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Photo of Sarah Rowinski, her hands on either side of her face

Sarah Clarke-Rowinski

The Fredericton Playhouse selection committee has recognized and awarded dance teacher and choreographer Sarah Clarke-Rowinski as the Playhouse Honours recipient for 2022. 

“Dance is a special type of artistic expression, combining the physical and emotional,” says Murray Jamer, President of the Board of the Fredericton Playhouse. “Sarah has brought this joy to many young dancers in our community throughout the years. We are so pleased to present the Playhouse Honours this year to someone who has worked so hard bringing the arts into the lives of dancers in Fredericton.”

Sarah is an award-winning dancer and choreographer who has contributed substantially to the growth of young dancers in Fredericton and the performing arts community since coming to New Brunswick in 1998. Originally from Nova Scotia, Sarah began dancing at a young age with the Royal Academy of Dance in Ontario before moving to British Columbia where she continued her extensive dance training. At 15 she accepted an invitation to train with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. The experience has had lasting impact on her as an artist and has played a central role in her work with youth. 

In 2004 Sarah founded X-treme Dance Studio offering new approaches, opportunities, and styles for competitive and non-competitive aspiring young dancers. Nearly a decade and half later, Sarah has won numerous awards as an entrepreneur and teacher and has dedicated herself to helping young dancers find career pathways in the performing arts, and hundreds more simply find a love for dance. 

Over the years, Sarah’s expertise has made important contributions to many performing arts organizations within the Fredericton community. In addition to being an instructor at St. Thomas University and the University of New Brunswick, she has volunteered countless hours in public schools helping with a variety of programs aimed at enhancing movement education with students and teachers alike. 

Instilling in her dancers the importance of volunteerism, X-treme Dance Studio dancers regularly give back to the community performing in important events, senior centers, and televised telethons. Most importantly, Sarah has become well known by families and dancers as an incredibly important role model for children and young adults. For the past 18 years, Sarah’s ability to nurture a space of care, inclusiveness, and belonging for dancers in the performing arts is perhaps her most important legacy.

“As a parent I have watched my two girls, and many other students develop into better students and people because of the influence from dance in their lives,” says Lise Julian, whose children danced for Sarah. “My girls have improved mentally and physically, have a great sense of self discipline and respect for themselves and others.”

As the recipient of the 2022 Playhouse Honours, Sarah Clarke-Rowinski will join fifteen other local performing arts pioneers bestowed this prestigious award over the years. 

The Fredericton Playhouse acknowledges generous support from promotional partner Atlantic Mediaworks for their contribution of services to the program.