WHS student balances dance, academics

Westfield High School senior Sarah Witzman performs as the Midnight Fairy during a 2017 Ballet Theatre of Carmel presentation of “Cinderella.” (Submitted photo).

By Rick Morwick

Sarah Witzman is a busy 18-year-old with myriad interests, a technical mind and a volunteer spirit.

For example, she’s active in multiple organizations at Westfield High School and plans to study mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University. She has also served as committee chair for WHS’s Dance Marathon fundraiser for Riley Hospital for Children and is a class representative in Key Club, a community service group.

But when Witzman isn’t studying or volunteering, she devotes what little spare time she has to her lifelong passion — dance. She began as a toddler and is, at age 18, an accomplished performer.

“I love dance because it is a challenging art form that allows me to work hard and push myself,” said Witzman, a senior and nine-year member of the Ballet Theatre of Carmel. “I also love preparing for a performance, and it is very rewarding to see months of hard work pay off in the final performance.”

Witzman’s next performances will be May 12 and 13 in the Ballet Theatre of Carmel’s presentation of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” at the WHS auditorium. The May 12 performance is at 7:30 p.m. The May 13 performance is at 2 p.m. Witzman is the lead waltz, big swan and Russian princess.

In total, Witzman has performed in about 15 ballets during her career, including annual appearances in “The Nutcracker” during the holidays.

For Witzman, training and performing are pure labors of love.

“I have been dancing since I was 3 years old,” she said. “After my first beginning dance class, I loved it and realized that I wanted to keep dancing.”

But dancing isn’t Witzman’s only commitment. She is equally dedicated to her volunteer work, club activities and, most importantly, her school work.

An honors student, Witzman plans to major in mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton.

As evidenced by all of the above, Witzman not only participates in a range of activities, she excels at each — no easy accomplishment for a busy teen who somehow finds time for everything, including ballet.

“I usually train for about 15 hours a week,” Witzman said. “It can be difficult to manage my clubs, volunteer work, dance and school, but I have had to learn to manage my time and find a way to balance everything I am involved in.”

Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”

What: Ballet Theatre of Carmel at Performer’s Edge presents the lavish, full-length ballet, Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” at Westfield High School, 18250 N Union St.

When: May 12 at 7:30 pm and May 13 at 2 pm.

Tickets: Available through tututix.com or at the door. Admission is $22 for adults; $15 for students 18 and under; and $15 for adults 65 and older.


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