Meet Star-in-the-Making Sarah Pippin

July 12, 2016

Sarah Pippin has been turning heads in the dance world ever since she was a pipsqueak. The preternaturally talented performer started competing at age 4, taking home multiple top prizes at New York City Dance Alliance, The Dance Awards and JUMP, and last year was a National YoungArts finalist.

How’s she done it? A student at CC & Co. Dance Complex in North Carolina, she’s got the dynamic attack, extensions and super-human control you’d expect of an 18-year-old with so many trophies. But what makes her exceptional is her amazing versatility—she can transition from street to silky smooth in a split second—as well as the maturity in her approach both to performing and simply being a student, soaking up everything her mentors have to offer.

As you can imagine, we’re fans. And we just gave her another line to add to her resumé: NYCDA Foundation’s Dance Magazine College Scholarship winner. She won the award at an audition earlier this month, and will be putting the money toward her tuition at Juilliard this fall. We caught up with her afterward for a lightning round run-through of her advice, dance musings and hopes for the future.

On auditioning:

“I always try to show my class-taking skills, and just enjoy the movement. A lot of times in auditions dancers get physically tense from the nerves, which can throw you off. The best audition advice I ever got was, Just dance. Approach it like a regular class, and show them who you really are.”

On competing:

“It’s so easy to get caught up in all the attention, but dance is much more rewarding when you do it for yourself, for your own individual growth. Every dancer has strengths—focus on yours, not other dancers’.”

On watching herself on
Road to Nationals


“There’s so much stuff out there right now that shows dance in a negative light. I loved that Road to Nationals showcased us being competitive, but still being a team, being supportive. It felt so much more real! Though watching myself was definitely a crazy experience.”

On choosing Juilliard:

“I fell in love with it after doing a summer intensive there. When I got accepted, I tried not to jump the gun and just enroll. I researched all the schools I got into, but Juilliard still felt like the best fit for me. I’m so excited to train with dancers that I know will push me.”

On her dream career:

“It switches every day! I love modern, though I’d also love to do some commercial work and dabble in Broadway. Though I’d have to improve my singing—that definitely needs work.”