Sarah Ricard Orza is from Amherst, Massachusetts. She trained at Amherst Ballet School and on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet. In 1999, she joined New York City Ballet as an apprentice. She became a member of the corps de ballet in 2000 and danced with the company until 2006 before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2007. She was promoted to soloist in 2010 and principal in 2017.
At PNB, she has danced leading roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Apollo, Coppélia, Diamonds, Emeralds, The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and Symphony in C; Peter Boal’s Giselle; Val Caniparoli’s The Seasons; David Dawson’s Empire Noir and A Million Kisses to my Skin; Ulysses Dove’s Serious Pleasures and Vespers; William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and New Suite; Kiyon Gaines’ Sum Stravinsky; Paul Gibson’s The Piano Dance; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty; Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land, Petite Mort, and Sechs Tänze (Six Dances); Jessica Lang’s Her Door to the Sky; Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Cendrillon and Roméo et Juliette; Benjamin Millepied’s Appassionata; Mark Morris’ Pacific; Justin Peck’s Debonair and Year of the Rabbit; Crystal Pite’s Emergence; Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote and Pictures at an Exhibition; Jerome Robbins’ The Concert, Dances at a Gathering, Fancy Free, In the Night, Opus 19/The Dreamer, and West Side Story Suite (Maria); Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, Cinderella, Nutcracker, and Swan Lake (Odette/Odile, Queen Mother, Pas de trois, Persian Dance); Susan Stroman’s TAKE FIVE…More or Less; Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, Opus 111, and Waiting at the Station; and Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance), Polyphonia, Tide Harmonic, and Variations Sérieuses. She originated leading roles in Kyle Davis’ A Dark and Lonely Space, Millepied’s 3 Movements, and Price Suddarth’s Signature. At New York City Ballet, Ms. Orza danced leading roles in Balanchine’s Coppélia, Peter Martins’ The Sleeping Beauty, and Robbins’ Fanfare and Interplay. She also was featured in Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Theme and Variations, and Symphony in Three Movements; Martins’ Ash, Fearful Symmetries, Hallelujah Junction, and Swan Lake; Robbins’ NY Export: Opus Jazz and West Side Story Suite; and Richard Tanner’s Ancient Airs and Dances. She originated roles in Eliot Feld’s Organon, Miriam Mahdaviani’s In the Mi(d)st, Martins’ Bach Concerto V, Tanner’s Soirée, Helgi Tomasson’s Prism, and Wheeldon’s Shambards. Sarah retired from PNB in 2020. She is married to retired principal dancer Seth Orza. Together they run the ballet shoe company, Orza. They have two daughters, Lola and Stella.