Featured Roles Since Joining NYCB

George Balanchine
  • Allegro Brillante
  • Apollo (Polyhymnia)
  • Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet
  • Chaconne
  • Concerto Barocco
  • Cortège Hongrois 
  • "Diamonds" from Jewels
  • "Emeralds" from Jewels
  • Episodes
  • Firebird
  • The Four Temperaments
  • Ivesiana (In the Inn)
  • Kammermusik No. 2
  • Liebeslieder Walzer
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream (Titania)
  • Mozartiana
  • George Balanchine's The Nutcracker® (Sugarplum Fairy, Dewdrop)
  • Orpheus
  • Prodigal Son
  • Raymonda Variations
  • Robert Schumann's "Davidsbündlertänze"
  • Serenade
  • Slaughter on Tenth Avenue
  • La Sonnambula
  • Stars and Stripes
  • Stravinsky Violin Concerto
  • Swan Lake
  • Symphony in C (Second Movement)
  • Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux
  • Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2
  • Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3
  • La Valse
  • Variations Pour Une Porte et Un Soupir
  • Vienna Waltzes
  • Walpurgisnacht Ballet
  • Western Symphony (Rondo)
  • Who Cares?
August Bournonville
  • Bournonville Divertissements (Pas de Deux from Flower Festival in Genzano)
William Forsythe
  • Herman Schmerman
Peter Martins
  • Barber Violin Concerto
  • Beethoven Romance
  • Chichester Psalms
  • Fearful Symmetries
  • Morgen
  • Naïve and Sentimental Music
  • Octet
  • The Sleeping Beauty (Carabosse, Lilac Fairy)
  • Swan Lake (Odette/Odile, Spanish)
  • Thou Swell
Justin Peck
  • Everywhere We Go
  • The Most Incredible Thing (The Princess)
Alexei Ratmansky
  • Concerto DSCH
  • Russian Seasons
Jerome Robbins
  • Antique Epigraphs
  • Dances at a Gathering
  • The Four Seasons (Spring)
  • Glass Pieces
  • The Goldberg Variations
  • In G Major
  • In The Night
  • Ives, Songs
  • I'm Old Fashioned
  • Piano Pieces
Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp
  • Brahms/Handel
Richard Tanner
  • Sonatas and Interludes
Christopher Wheeldon
  • After The Rain
  • An American in Paris
  • DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse
  • Mercurial Manoeuvres
  • Polyphonia
  • This Bitter Earth

Originated featured roles in

  • Kyle Abraham: The Runaway
  • Melissa Barak: A Simple Symphony
  • Robert Binet: The Blue of Distance
  • Kim Brandstrup: Jeux
  • Warren Carlyle: SOMETHING TO DANCE ABOUT Jerome Robbins, Broadway to Ballet
  • Edwaard Liang: Lineage
  • Pontus Lidberg: The Shimmering Asphalt
  • Peter Martins: Ocean's Kingdom (Honorata), The Red Violin
  • Benjamin Millepied: Why am I not where you are
  • Justin Peck: Bright, The Decalogue, The Dreamers, Pulcinella Variations, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes, Rotunda
  • Alexei Ratmansky: Namouna, A Grand Divertissement; Odessa, Pictures at an Exhibition, Voices
  • Susan Stroman: "Frankie and Johnny ... and Rose" from For the Love of Duke
  • Lynne Taylor-Corbett: The Seven Deadly Sins
  • Christopher Wheeldon: Les Carillons, The Nightingale and The Rose, Rococo Variations

originated corps roles in

  • Peter Martins: Chichester Psalms, Friandises
  • Susan Stroman: "Blue Necklace" from Double Feature

Sara Mearns was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and began her dance training at the age of three with Ann Brodie at the Calvert-Brodie School of Dance, also in Columbia. At the age of 13, Ms. Mearns trained with Patricia McBride at Dance Place, the School of North Carolina Dance Theatre, in Charlotte. She continued her studies at age 14 with Stanislav Issaev at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville. Ms. Mearns entered the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, full time in the fall of 2001. In the fall of 2003 Ms. Mearns became an apprentice with New York City Ballet. As an apprentice, Ms. Mearns danced a featured role in Michel Fokine's Chopiniana, performed by SAB as part of New York City Ballet's 2004 winter season. In June of 2004, Ms. Mearns joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet. In March of 2006 she was promoted to soloist and in June 2008, Ms. Mearns was promoted to principal dancer. Learn more about Sara at her website,

Other performances

Ms. Mearns has performed at the Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center in 2013, 2014, and 2017, in works that she commissioned. She also starred in A Dancer's Dream, a New York Philharmonic production choreographed by Karole Armitage and conducted by Alan Gilbert, which was broadcast nationally. Recently, she made her Broadway debut in the “Lonely Town" pas de deux from the Tony-nominated musical On the Town, choreographed by Joshua Bergasse.


Ms. Mearns is the recipient of a 2018 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer, following a Bessie nomination in 2014. She was also nominated for the Benois de la Dance award for best female performance of the year in 2012 for her role in Ocean’s Kingdom. She is a 2003 recipient of the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and a 2003 nominee for the Princess Grace Award.

Portrait © Erin Baiano