Raíces Cultural Arts Collective
Artist Profiles

Sarah Town

Artist Bio

Sarah Town is a musician, dancer, capoeirista, teacher, scholar, and mom. Her interdisciplinary music/ dance research focuses on the histories, aesthetics, and circulation of Cuban popular dance culture. Her published work appears in Americas: A Hemispheric Music Journal, Ethnomusicology, and Studies in Spanish and Latin American Cinemas, and her lecture on gender in Cuban social dance cultures is available on YouTube. Alongside her scholarship, Sarah practices, teaches, and performs Cuban popular music and social dance, and Brazilian capoeira. She currently serves as a Lecturing Fellow in the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University, where she teaches courses on undergraduate research and writing that focus on popular music and dance and improvisational practices in Afro-diasporic and Latinx cultures.  

Artistic Highlights

Capoeira solo in
Princeton NJ, 2018

Impromptu dance performance with students in Princeton NJ, 2018

sarah y su cachito in NY, NY, featuring guest performer Mireya Ramos, 2010


Digital and Public Scholarship


  • Timbeando en Nueva York: Cuban Timba Takes Root Abroad.” Ethnomusicology 63:1 (Winter 2019): p.105-36.

  • “Cuba Dances: Popular Dance in the Construction of the Revolutionary State.” Studies in Spanish and Latin American Cinema. 14:2 (2017): p.171-91.

Book & Audio Reviews

  • Battle of Santiago, La Migra. Made With Pencil Crayons (2017). the world of music (new series) 8:2 (2019): p.103-5.

  • Christina Abreu, Rhythms of Race: Cuban Musicians and the Making of Latino New York City and Miami, 1940-60. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016. Jazz and Culture 1:1 (Spring 2018): p.125-9.

  • Juliet McMains, Spinning Mambo Into Salsa: Caribbean Dance in Global Commerce. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. Latin American Music Review 37/ 2 (Fall/ Winter 2016): p.251-3. [Also reviewed for Yearbook for Traditional Music 48 (2016): p.214-6.]

  • Umi Vaughan, Rebel Dance, Renegade Stance: Timba Music and Black Identity. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2012. Cuban Studies 45 (2017): p.408-10.