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The Dancers of,
The Company at Sparrow 

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Kira Akmajian 

Kira Akmajian has been dancing since she was 3. She has trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, and even hip hop, folkloric, flamenco, and swing dance, but tap dance has always been her passion. She has had the opportunity to train with some amazing tappers through the NM Tap Fest and UNM tap program. She is an Albuquerque native, a graduate of UNM, and an elementary school teacher.

Ryan Blair 

Ryan started dancing at the age of twelve. His first time attending a dance class was at Rio Rancho Middle School, where he studied dance under Mrs. Christina Daly. From there, his passion was ignited and he was introduced to all kinds of dance styles. Ryan fell in love with ballet! Since then, Ryan has been dancing ballet and continues to love it more and more each and every day. His love for ballet has turned into a passion for teaching the artform. Ryan now teaches multiple ballet classes at Sparrow Dance Productions.

He feels joy in seeing children flourish, love, and dance in his ballet classes. His long term goals are to gain enough knowledge about the art of ballet to pass on to his classes, and eventually graduate to teaching higher levels of ballet classes, and older students, at Sparrow Dance Productions.

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Montserrat Gallegos

Montserrat Gallegos has been dancing for 13 years and has performed in various stages around the US. She grew up dancing salsa and other Latin styles, then moved into jazz, contemporary and other technical styles. Now she specializes in all forms of abstract freestyles within HipHop and some that are derived from HipHop culture. She is a Bgirl, Krumper, Performer, part of HipHop University NM, former UNM Dance Faculty, and former NBA dancer. Montserrat continues to be a student and strives to learn from her teachers and her own students all the same.

She is constantly learning through cypher open practices with crew members and dancers in the Albuquerque community, always eager to learn about the culture and history of dance so she can pass that knowledge down to her students and those around her.

Ashley Hopson 

Ashley started ballet at the age of four in California as the Sue Dalton School of Ballet, now the Classical School of Ballet. While studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, she continued taking ballet classes, as well as belly dancing and Argentine tango. After moving to Albuquerque in 2011 she joined the La Mesa Dance Academy to continue to pursue her passion for dance. She has also performed in multiple performances of The Nutcrackers with New Mexico Ballet Company.

After relocating to Rio Rancho with her husband and two beautiful children, she continues to work in the engineering field is very excite to now be a part of the Sparrow Dance family.

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Michael Nocker 


Michael is new to Sparrow and the ballet world, but it has quickly become his new home away from home. He started his dance journey as a young adult as an improvised tribal style and fusion style belly dancer. Since then, he has become an aerialist, flying on the silks and lyra in the cirque, as well as performing as a pole dancer. To come back to earth, he enjoys yoga, contortion, and flowing with fire staffs and fans. When he's not in the studio, you will most likely find him rock climbing, playing with his dog, volunteering, or selling houses as Albuquerque's tallest, blondest Realtor.

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Lynn Padilla


During her first Nutcracker performance, Lynn was cast as a Snowflake, with Dance Arts Los Alamos. She fluffed her white tutu, stepped outside to catch her breath, and just then, huge SnowFlakes began to fall. She felt a magical connection onstage, and knew dancing would forever be a part of her life.

Lynn went onto serve in the National Guard, where she continued taking Ballet classes, with Dance Dimensions, in Albuquerque.

Lynn left New Mexico, and went on to serve in the Coast Guard. While stationed in Seattle, she took Ballet classes at Northwest School of Dance, in Bremerton, WA. Upon returning home in 2017, Lynn made a brief return to Dance Arts Los Alamos, before making a permanent move in 2022, to Sparrow Dance Productions, in Rio Rancho.  


Sparrow has become much more to her than just a dance studio. Here, she is challenged, offered a wide range of dance classes for personal growth, and has grown immensely under the direction of Mrs. Christina Daly-Smith, and Staff. While her path to success in Ballet has been sporadic, she is determined to advance, and knows she has found the Dance Studio that fits her. Lynn is passionate about the Art of dancing, and she strives to exude that while performing, to connect with her audience, and fellow dancers. Lynn has danced Ballet since her early teens, giving her a greater appreciation for the Art of Dance.


Her favorite quote reads: 

Dance is the hidden language of the Soul.” 

 -Martha Graham.

Amelia Parks


Amelia, and has been dancing her entire life! She danced on a competitive all-star dance team in Albuquerque, NM where she developed a passion for jazz, lyrical, and musical theater. Amelia was on staff for the Universal Dance Association for three years in college where she had the privilege of teaching dancers all over the country.


Her teaching philosophy is to empower athletes to bring the best version of themselves to the floor, and to always lead with kindness.

Amelia is a community support worker for a mental health agency in New Mexico and is currently working towards her masters in marriage and family therapy. She has a passion for people, and loves getting to connect with others through dance!

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Nikki Root 


Nikki began dancing at a young age at La Mesa Dance Academy in Albuquerque New Mexico. Throughout the years she has explored many different styles of dance but found her way back to ballet as an adult. She took several ballet classes at The University of New Mexico while completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art. She then joined The Ballet Repertory Theatre of New Mexico where she performed various roles in The Nutcracker, as well as A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

She is now pursuing her dream of being a full time artist as well as a ballerina. Nikki hopes to help share the joy of dance with the community through performance. She looks forward to continuing her ballet journey as a dancer at Sparrow.

Riley Swinney

Riley has been a dancer his whole life, if there is music, even in his head, he is dancing. Riley started dance classes at the age of nine at Veneration dance, taking jazz and hip-hop classes. Riley began dancing at Sparrow Dance Productions at the age of 13. At Sparrow, he was introduced to many different styles, and began to fall in love with the art of dance. Riley was part of Sparrow’s competition team and has competed with the team in ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, and lyrical.

Riley now teaches hip-hop and breakdancing at Sparrow Dance Productions. He loves getting to share his love for dance with his students. His love for dance shines through his choreography.  Riley is now attending University of New Mexico's Dance Department in pursuit of his Bachelor's in Dance Performance. In addition, Riley is now a full time company member of Sparrow Dance Productions. 

Lennon Washburn

Lennon started her dance career at the age of 3, with New Mexico’s Ballet Repertory Theatre. She started dancing for Sparrow Dance Productions in the Spring of 2022. Lennon has also danced with other companies inside and outside of New Mexico including New York’s Joffrey and Keshet dance company. She has performed in several Nutcracker productions and has been in other performances such as “The Wizard of Oz", “Sleeping Beauty”,  and “The Little Mermaid". Lennon is currently a student at the University of New Mexico, pursuing a career in dance, in the hopes to one day travel for dance.

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