Performing Name: Sarah Sutter
Sarah Sutter grew up in a small town in southwest Colorado, where she started her dance training at the only dance studio in town. She not only was a dancer, but she also was an athlete. When she graduated from high school she went to college on a volleyball scholarship, but soon knew that dance is where her heart was. She continued her dance training at Mesa State College, and at University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Shortly after moving to Las Vegas, she was cast as a Bluebell in Donn Arden’s Jubilee. She spent over 10 years in the show, as a Bluebell, Line Captain, Show Swing, Principal Understudy, and closed the show on it’s final night as a Featured Dancer and Tall Nude. During her 10 years at Jubilee, she had the opportunity to be a public relations representative, making television, live, and in print appearances across America, Canada, and Mexico...
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Performing Name: Cathy Long-Colbert
I grew up in a small town just outside of West Lafayette, Indiana. My early childhood was the epitome of the Midwest: baseball, apple pie and playing outside with my siblings, barefoot, chasing lightening bugs. I discovered dance when I was 12 years old when my older sister took me to see the ballet “Cinderella” at the Purdue University. I was entranced: I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life. I returned home and announced, “I am going to be a professional ballet dancer.” Considering that we lived surrounded by cornfields, the thought seemed rather like a pipe dream. Thankfully, we found Lafayette Ballet School locally and I felt like my soul had found its purpose and took as many classes as my parents allowed. I continued my training at Butler University in Indianapolis, graduating with a BFA Dance Performance, Cum Laude in 2000.
Following school, I performed with San Diego Ballet, Atlantic Southeast Ballet, and Nevada Ballet Theatre, retiring as a soloist in 2009. While dancing with San Diego Ballet, my dear friend Suzanne and I (Suzanne went on to dance with me at “Jubilee!” and became the assistant company manager of the show) happened to catch a reality show called “Nearly Famous, behind the scenes of ‘Jubilee!’” I remember thinking how glamorous it seemed and we never missed an episode!
I loved dancing ballet, but always felt there was a little piece of me missing: I was often told “You are a lovely dancer, but you are just too tall for us…you have great stage presence, but you just don’t fit in with the rest of the corps de ballet…etc.” When I finally had the opportunity to audition for the show, I had an immediate feeling of coming home: at “Jubilee!” I was considered average height and stage presence was everything. It was more than just the dancing though: the pride in being an Icon, the sense of family with the cast and crew, feeling confident about my body for the first time in my dance career, and the costumes, oh lord the costumes!! I mean what other job description on the planet includes wearing $8000 worth of rhinestones and feathers as part of your daily routine?? I had the amazing opportunity to assist with the national auditions all over the country and work with some amazing talent, including dancing on the Today Show, performing with JLo for New Years Eve, and all the talented artists and kids that have been a part of the Showgirl Art competition each year.
It was an honor to be offered the Bluebell Dance Captain position and it pushed me to become a better leader, dancer, and person. As a dance captain, I was responsible for 22-24 girls in the show. I gave them daily notes about changes in the evening performance, casting, absences, etc. I was responsible for teaching them the show when they were new, dealing with managerial and dancer relation issues, and often running rehearsals between or after the shows. As a part of the captain role, I was a full swing, requiring me to know each and every female role in the show, which I loved, as it meant my show was different every evening. Being a captain meant being my dancers’ boss, mom, sister, confidante, teacher, and trying to be the finest role model I could be. I always felt that to get the best from the girls was to lead by example, and I hope I did that well! When I look back at my dancing career, being the bluebell dance captain at “Jubilee!” is my most precious memory.
The other glorious thing about dancing in “Jubilee!” was that I had the ability to pay all my bills. That may sound rather mundane, but I spent the whole of my ballet career having second, third, and fourth jobs to help me cover my regular bills, where as dancing in “Jubilee!” gave me health insurance, a 401K, and pride in my ability to cover all of my expenses. Because the show was in the evenings, I was able to start my own business during the day, 1st Impressions Invitations, crafting custom wedding stationery. That initial business idea led to my full time career coordinating weddings following my retirement from “Jubilee!” in 2015. I found that coordinating social events was very much like being a captain at “Jubilee!” and the lessons learned on and off the stage translated into the special event world easily.
I now live in England with my wonderful husband and we are expecting our first child! I look back on my dance career with such fondness. I have such wonderful memories of dancing with some of the best people who have stayed my near and dearest friends. I learned so much from being a showgirl, but most importantly, I learned that life is much like the stage: it is exactly what you make of it. You can choose to hide in the back or you can choose to engage with your audience and be your most glamorous self. Here’s to all my fellow glamorous showgirls and boys: I am honored to be one of us!