Sarah teaching Moving in Joy

Sarah Crowell

Sarah Crowell Dance Instructor at Moving-Joy in Oakland California

Who I am

I have taught dance, theater and violence prevention for over 30 years. At the end of 2020, I left my position as the Artistic Director at Destiny Arts Center in Oakland, CA where I served in different capacities from 1990-2020, including Executive Director from 2002-2007. I founded and co-directed the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company from 1993-2020, which has been the subject of two documentary films, and won the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award. 

Tell project Sarah Crowell Photo by Robbie Sweeny
Tell project Sarah Crowell Photo by Robbie Sweeny

I am a retired professional dancer, having performed and toured with numerous dance and dance/theater companies including Impulse Jazz Dance Company in Boston and the Dance Brigade in San Francisco. I also co-created the dance/theater company i am Productions!


I have facilitated arts integration, violence prevention, cultural humility and team building professional development sessions with nonprofits, corporations, schools and school districts, colleges and universities, since 2000, both locally and nationally.

I have been the recipient of the KPFA Peace award, the KQED Women’s History Local Hero award, the Bay Area Dance Week award, the Alameda County Arts Leadership award, and the National Guild for Community Arts Education Milestone award. She is also a four-time finalist for a Tony Award for Excellence in Theater Education. 

Since leaving Destiny Arts Center, I’ve worked as a consultant for numerous organizations, including the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, St. Mary’s College, Dance Mission Theater (Liberation Academy), the Othering and Belonging Institute, Movement Liberation and The World As It Could Be, doing team building, curriculum writing, group facilitation, arts festival and conference curation, and public speaking.

I believe passionately that the arts are an essential component of the journey to social justice, especially art forms that involve moving the body. I believe deeply that movement must be part of all movements for social change.

~ Sarah Crowell