SARA MICHELLE MURAWSKI, “Sarafina,” is a principal dancer and guest artist, currently based in New York City.
She was a former principal dancer and named the Visionary Assistant to the art director within a previous startup company in the USA. As a company member of three established ballet companies, including two major companies within Europe (the Slovak National Ballet and the Dresden Semperoper Ballet), she progressed through the ballet company ranks from corps member, corphee, soloist, to prinicipal. She is in the 9th year of her professional career.
Sara recently performed in the “No One Can Survive Alone” gala in Columbia, Maryland, which was a fundraiser for a ballerina known as the “Bald Ballerina.”
She performed a self-choreographed solo that was then coached and improved choreographically by Miro Magloire, artistic director of New Chamber Ballet.
Currently, Sara is involved in several projects: upcoming guest performances in full length classical ballets and new creations in galas, including some of her own choreography. She is also starring in an upcoming music video, and working on several photography and videography projects, including a major brand endorement extended video filmed in iconic locations within New York City. Sara is scheduled to dance the leading role in a full-length classical ballet with another professional dancer.
Sara is training daily, primarily with Wilhelm Burmann and Espen Giljane. Also with
Nancy Bielski and others, according to scheduling possibilities, along with regular supplemental classes in pilates, contemporary, and self-training.
One detail from Sara's personal life: while on summer holiday traveling in 2012, Sara adopted a street dog she came across in Naples, Italy. He is named "Naples," and he continues to be a beloved member of her family.
Due to instances in her United States professional career, Sara has dedicated herself to inspiring tall and otherwise unique young female dancers to pursue their dream of ballet. She is passionate about representing a positive role model in the lives of aspiring dancers in the world, and strives to help to catapult change that is worthy and much needed.
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Sara joined the Semperoper Ballet in 2009 as a member of the corps de ballet, under the leadership of Aaron Watkin. At the Semperoper Ballet, Sara’s performances range from corps to principal roles in classical and contemporary pieces, including great works by choreographers such as David Dawson, William Forsythe, and George Balanchine. Sara's performing partners were George Hill and Milan Madar. She was promoted to Corphee in 2013.
In the summer of 2013, Sara spent attended the Prague International Ballet Summer Masterclasses at the invitation of Daria Klimentová and Vadim Muntagirov.
In 2014, Sara joined the Slovak National Ballet as a Soloist under the leadership of Jozeph Dolinsky, prior star ballerino of Slovakia, and where Sara's performing partners were Andrej Szabo and Dmitry Seminov. During her years at SNB, Sara was personally guided in technique, pas de deux, and artistry by Altynai Asylmuratova, Vasily Medvedev, Stanislav Feco, Andrej Karacincev, and Igor Holovac.
During Sara's years in these two European companies, she occasionally performed in outside galas, such as the Dance Chance gala in Maribor, The Royal Ballet gala in Estonia, and the Dance Open gala in St. Petersburg, Russia.
She remains extremely fond of both European companies and grateful to her directors and coaches for the many amazing years she was gifted with there. She has enjoyed visiting with the Dresden Semperoper Ballet's director and dancers when they tour to NYC, and watching their show and joining the company party, recently, where she not only enjoyed the chance to see colleagues who still dance there, but others who likewise are former members.
In the summer of 2016, in Poland, at the invitation of "rebel ballerina" Natalia Maria Wojciechovska, Sara taught and coached in Warsaw’s “Neo-Classical Ballet” Program.
In the summer of 2017, Sara was full-time guest faculty for the several Summer Dance Intensives at her beloved training school of 10 years prior: the Rock School for Dance Education, in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
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Born in Norfolk, VA, Sara's early interest and foundation in ballet took place at Old Dominion University under Istvan and Neli Ament of Hungary. Sara continued her early ballet training years in Williamsburg, VA, at EVSPA under the guidance of Sandra Balestracci; in Virginia Beach, at SEVA under the guidance of Gillian Johnson and Stephanie Young; and in Carlisle, PA, at CPYB under the guidance of several teachers including Leslie Hench (with whom Sara studied privately for technique and pas de deux coaching). During these years, she also privately studied with Rafael Grigorian, Tatiana Tchernova, Galina Panova, and Diana White.
Sara was invited on full scholarship to the Rock School for Dance Education, in Philadelphia, where she danced for several years under the brilliant guidance of Bo and Stephanie Spassoff, Servy Gallardo, Christopher Fleming, Mariaelena Ruiz, and Natasha Lushina Zeiger. She also attended and performed in a variety of summer intensive programs on scholarship. These programs include: the Rock School and CPYB for several consecutive years; Ballet Academy East in NYC and Kaatsbaan’s “Extreme Ballet” program at their International Dance Center in Tivoli, NY (Martine Van Hamel privately coached her in technique); Miami City Ballet (Carter Alexander Smith
mentored and coached her); Chautauqua Summer program (coached by Patricia McBride); and the Edward Ellison summer program (Mr. Ellison provided intensive technique training and private coaching).
In her early years, Sara performed lead roles in Balanchine’s Nutcracker, ‘Who Cares?,’ Raymonda, Symphony in C, Polaris Pas de Deux and “Baseball Ballet” by Christopher Fleming, as well as several classical solos and pas de deuxes for school shows and for YAGP.
Sara assisted Dr. Ken Laws as his ‘ballet presenter’ and as a photo subject in his most recent published book on Ballet and Physics by Oxford University Press. Gene Schiavone shot the images for the book, and has shot many artistic ballet images of Sara since.
For her final graduation year, and in to receive Russian training and to train in pas de deux with a tall male classical ballet partner (Gabriel Davidsson), Sara was invited on full scholarship to the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. There, she was mentored by Ludmila Morkovina, Oleg Vinogradov, Anatoli Kucheruk, and Marat Daukayev, and was given the honor and recognition of being the final dancer in the graduation ballet technique exam showcasing the fouettes.
The photo to the right shows Sara preparing for Odette/Odlie with Dmitry Seminov in Bratislava, Slovkia, for the Slovak National Ballet.
Above it, Milan Madar is lifting Sara on the stage at the Dresden Semperoper Haus, as they prepared for the Dance Open Gala in Russia.
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Photo credits throughout this website to:
Vikki Sloviter, David Tufino,
Robert Jentzsch, Alexander Iziliaev,
and others (collegues and friends).