Sarah Cecilia Griffin was born in Barranquilla, Colombia and grew up a nomad, moving between Pennsylvania, Buenos Aires, and Kansas City. She saw The Nutcracker before her third birthday and said, “I want to do that!” She never looked back.
From that moment she began years of high level ballet training across two continents and five states to prepare her for a professional career at the age of seventeen. Since then, Sarah has danced for several ballet companies and contemporary dance ensembles, in addition to opera, dance films, feature film, print advertisements, and art installations. From 2006 to 2009, she lived in New York and toured the nation with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, a ballet company founded as a haven and training ground for dancers of color. She then moved to San Francisco, where she became involved with innovative risk-taking projects in contemporary ballet with choreographer Amy Seiwert’s ensemble company, Imagery. Most recently, Sarah spent two years with Oregon Ballet Theatre in Portland, returning to her classical roots while capitalizing on the athletic influence of contemporary dance.
Sarah’s repertoire includes iconic classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, and nearly every role the perennial Nutcracker from childhood into adulthood. She has performed masterworks by renowned 20th-century choreographers George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Nacho Duato, in addition to world premiere works created especially for her by Amy Seiwert, Adam Hougland, Val Caniparoli, Nicolo Fonte, and Matthew Neenan, among others. In 2013, she was honored by Pointe Magazine as one of the top ten standout performers of the year.
Sarah currently bases her freelance dance career out of San Francisco. When she’s not dancing, she enjoys keeping active with swimming, cycling, weight training, Pilates, yoga, and hiking around the beautiful natural and urban landscapes of the city. She has passions for travel, music, art, and literature, and works as a Pilates instructor and artist’s model to keep her interests alive and connected.
Photos by David DeSilva
Ballet dancers’ careers are notoriously short, and though Sarah’s training and career have been marked by significant injuries and physical setbacks, she strives to dance beyond the limits of age by listening to her body, pushing her limits intelligently, and training like an athlete in order to fulfill her potential as an artist. Cold compression therapy has long been a familiar part of her recovery regimen, and as she faces off with meniscus repair this year, PowerPlay will be at her side every step of the way.