Sabra's story

David Weitzer (Ravenal),
Sabra (Ellie), Gay Willis (Magnolia),
Adolpho Blaire (choreographer),
Robert Cuccioli(Ravenal)
from Broadway Ala Carte's opening night party of SHOWBOAT

On tour with Bear in the Big Blue House getting a bear hug!

Kickline from Pal Joey at Naples Dinner Theater
Local ad for Sabra's dance studio at 11 years old
Matt Mattox - Paris
With jazz master Matt Mattox in Paris

Sabra has performed on tours nationally and internationally in such exotic places as Bahrain, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. For 10 years, she resided in the heart of New York’s theatre district, where she had the opportunity to perform in several Off-Broadway venues, work with many Broadway stars, and study with some of the finest coaches in the city (including Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon's dance assistant Mimi Quillen, Richard Sabellico of Gypsy and OBC Annie, Doug Oberhamer of Swing!, and Kate Pazakis of Big Gay Musical, Jerry Springer the Opera, and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas).

Sabra’s favorite roles were Cassie in A Chorus Line, Roxie in Chicago, and Lola in Damn Yankees. She holds the dubious honor of being Miss Hell’s Kitchen and won 1st runner-up in the Miss Fag Hag Pageant, benefiting the Hedrick-Martin Institute and the Harvey Milk School. Sabra is known for her Gypsy Rose Lee-inspired opening number in Jesse Luttrell's monthly burlesque revue BAWDY! andis the producer of THE COUGAR BALL, a charity benefit for The Actors Fund.

Audiences fondly remember her playing the principal roles of Morticia in The Addams Family, Ellie in two separate productions of Showboat, Tessie Tura in Gypsy, and on the national tour of The Pajama Game where she got to sing and dance Steam Heat. She can be seen on the Bear in the Big Blue House LIVE! DVD (released by Jim Henson/Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment) with whom she toured world-wide for three seasons. Many of her regional D.C. musical theatre productions were nominated for Helen Hayes Awards where she played Cassandra in Cats, Graziella in West Side Story, Sister Mary Leo in Nunsense, and Jean in Brigadoon. She also performed at President Clinton’s last Inaugural in George Faison’s KING! A Musical Testimony with Maya Angelou and spent six months cruising the Hawaiian Islands on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America.

TEACHING. After receiving her BFA in dance from Shenandoah Conservatory, Sabra began teaching and her students won high score awards at numerous national competitions, and have won scholarships to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Point Park, East Carolina University, New York University, the Joffrey summer program, and Jacob’s Pillow. Several of them have even won Olympic medals (Sabra is proud to have taught ballet to Dominique Dawes, Elise Ray, Courtney Kupets, and other elite American gymnasts coached by Kelli Hill). In August of 2000, she was presented the Outstanding Excellence in Teaching Award from the Governor’s School of Virginia, and for six years was the resident choreographer for the ArtStar Theatre Camp—a division of the Lorton Arts Foundation.

Since moving to Madison in 2015, she has been on faculty of the Monona Academy of Dance, which just celebrated its 70th Recital. She has choreographed and taught extensively for the acclaimed Children's Theatre of Madison (CTM), Disney Musicals in Schools, Overture Center for the Performing Arts' Jerry Awards, and is a sought-after Master Teaching Artist in the area. 

DANCE COMPANIES. A member of the jazz dance companies Dancin’ Unlimited and Motion Mania Dance Theatre from 1993 until 2002, she started training with Ray Bugnosen and was handpicked to partner Argentinean Tango champion Fabio Bonini as part of the American Ballroom Dance Company, with whom she performed at the D.C. premier of Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.

INTERNATIONAL. In 2002, Sabra spent the summer in Manama, Bahrain performing with Sesame Street Live and Bear in the Big Blue House Live for the Bahrain Royal Family and United States 5th Fleet. The following year, she continued that tour to Canada and the UK. In 2004, she took a sabbatical to London, England, where Sabra studied with Molly Molloy, Miles Elkington, and Derek Hartley at Pineapple Studios, and with Alex Frei at Studio Harmonique in Paris, France.

CHILDHOOD. Sabra grew up just outside of Washington, DC and studied dance at Dance Workshop (with Dody Homan and Karma Camp), the Russell School of Ballet (with Thomas and Ilona Russell and Margaret McGarry), Chris Collins Dance Studio, and Virginia School of Ballet (with Oleg Tupine). She concentrated on many dance styles and was rewarded with a scholarship to the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts and the Miss Star of Tomorrow 1st runner-up title from the Accent on Youth Competition. At age 17, she studied with legendary teachers at the American Dance Theatre Workshop in New York (including Karin Baker, Bob Rizzo, David Storey, Liza Genarro, and others.)

Sabra received a scholarship to major in dance performance at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Va. While there, she focused on many different modern techniques such as Graham, Horton, Limon, and Humphrey as well as diligently continuing her ballet training. She spent two semesters at George Mason University to round out more contemporary techniques. She regretfully turned down an offer to study at the Alvin Ailey School in New York City in 1993, but then became an Extension Ambassador at their beautiful new studios from 2009-2013.

In the meantime, she continues to pursue the art of dance and theatre as a Performer, Choreographer, and Teaching Artist. Sabra is happy to share her energy and hopes to encourage others to find joy and hope in all they do.

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