Sparrow has been dancing for all she remembers of life. Starting out with figure skating and ballet as a child, and switching to swing and dancing for theatre as a teen, she finally came home to belly dance in 2004. She studied with Onca O’leary and Baraka Mundi in Asheville for several years before moving to the bay area, where she studied with Jill Parker. Upon returning to Asheville in 2008, she joined Baraka Mundi and began teaching classes and directing a student troupe. After several formative and inspiring collaborations around Asheville, she set out on her own. Since 2013, she has been touring the country with her band, The Resonant Rogues, playing music, performing and teaching dance. She also teaches swing, charleston, and vintage jazz dance, and leads the swing band Sparrow & her Wingmen. The combination of live music and dance is her passion, and The Resonant Rogues aim to play for both belly and swing dancers, with a mix of traditional and original tunes.
Sparrow also dances and plays music at Asheville’s own middle eastern restaurant, Jerusalem Garden
Sparrow loves to teach this beautiful art form, and has taught weekly classes and many workshops since 2009. Her deep understanding of musicality, tireless study of many styles of dance, patience, and down to earth, friendly nature make her a sought after instructor.
Sparrow’s workshop topics include:
This drills class is born out of regular personal practice and a close steady group of friends and students. The soundtrack and movement influences are as diverse as Sparrows own background. Shimmy to adventure metal as well as Hossam Ramsey, work on slow arms to old blues, practice your pelvic isolations to punk rock, and stretch out with some soul. We will cover lots of bases, body parts, and bumping tunes, get ready to shake it and snake it from head to toe. Beginner and/or intermediate levels available
Bee’s Knees Belly Dance –
Charleston, Jazz, and Vaudeville flair
With the revival of vaudeville comes a renewed love of the music of its golden age- hot jazz, minstrel music, Tin Pan Alley classics, and some modern mash-ups are what we will be dancing to in this exciting workshop. We will learn some Charleston basics, including footwork and arm movements, drill classic belly dance movements to the era’s music, and learn combinations that pull the different styles together beautifully. This class is great for fusion belly dancers, burlesque artists, and swing dancers who want to put a little extra flair in there! Sparrow’s background as a musician and her longtime love of swing dancing give her a unique ability to break down the movements and music that give this period it’s pizazz.
Whats a Waltz? Belly dance in 3/4 time
Tending toward the lyrical and whimsical, the waltz rhythm, or ¾ time, sends our hearts, minds and bodies awhirl. In belly dance, we tend to drill mostly in 4/4, or common time. This class will focus on drilling fundamentals in ¾ time, talking about and practicing attention to musicality, learning combinations, and going over the basics of the waltz as a partner dance.
Raqs and Roll-
In this high energy workshop, we will be drilling shimmies, arm movements, and all sorts of isolations to the rollicking beats of punk, metal, and classic rock and roll. We will also be busting out our super slow and deeply muscular moves to melodic, sludgy metal and old slow bluesy rock. Put it all together with some catchy combos, and you’ll be ready to rumble! Come prepared to get sweaty and awesome. This will be epic.
Three Quarter Throwdown–
so many ways to 3/4 shimmy! We will
discuss and practice the difference between a triplet and a gallop,
work on ups, downs, and all arounds and talk about when each is
appropriate. Also, we will apply the three quarter rhythms to many
different movements from our heads down to our toes!
Zills for Thrills-
Zills are an amazing and extremely fun instrument- lets break them out of the gallop box! In this workshop we will be going over some classic middle eastern rhythms, and a few variations, with zills. Then we’re gonna move with it, first drilling some basic isolations and traveling steps, and finishing up with a nice little set of combinations. Focusing on musicality, and intensive listening, working with call and response and hearing whats happening without having to count.
Singing With Sparrow
Learn to sing from your diaphragm, match pitches, find harmonies, and
sing by yourself or with a group. Just like your body, your voice requires practice and drills to make it do the things you want it to! We will warm up, learn several songs, and get ready to participate in your live music community.
Musicality and Basic Music Theory for Dancers- and overview of fundamental concepts such as time signatures, keys, chords, and arrangements, and exploring ideas such as space, tension, dynamics, underlying pulse. Includes dancing and listening to many different styles of music.
Partner Acrobatics- take your act to the next level and learn to balance on your buddies! A traditional part of Circus, Vaudeville, and Bollywood, this workshop will teach you some basic tricks and strength exercises, as well as showing you how to be safe and sustainable in your pursuit of panache.
Upcycling for Belly Dancers– turn that shirt into a choli, a curtain into pantaloons, give those pants some layers of ruffles and that old hem a new lease on life as a flower for your hair! With examples and handouts, Sparrow will guide you through the goodwill and help you make the most creative and original costumes with the least amount of dollars!