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HomeSarah Lyman 2010

SARAH LYMAN 17  Charles Santos Scholarship

Sarah Lyman is a junior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and originally from Victoria, Texas. Her training began at Jan Moore School of Dancing around age four. After seriously dabbling in soccer, theater, and even flag football, she kept returning to dance. After attending two summers at Ballet Austin’s Intensive, she realized she felt an affinity for modern dance.

Moving to Dallas to attend Booker T was the best decision she’s made in her life so far. Opportunities at Booker T. and a member of Repertory Company One are endless.

A huge follower of Ohad Naharin, she felt she HAD to get her foot into Naharin’s world and attended his classes at San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. There were no mirrors and for once, she couldn’t look in the mirror and tell herself she was wrong, something she believes all dancers face everyday. She based her success on how invested she was in the movement, how it felt.

Dancing became about the journey opposed to the destination.

The San Francisco Conservatory of Dance has been my choice of summer study for the second consecutive year. With intensives all summer long, I again chose the four week session featuring "gaga," Ohad Naharin's unique movement language. Ohad Naharin is the artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel. Batsheva Dancer Bobbi Smith comes to the Conservatory for the four weeks and teaches gaga, as well as Batsheva repertory to students. In addition, Bobbi is quite the choreographer herself. I was fortunate enough to be a dancer in her creative process as she set a new work of her own, "Sail Mountain Sail!" 

The program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance is in my eyes one of the most unique in the country. In one day, I had the most technically demanding ballet class of my life (four hours long) with Summer Lee Rhatigan, had to retrograde a 64 count contemporary phrase with Alex Ketley, connect effort to pleasure in gaga, then write a monologue as a bird, flag, or steamship during Bobbi's rehearsals. Because I was in a more advanced level than last summer, the program was a whole new experience. I could work so much deeper because I had a whole year to think about some pretty crazy concepts from the previous summer. This summer at the Conservatory, I began to realize my potential as a dancer and as a human being: it's as big as I can dream. My advancements at the program always go beyond technicalities. This summer I learned to tap into my joy of dance in the least joyful moments, like when I was tired, frustrated, or distracted. When I shared my discovery outloud in a discussion with Summer and my classmates, it sounded funny. Of course I love to dance, but I realized love and joy are completely different things. My love for dance makes me take class and rehearse for hours and hours everyday. Joy is harder to tap into. I found so much joy during gaga.... where was all of the joy in ballet ? I realized that dance is dance, no matter what the style, and it all brings me joy. For the second year, the Dance Council has helped me realize my potential and renew my spirit; first with the Charles Andrew Kulp Memorial Scholarship in 2009 and now with the Charles Santos Scholarship in 2010. Not only are the scholarships financial aid, the Dance Council has always been an incredible support system. I am so grateful to have received the scholarship and to be a part of this organization.