We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Parker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
For me, it’s the only type of life I’ve ever been drawn to. Even with all the rejection and uncertainty, a creative life feels like the only one worth living. To be constantly inspired by the people and culture around me, challenged in new ways, and forced to evolve and grow from project to project — that is how I feel fulfilled and purposeful. As a dancer, I see movement in everything. The way people walk down the street and share spaces with each other, the way a leaf swivels in the wind. As a writer, I feel the rhythm and pulse of words. It all feels colorful and artistic, and if I were depriving myself of the chance to interact with the world in that way, I would feel empty. Pursuing the arts has always felt like my natural path and the most authentic way I can leave my mark. I’m a firm believer that if you’re a true artist, you have no choice but to follow the calling.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have had an extensive career as a professional dancer in Broadway shows, National Tours, TV/Film, and contemporary dance companies. But I’m now at the pivotal point where I’m starting to transition into being a choreographer and movement director, switching to the other side of the table. My years of experience working with different types of artists have allowed me to really develop my own creative voice and find the confidence to start bringing my own visions to the forefront. It’s a unique type of vulnerability, putting your own ideas out there rather than just helping with someone else’s, but I’m excited and ready for it. Working as a professional dancer for over a decade certainly came with an overwhelming amount of rejection and there were many times I didn’t think I would ever work again… but I always found a way to pick myself back up and trust that what was meant to be would be. One of the hardest things to do in this industry is to not compare yourself and your journey to others, especially with social media. But once I accepted that I was carving my own path and it didn’t need to, and shouldn’t, look like anyone else’s, I found the freedom to trust the universe and feel proud of whatever I was doing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY and I absolutely love it. It’s full of creative people, hidden spots, theaters, and parks. Definitely visit in the spring! That’s when it’s most charming. My favorite spots are: Prospect Park and Fort Greene Park + both of their weekend farmer’s markets, BAM Opera House, Greenlight Bookstore, Miss Ada restaurant, Hungry Ghost coffee, and grab a drink on the back patio of Meckleberg’s. Rent a bike, wander around all of the vintage clothes sidewalk sales, and people watch for days.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Number 1 has to be my parents. They have supported my artistic dreams since I started dance classes at age three. They organized their lives around years of dance competitions, cheered me on when I wanted to study dance at college, and have been the biggest fans of every professional show I’ve done since. Whenever I get knocked down, I can always count on my parents, and my partner and closest friends, to lift me back up and motivate me to keep going.
I also have to shoutout my whole NYC dance/theater community. I am surrounded by so, so many talented artists every day — from dancers, to choreographers, to designers, musicians, poets, and more. Seeing their flourishing creativity and passion is my biggest inspiration to keep pushing forward.
Featured photo and last two additional photos (blue background and gray background) – James Jin Images Two tan additional photos – Zoje/zlines Black and white additional photo- Whitney Browne Outdoor jump additional photo- Pepe Nufrio