Sarah Van Patten was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts USA, where at the age of six, she began taking dance classes with Barbara Mullen, a local teacher. She trained at Boston Ballet and began performing at age 8 in their annual performance of The Nutcracker. By age 10, Sarah was studying with Jacqueline Cronsberg and performing classical ballet repertoire with the Massachusetts Youth Ballet. She spent her summers studying with Jean-Pierre Bonnefeux, Violette Verdy, and Patricia McBride at The Chautauqua Institution.
In 2000 at age 15, she joined the Royal Danish Ballet as an apprentice where John Neumeier cast her as Juliet in his Romeo and Juliet. Soon after, she was promoted to the rank of corps dancer, and originated a soloist role in Peter Martin's Halleluiah Junction. Sarah joined San Francisco Ballet as a soloist dancer in 2002 and was promoted to the rank of principal dancer in 2007.
Sarah’s featured roles while at San Francisco Ballet include: Romeo and Juliet, The Four Temperaments, Apollo, Divertimento No. 15, Nutcracker (Sugarplum Fairy, Tea), Nanna’s Lied, Rodeo, Dybbuk, Afternoon of a Faun, Serenade, and Carousel (a Dance).