Lisa Kim Sanborn began her dance training in New Jersey at the Princeton Ballet School. After moving to Illinois, Ms. Sanborn trained at the Ruth Page Foundation in Chicago with Larry Long, Dolores Lipinski, and Warren Conover. She later studied with many notable teachers, including Elisabeth Carroll and Felix Smith. Ms. Sanborn danced as a member of the Clinton Contemporary Ballet and Quad Cities Civic Ballet companies in Iowa, performed for several years in the Chicago Tribune Charities production of The Nutcracker at the Arie Crown Theater, and appeared with the Royal Danish Ballet at the Auditorium Theater in Napoli.
In 2014, Ms. Sanborn, a distinguished teacher and dancer, was named the Artistic Director of New Haven Ballet. Under Ms. Sanborn’s leadership New Haven Ballet has continued offerings throughout the pandemic, improving the Children’s and Student divisions, instituting DanceAIR, which brings ballet education to New Haven Public School children, offering needs-based scholarships, bringing in world renowned guest master teachers and choreographers, adding classes for teens and adults through the Open Division, and expanding Shared Ability, which brings dance and performance opportunities to differently abled artists. She has staged and choreographed many works, including excerpts from: Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, Raymonda, La Bayadère, Giselle, Le Corsaire, Swan Lake, and Paquita. In 2013, Ms. Sanborn premiered an all-new Nutcracker, which was again reimagined in 2022 due to the pandemic. She established partnerships with area arts organizations, as well as leading musicians. Ms. Sanborn choreographed the full-length children’s ballets, Beauty and the Beast, which premiered at the historic Shubert Theatre in 2018 and Peter Rabbit in 2019. In 2021, she premiered video performances of new works, including Vivaldi Concerto for Two Violins and Caprice Nos. 4 and 5, composed by Polina Nazaykinskaya. In 2022, she premiered a children’s ballet version of Don Quixote. New Haven Ballet has also performed at several local community performances and festivals, including the Branford Festival and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Under Ms. Sanborn, NHB is poised to continue meeting the challenges that come with success: maintaining a high caliber dance program that supports students from beginner to pre-professional; and continuing to develop community ties within Greater New Haven and southern Connecticut.
Ms. Sanborn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Skidmore College, where she minored in dance. She received a Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School of Union University and served as corporate counsel for the Southern Connecticut Gas Company and Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation until the birth of her son in 2009. In 2015, Yale University appointed Ms. Sanborn an Associate Fellow of Pierson College. Ms. Sanborn also serves as a member of the Arts Industry Coalition and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Dance Alliance.