Friday, December 3, 2010

Sarah Lane - ABT Soloist and Black Swan Body Double

Photography by: SEBASTIAN KIM

I saw ABT Soloist Sarah Lane this past Valentine's Day dance with her husband, Luis Ribagorda (ABT corps member) at our town's symphony orchestra's Romeo and Juliet. She was exquisite - so graceful, beautiful and strong. The perfect ballerina and Juliet! So naturally, I was very excited to see that she plays Natalie Portman's body double in "Black Swan," which premiered December 1. I scoured the internet later to find out more about her and found that Dance Magazine had already written an article about her in 2007, when she was in the Corps de Ballet, which chronicles her life and dance history - Glowing Strong: Sarah Lane Radiates Star Power from ABT's Corps. She is a fierce competitor with incredible drive and discipline that is quite inspirational.

Sarah Lane Fast Facts:

  • Born in San Fransisco, but moved to Memphis when she was a toddler
  • Home schooled as a child
  • Strong Christian faith
  • Started tap and jazz at age 4, then enrolled at Memphis Classical Ballet
  • Moved to Rochester, NY later and enrolled at the Draper Center for Dance Education where she received serious training for the competition circuit
  • When she first auditioned for ABT, the studio company director informed her that she was too small (5'2")
  • So she went on to audition for Boston Ballet it fell through because they misprinted her name - Catherine Lane
  • Still determined to make it, she competed in the Youth American Grand Prix at age 17 in NY but danced her Paquita variation in silence after the sound system crashed. She finished to a standing ovation and won the bronze! Finally ABT noticed her the second time and invited her to take studio classes, then promptly offered her a Studio Company contract.
  • Two months later, she won the Silver Medal in the Junior Division (the highest awarded in 2002) at the Jackson International Ballet Competition.
  • Susan Jaffe, former ABT ballet star, has been a fan of Sarah's and has mentored her to help her become a company member. Scroll down towards the end of the article to see the wonderful advice she gave her.
  • After 8 months in ABT's Studio Company, Sarah joined the Corps de Ballet. She has since been promoted to Soloist and is now in the "Black Swan!"
Sarah Lane with Principle Herman Cornejo


  1. love this! sara was in my 7th grade math class. she was a sweetheart besides being very smart. lost contact with her several years ago when my christmas cards came back. so glad to she her so very successful!

  2. Black Swan Film Makers Denied Sarah Lane Body Double Claims - Official Statement Here: (March 26, 2011)


  3. I think the comments Ms. Lane is making about Black Swan are inappropriate.

  4. As a former professional dancer myself, I'm so happy to see the truth come out! I watched the credits at the end of the film hoping to see the name of the real dancer - in vain! It was so clear to see how the dance sequences had been cut and manipulated. I think Natalie Portman did a great job in the film but the whole thing was only made possible and plausible by the use of a really good dancer (who gets no credit)as a double. The film makers are absolutely in the wrong by not acknowledging that only a pro with a lifetime of training can dance like that.

  5. Th eproblem is the studio think sthat people are easily fooled, which the general public probably cannot see the differences, but a person who is used to ballet and observing the differences should have no issue seeign them. SHame on the studio for being so unprofessional and not giving due credit!!

  6. Do you really think people care who the stunt-man was in an action film? Do the stunt-men ever get on a soap box and make sure the world knows it was them that did all those dangerous feats and it wasnt really Bruce Willis that jumped out of car #2 at high speeds? Does the general public care that if you look closely, you can clearly see that it was the stunt-man in certain scenes and that even with intensive training, its impossible for Bruce Willis to even accomplish anything that resembles a stunt
    and all he really did was the small things like jump over puddles and bodies?
    Nobody cares, they just want to see a story.

    If you get paid to do a job, you do it. She IS in the credits so yes, she got credit for her part it in the film. Now she can take credit for being an extremely unprofessional, self righteous, attention seeking DIVA.

    Congratulations on your work in a successful film, and best of luck being in one ever again.

  7. It seems like no one would do anything without being credited. If we lived in a world where there was mutual respect and compassion, none of this would be an issue.

  8. You had a post a few months ago where the director and natalie said she didn't do it all herself and where sarah lane's work was mentioned...this was before she won the oscar too.

  9. Sarah Lane was certainly listed in the credits, as was Kimberly Prosa, Portman's other double.

  10. To finish this debate that exemplifies the usual Holywood fraud in which the fakers and pretenders = "actors" are bigger than reality I suggest that indpendent producers as Mel Gibson and the few others remaining do make a a ballet documentary with Sarah Lane and others showing respect for the real life people being musicians.. ballet dancers and so on and giving credit to real performers! I've seen documentaries with Nureyev.. Placido Domingo in Carmen! And if judges has been mislaid by The "dancing skills" of La Portman! The Oscar shoul be cancelled as a gross representation and a mockery!

  11. Get an Independent producer" as a Mel Gibson and produce a documentary movie with Sarah Lane and the real life performers! It is not only Holywood.. a famous "scientist" published a "theory" without any bibliography so he misapropiated somebody's effort without any disregard! So fake becomes more important than the real performeers! The delusion of Holywood crating myths and $$$$$ out of thin air!

  12. I am a huge fan of Sarah Lane. I wish I could be like her in so many ways, she is a beautiful ballerina, and she did great in the Black Swan and deserved a lot more credit than she got. I look up to her like she is a hero. I think I may be somewhat like her short and all that, but I am definitely not as good as she was at may age, but she is a great person, and I hope to be like her one day!!!!

  13. It’s not the credit or no credit thing, it’s the fraud being perpetrated by the studio that is the issue. Judging from the hateful comments directed at Sarah Lane, it appears there are more people around who would prefer to defend those lying to them, than defend the person who was cheated by those lies. We truly live in an upside-down world. So haters... keep hating on Sarah, for you are sowing yourselves karma! When an injustice happens to you, we will see how you feel when others tell you that you have no right to speak up, and call you a bitch.