Dancer Profile: Sara Lavan of Choreographers Collaboration Project

Sara Lavan is a Pilates teacher, dancer and creative movement instructor based in Alexandria, VA. She currently dances with Choreographers Collaboration Project (CCP), a modern dance company founded in 1998 by Mary Jo Smet and Janet Stormes. Sara’s dance experience includes both ballet and modern. For more information about CCP, visit their website.

Sara LavanWhere do you usually take class? Who is your favorite teacher in the DC area?

I usually take class at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center with one of CCP’s founders Janet Stormes. I also take ballet class at BalletNova Center for Dance with fellow company member Silvia Burnstein-Hendi.

How has dance changed your life? How do you feel when you’re dancing?

Dance keeps me company through the challenges of life. It has given me focus, purpose and an outlet for creativity that has always been a necessity for me. The training specifically has given me a strong work ethic, a deep respect for others and an overall appreciation for the arts and their role in creating a rounded and adjusted society. How do I feel when I dance? Many ways – joyous, disappointed, creative, energized, emotional. It all depends on the day and where I am in my journey. That is the beauty of dance. It changes and can change with you, offer support and help you grow.

Any advice for people who are interested in dance, but have never danced before?

Do it! I have always been a strong advocate for bringing dance to everyone. In my own teaching I focus on the very young to encourage dance, and open families up to the possibilities it can offer. There are many beginner classes of all types in the area. Try different types, ask around, find movement that speaks to you. As a movement enthusiast, I believe moving and wellness are deeply connected.

Anything you want to promote? Anyone you want to give a shout out to?

We have a great show coming up at Dance Place in June. You can get more information about the show at www.ccpdance.org. Shout out of course to Janet Stormes and Mary Jo Smet for giving me this opportunity to continue my dance journey in such a profound way after leaving New York City. My life has truly taken an amazing turn.

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About Cecile
Cecile Oreste is an arts marketing and public relations professional living in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @cecileoreste.

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