“Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body”Martha Graham
Name: Sara Brophy
Country: United States of America
City: New York City, NY
- Classical 70%
- Contemporary 60%
- Commercial 20%
- Technique 70%
- Flexibility 60%
- Strength 60%
- Creativity 80%
- Flare 80%
* Total of 150% between Classical, Contemporary and Commercial. Total of 350% across all other categories.
Featured Dancer – Sara Brophy
I was born in Poughkeepsie, NY on July 7th many moons ago. My two brothers and I grew up in the smaller neighboring town of LaGrange, where school kids took field trips to Sprout Creek farm, and come autumn, a canopy of brightly changing leaves turned the road I lived on into a kaleidoscope of color.
My psychologist father and teacher mother both claim to have two left feet. My love of performing seemed not to come from them, but rather from a cousin who starred in her high school’s musicals, and inspired me as a young girl. At two years old, I told my mother, “When I turn three, I’m dancing.” And I have been for decades since. I credit both my upbringing and the discipline of so many years of dance for forging me into the dedicated and energetic professional I am today.
At Barbara Hammond’s as a child, then Galle & Collins Dance Academy, I trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, and theatre dance. A musician since the age of six, (oboe, piano, clarinet, pit percussion) I started singing in high school when I became entranced with musical theater, and partook in the school productions (Guys and Dolls, Something’s Afoot, Mame, My Fair Lady, The Music Man.) Eight years in the Annie Galle Dance Co. also served to hone my performance quality. The real training began when I made the decision to devote my life to the performing arts, and headed off to Philadelphia to the University of the Arts. There, I majored in Jazz Dance Performance and minored in Musical Theatre, garnering myself a Leadership Award for service to the School of Dance upon graduation. It was at UArts that I rediscovered acting, which I hadn’t studied seriously since childhood; and first discovered modern dance. The University’s range and depth of study was astounding. To complement study at UArts, I attended OVERTURES Musical Theatre Institute under the direction of Signature Theatre’s Eric Schaeffer and Karma Camp, (where I worked with Emily Skinner), the Paul Taylor and David Parsons Intensives; and interned at Theatre Arts Center in New York for two summers (where I assisted Connor Gallagher, Parker Esse, Angelo Fraboni, Jim Osorno, Penny Ayn Maas, and Paul Canaan among many others B’way vets.)
After performing extensively in college, including works by Twyla Tharp, Bob Fosse, and Roni Koresh, my first job afterwards was at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Polka dancing and singing in the Festhaus. From there I jumped onto the regional theater circuit performing at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis (A Beef & Boards Christmas, White Christmas, Cinderella, Singin in the Rain), Kimball Theater in Colonial Williamsburg (Souled Out), Downtown Cabaret in Bridgeport, CT (the East coast premiere of Fandance: the Legend of Sally Rand), Riverfront Theater in Chicago (Dancing Queen), Harbor Lights Theatre Company on Staten Island (Oliver!), Allenberry Playhouse in rural Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania (the Sound of Music, Chicago), Westchester Broadway Theatre (Mary Poppins, West Side Story), and Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia (Elf!) Peppered in there was my time on the national tour of Damn Yankees!, where I played Lola in one of my favorite roles to date, and the international tour of Burlesque to Broadway where I portrayed Razz, a wisecracker á lá Rosalind Russell. My time in New York City has included the off-Broadway productions of Iron Curtain—one of my favorite shows to date—and Chris March’s Butt-Cracker Suite: A Trailer Park Ballet. In 2010, I had an awesome and unique opportunity come through in the form of an independent movie musical, In the Night, filmed in Cologne, Germany. The months I spent in Germany were some of the most life-changing and wonderful months of my life. I made my Broadway debut in June of 2015 in the new musical Amazing Grace, a project that has already deeply touched many lives, mine included. It is a milestone for which I am truly grateful.
I hope I get to spend decades more entertaining the world. In the meantime, you can probably find me in my kitchen baking, or curled up with a book!
