Nothing says holidays like The Nutcracker, so how could we resist spotlighting new member Sarah Wroth for this newsletter? Sarah has been dancing with the Boston Ballet for 14 years and has had the privilege of dancing in Nutcracker productions for 25 years. We had to learn more.

Sarah dancing in The Nutcracker.

Q: Sarah, what’s it like to dance in The Nutcracker?

I’ve done over 560 performances of The Nutcracker with the Boston Ballet alone and played so many parts. I’ve been Clara’s mom, her dance teacher, a snowflake, a Spanish dancer, Chinese, Pastoral, and a flower. Every time I dance to Tchaikovsky’s music, it brings me a feeling of magic. It makes me remember that kids want to grow up and be dancers. I believe that what we as dancers do is very special. Dance is transformative and needs to take a greater role in society.

Q: Tell us more about how dance is transformative and needs to take a greater role in society.

Dance changes the brain’s chemistry. Dancing allows people to express themselves. And that act of expression activates the brain in a very positive way. I teach for the Boston Ballet Adaptive Dance program for kids with Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder, and I see what dance does for them. It sparks creativity. It sparks expressions. And it facilitates learning. When kids are allowed to act out with their bodies what they are being taught in school, they learn so much more.

Q: How did you get involved with TPC?

I want to be a change-maker in society. Because of my interest in learning, I recently earned a Masters Degree in Non-Profit Management through the Ballet’s partnership with Northeastern University. At a cocktail party celebrating the partnership and its students, I was asked to give a speech.

Susan Friedman, a long-time Boston Ballet Board member, contributor, and enthusiast as well as a passionate TPC member, attended the event and heard what I had to say. She saw a potential in me that warranted further support and education. She generously offered to sponsor my membership. It is such a gift to me and such a huge investment in my future.

Q: And what has your experience been like?

Sarah Wroth connects with TPC member and fan Margaret Braccio.

I went to a Connect the Dots gathering and felt so empowered and so at home. TPC is a group of “change artists!” TPC is creating a web of goodness around the city, and I wanted to be a part of that.

The idea of collective funding is just brilliant. Everyone is on the same level in terms of participation. Everyone pays the same ticket price. We get information about what all the different non-profits are doing in the community, which allows us to not only support the work, but spread information. And we make decisions collectively. What could be better?

Q: What are your next steps professionally?

I am retiring from the Boston Ballet in May and I am trying to figure out my next step. I’m terrified and excited. I want to work to give dance a greater presence in the change community. Expressing yourself is important; self-expression changes lives! And the true potential inherent in ballet needs to be realized by both the artists working on their craft and the community of supporters and patrons making it soar. Ultimately I would like to be the artistic director for a ballet company. But I have a lot to learn first.