One woman's journey of choices, and rise to healing.
Through film, music and live productions, we support the rights of preborn people from conception to birth and beyond, as well as healing and forgiveness in the wake of loss and "choice." Our largest project to date has been creating a film adaptation of our live production The Life Ballet called "Arise Sweet Sarah". The film was released September 12, 2015 in Rochester, NY. "Arise Sweet Sarah" also shares a message of the value and importance of all human life, as well as a message of healing, forgiveness and grace in the midst of unthinkable grief in the wake of lost motherhood. It is based on the testimony of Sandy Arena and the uncountable experiences of others who have suffered. The story is told through a powerful combination of narration, symbolism, acting, original score and a combination of modern dance and ballet. Filming took place in Rochester, NY during the summer of 2014 in conjunction with Verb Records. Verb Records was recently named the Record Label of the Year by the IMEA awards.
The Life Ballet and Arise Sweet Sarah Film was written and created by Sandy Arena who has suffered lost motherhood in the wake of choice. Arena has had the opportunity to memorialize her unborn children's lives and share this story with the family she now has including her wonderful husband Sam, and children Alexis Gaetano, Caleb and Annaliese. A former fitness instructor, publicist and nonprofit dance studio owner, she is the author of the book "Yahweh Ballet: Learning to Dance by Faith" and a homeschool mom. She is a songwriter who wrote much of the original music for The Life Ballet and Arise Sweet Sarah. Arena was honored in 2009 as one of the 175 Empowered Women in Rochester. She has been interviewed on Catholic and Christian newspaper, radio and television for her work in Christian arts and in speaking out on behalf of the unborn. Of all her positions, that of being a stay at home mom and wife has been her most valued.
Alexis Gaetano began studying dance at the age of two and teaching and choreographing at age 13. This accomplished young woman, age 23, is the owner of a ballet school called Mossa School of Dance located in Rochester, NY. She has worked in various roles with her mom Sandy Arena, and also as the founder and owner of Mossa Dance. She has served as the principle dancer, writer, director and choreographer for several full length ballets including Creation, Diamonds, The Tale of Three Trees, Snow White, The Christmas Shoes, the Wizard of Oz, Grinch, What Cancer Cannot Do, Twas the Night Before Christmas and Cinderella. She has an extensive musical theater and vocal background. She began choreographing and performing with The Life Ballet with her mother Sandy Arena at age 16. She dances the lead role of "Sarah" in The Life Ballet and our latest "Arise Sweet Sarah", and is acclaimed for her skill and sensitivity to portray a woman whose life has been deeply affected by abortion.
The Life Ballet was nominated as an official submission at LifeFest 2011 in Sacramento, California. It was also a feature film in Maranatha Christian Film Festival in Rochester, NY. The live show enjoyed many previous experiences touring nationally performing in New York, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Nashville Tennessee, California, Texas, Indiana, Colorado and Lethbridge, Canada. Although we were not credited, The Life Ballet and Sandy Arena were called upon to cast, choreograph, costume and serve as technical advisors to the video "This Time" by John Elefante. The dancers you see in that video and the choreography that was created, and most of the actors are from our team. The concept of dancing to share a story of abortion was inspired from our show. We have also appeared on or have been interviewed by The Miracle Channel Christian of Lethbridge, Canada, TCT.TV, Day Gardner's Day Report, Ethel Chadwick's Bagels and Blessings, Jill Stanek, Breaking Christian News, Tom Jackson Showcase, Monday Minute, Catholic Courier Post, Kim Ketola's Cradle My Heart.
Founder and Director Sandy Arena
Assistant Director, Choreographer and Principle Dancer