Sara Clayborne Volunteer Profile

January 4, 2019

A dancer since childhood, Sara Clayborne graduated from the Professional Children’s School in New York City and went on to dance professionally with the New York Theatre Ballet and Richmond Ballet Training Program. In 2007 she co-founded Charlottesville Ballet with Emily Hartka.  Charlottesville Ballet’s unique mission focuses on dancer’s health and wellness and is the only full-time professional dance company in the Charlottesville area. Charlottesville Ballet is divided into three entities: a professional company, Charlottesville Ballet Academy training school and Chance to Dance. The reasoning behind the three entities emerged when Sarah realized that in order to bring the most impact, she would have to train young dancers setting them on a path of better health.  

Sara was connected to CIC through two friends at a time when Charlottesville Ballet was expanding their studio space. Through CIC she was able to garner more practical knowledge to apply towards her business such as break-even profitability and instruction of human resources.  Sara believes that “CIC was able to help me in this expansion as my workgroup leader, Wendy Brown, was wonderful at facilitating meaningful discussions”. After graduating from the program, Sara participated in the mentoring program.

Sara first began volunteering with CIC as a workgroup leader in 2013 and now currently serves on the board. Sara explains that she “enjoys volunteering with CIC as I have been able to see its impact in a different light and be able to help build it for others, whether through raising funds or growing the network”. Beginning in January 2018, Sara joined the board.  Sara wanted to become a board member because she wants “everyone who comes through the program to succeed in the best way possible, as an individual.”

To future CIC entrepreneurs, Sara urges the importance of building connections with people as entrepreneurship is risky and can feel lonesome when leaders are tasked with making hard decisions. The community that CIC helps build for entrepreneurs is pivotal as the network is able to understand the struggles entrepreneurs face. Staying connected to this network and to CIC is extremely beneficial after graduation.  

Thank you, Sara, for your support of CIC!