“Live, love, laugh, and be happy.”American folk song
“Always bear in mind that the determination to succeed is more important than any one thing.” Abraham Lincoln
1. At what age did you start dancing?
I started dancing when I was three years old. Apparently, when I was two, I said to my mom, “When I turn three, I’m going to start dancing.”
2. Where did you train professionally? If you did not have formal training how did you learn?
I trained to enter the professional world at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, but with dance, your professional training starts at such a young age—it’s the habits and technique you develop young that really stick with you, not to mention, the love. Growing up, I danced at a small studio called Galle and Collins Dance Academy, taught by a husband and wife team who were both professionals before they became teachers. They were the ones who set me on the path to being a professional. My university conservatory experience was more an intensive study of different styles of dance, quality of movement, finding an individual voice, and of course, learning the business reality of the performing arts as a career.
3. What is your favourite thing about being a dancer?
I love projects. I have such a goal-oriented mentality, which goes nicely with dance. There’s always a new project to work on, a new piece to learn or choreograph, a new show to perform in. I like being able to put my everything into something and then move on to the next thing.
4. Who/what is your biggest inspiration/reason and why?
I am so inspired by people who can pick up from zero and start again, whether that’s a change in career, overcoming a trauma, or embracing a life changing idea…any form of starting fresh with vim, vigor, and spirit! Their bravery, courage, and zeal are forces to be reckoned with!
5. If you weren’t a dancer, what do you think you would be doing?
I ask myself this question all the time! I’m not strictly a dancer anymore anyway…I’m in theater so I’m a singer and actor too. I also teach a fitness class. I like to think if I weren’t dancing, I’d be writing, but who knows! Definitely something creative.
6. Have you ever had a dance injury and how did you recover and prevent it from happening again?
Who hasn’t had a dance injury! (Am I right?!) My worst was a teeny fracture on the ball of my foot that never healed correctly, so I can no longer fully rélevé on my right foot. It haunts me to this day. The hardest thing for a dancer is to give his/herself time to heal, but for a long career, it’s vital. Learning how to cross train and keep up with physical therapy are also very important.
7. Is there is a piece of advice you wish you had when you were starting out?
Be fearless; embrace the uncomfortable. I teach a fitness class, and we tell people to “embrace the shake”—that point when your muscles start shaking and you feel out of control of your own body. On a physical level, that’s when change happens. On a more mental level, letting yourself go to that uncomfortable, scary, maybe embarrassing place is key to putting yourself out there, key to moving forward, and key to success. Sometimes at auditions, my hands shake, and I think, “Embrace the shake!” Just a reminder to breathe through—maybe enjoy—the nerve-wracking, uncomfortable situation.
8. Do you have an interesting story from being in a show or on tour?
I recently finished a production of West Side Story, and one night, right at the beginning of Dance at the Gym, which is a long series of dances, my partner and I came out of an easy lift and he kind of bumped me before I had my footing. I somehow ingloriously toppled to the stage floor. I lay there dazed and confused, legs splayed, arms still entangled with my partner’s. Almost in slow motion, I saw him get caught on my dress and teeter-totter down on top of me. I lay there trapped and in shock until I realized my dress was up over my head! I don’t think I’ve ever scrambled to my feet so fast. My dress was torn to shreds; the entire cast was hysterically laughing at us, and sure enough I had to keep my cool until the scene FINALLY ended.
9. What is the most exciting dance job you have had so far?
Well I’m making my Broadway debut with my current project, Amazing Grace, so that’s hugely exciting. I can’t quite call it a “dance job” though. I’d have to say, the most exciting dance job was an independent film I shot in Germany about a group of dancers and actors putting up their own work. It’s called “In the Night”—I think it’s still available on iTunes—and it was such a wild ride. Every scene and dance number was so different than the last. We were body painted as animals in one scene, and I wore 8” platform boots at a club in the next.
10. What is your dream dance job?
I’d love to be in a movie musical as magical as Singin’ in the Rain. The dance cinematography in that movie is outstanding—I think the Chicago movie of our generation is on par—something like that. Honestly, my dream dance job is dancing in musical theater where you get to sing and act and connect with people 8 times a week. I get to live that dream and I’m very happy and very lucky for it.