Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 3.37.51 PM.png

Scholarship Recipients

Sarah Gooch Bradford Memorial Scholarship

Open to all advanced level students at NJSDA, this $1,000.00 scholarship serves to preserve the memory of Sarah Gooch Bradford, and her love of dance. 

One of Sarah’s main roles was her brilliant, comic portrayal of the Mad Hatter in 2003. Her brilliance as a pantomimist has been closely studied, and passed on to students.  Our heartfelt thanks for the gifts that Sarah has given to our dancers.


2007 . Christiana Rocco            2008  Kristen Kavanagh

2009  Ashley Wiedow                2010  Sarah Renna 

2011  Hannah Ruskan               2012  Kelly Williams

2013  Hannah Long                   2014  Michelle Quiner

2015  Kayla Walsh                       2016  Alexandra Limeburg

2017  Kaileigh Cagnassola       2018  Ambrya Mackewicz-Hurst

2019 Vanessa Falzarano

Life's Journey

Authors Peter and Cynthia Bradford


Sarah was born September 10th, 1985 at St. Vincent's Hospital, Staten Island, New York. She came to know Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord when baptized at St. Vincent's Hospital on the day of her birth. Her faith grew in Jesus as the years went by and she began to personalize her faith in the various circumstances that life presented to her. Always believing and striving in spite of some tremendous obstacles that God allowed along the way...

When the family moved to Colorado, Sarah was confirmed in her Christian faith at Word of Life Lutheran Brethren Church, Fort Collins, Colorado. While in Colorado, Sarah’s love for the ballet originated and blossomed into sparkling life...

She began her dance and ballet training at the age of five with the Arvada Performing Arts Center. She joined the 4H Club of Colorado winning a Reserve Champion for her graceful and delicate ballet performance during the Colorado State Fair and later furthered her training at the Academy of the Colorado Ballet Company in Denver. She performed Mid-Summer's Nights Dream, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia and three years in the Company's Nutcracker Suite.

The family then moved to Hackettstown, New Jersey where Sarah continued her dance and ballet training with The Step Shoppe Unlimited under the direction of Anneliese Burns, performing in Once Upon a Time at Blair Academy. She danced as part of the The Skylands Dance Theatre performing in two dances at the Warren County Teen Arts Festival, where she was selected for the state festival in each dance. Sarah was also selected and attended the musical theatre intensive at Hofstra University during the summer of her sophomore year.

Sarah was a share time student attending both Warren Technical School and Hackettstown High School. At Warren Technical School, Sarah was among a group of performing arts students featured in a Star-Ledger article spotlighting "Young and Talented" New Jersey students. While at WCTS she sang and danced in Godspell, and performed in and helped choreograph Bye Bye Birdie. While attending Hackettstown High School she danced to "What a Feeling" at their annual talent show and acted the part of "Vi" in Footloose. Sarah graduated Hackettstown High School on Thursday, June 19th 2003.

Sarah also performed in Won't You Join the Dance? - Alice in Wonderland with the North Jersey School of Dance Arts under the direction of Christine Taylor and continued to train with them after high school while attending County College of Morris.

On a very rainy Monday evening of June 26th, 2006 Sarah was driving east along Interstate 80 when she lost control of her car, spinning into the right side of the median and rear-ending two trees. The impact ejected her from the car. According to the autopsy report Sarah died instantly and is now in heaven with Jesus Christ her loving Savior.

The Bradford family has begun two Memorial Dance & Arts Scholarship Funds.

The North Jersey School of Dance Arts Scholarship and the Hackettstown High School Memorial Arts Scholarship in honor and memory of their daughter.

Albert Einstein once wrote, " A Dancers is the Athlete of God." The Bradford family desires to thank all of Sarah's teachers and fellow students who are such athletes and who encouraged Sarah along the way...

We also want to give a special thank you to Christine Taylor for her gracious kindness to Sarah and our family by making her life journey and memory more public through North Jersey School of Dance Arts.