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The Company

Sarah Lane

San Francisco, California

Joined ABT 2003 / Principal since 2017


Born in San Francisco, California, Sarah Lane began her dance training in Memphis, Tennessee under the direction of Pat Gillespie at the Memphis Classical Ballet. When her family moved to Rochester, New York, she continued instruction with Timothy Draper and Jamey Leverett at the Draper Center for Dance Education.

When Lane was 16, she received a full scholarship to the Boston Ballet’s Summer Program. In 2000 and 2001, she was awarded first place and the Capezio Class Excellence Award at the North American Ballet Festival. In 2002, Lane was a National YoungArts Foundation Winner in Dance/Ballet, and through YoungArts became a 2002 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Lane was the Silver Medalist, the highest medal in the Junior Division, at the Jackson International Ballet Competition (2002). During the competition, she traveled to Washington, D. C. to perform at the Kennedy Center as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. That same year, Lane also won the Bronze Medal at the Youth America Grand Prix Competition.

Lane joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in August 2003, became a member of the Company’s corps de ballet in April 2004 and was appointed a Soloist in August 2007. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in September 2017.

Lane was a recipient of the Princess Grace Award in 2007 and Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts in 2008. She was the dancing double for Natalie Portman in Fox Searchlight Pictures’ feature film Black Swan.

Ms. Lane’s performances at American Ballet Theatre are sponsored by Donna and Richard Esteves.

Photo: Rosalie O'Connor


"What dancers experience goes beyond what words can express. To put it feebly, it is the ability to set your soul free in a moment that can't be captured or replicated. It's being real and vulnerable enough to share who you are as a unique human being. It's believing that imperfection can still create something beautiful."

-Sarah Lane, "Why I Dance", Dance Magazine

"Lane has that special quality, a certain grace, and along with her proportions and her sheer joy for dancing, she radiates, reminding me of a young Margot Fonteyn"

-Susan Galbraith, DC Theatre Scene

"Sarah Lane has turned out so many memorable performances that it’s hard to name them all...but more rewarding is her vivid projection, plush upper body, sharp dramatic instincts and refusal to throw away any part..."

-Gia Kourlas, Time Out New York

"Beyond “just” Romantic style, Lane displayed another quality entirely. For want of a better word, call it soul. It permeated everything she did, but it was particularly evident in Act II. If you ask for a description – I can’t provide it, but I know it when I see it. Lane wasn’t playing a part – she was Giselle."

-Jerry Hochman, Critical Dance

"In 'Theme’ [Theme and Variations] Lane’s footwork is both sparkling and clear. As petite as Lane is her manner in ‘Theme and Variations’ is that of the grandest ballerina."

-Colleen Boresta, Critical Dance



Won bronze medal at the Youth America Grand Prix


Won silver medal, junior division, at the Jackson International Ballet Competition


Appointed Presidential Scholar in the Arts


Joined ABT Studio Company September 2002


Joined ABT as Apprentice August 2003


Joined Corps de Ballet April 2004


Won Princess Grace Award


Promoted to Soloist August 2007


Promoted to Principal Dancer September 2017

Sarah  Lane

Sarah Lane in Giselle. Photo: Erin Baiano