listen to the music and perform.
Nikki: Name one of your favourite artists to work with and why? (It does not have to be a pop star. Any type of artist that a Dancer would work with i.e.; another Dancer, Choreographer, Musician etc.)
Sarah: I honestly can’t pick just one artist. There are so many talented and amazing people in this industry that I feel blessed to have worked with each and every one of them.
Nikki: Qualities you believe Toronto Dancers possess?
Sarah: Toronto Dancers are versatile, creative and possess the drive to succeed.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Sarah: My advice would be to never stop taking class. Take class as often as you can and with as many people as you can. There is so much to learn from every different teacher so don’t limit yourself. Network and remember your classmates will become your co-workers. No matter how successful you become there will be tough times and it’s important to learn to use your downtime productively to grow as an artist. Stay positive and continue working hard because when the opportunity does propose itself to you, you’ll be ready. “I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” – Oprah Winfrey
Nikki: Any upcoming projects, shows or classes you would like to share with T.D.O.T.?
Sarah: I’m currently in rehearsals for an episode of “Warehouse 13” as a “42 Street” tap dancer chorus girl, you’ll be able to check it out on the Syfy Network. Also, in theatres this October you may just see a familiar face getting electrocuted by Chloe Grace Moretz in the new remake of the Stephen King horror movie “CARRIE”.
THANK YOU SARAH FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE & PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO