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Sundae Sparkles Oral History Interview

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Sundae Sparkles Oral History Interview


Sundae Sparkles introduces herself as a Burlesque performer. She was born and raised in Grants Pass, Oregon. She describes always being interested in dance, art, and theater all through school. In high school, she discovered the world of horses and dressage, which she said is like making your horse dance. She grew up in an artistic family, married an artist, and has a son.

Sundae began belly-dancing in 2003 as a form of self-expression, but soon became immersed in owning and operating a comic book store, and home-schooling her son. In 2008, she saw the traveling Burlesque show, Tease-O-Rama, in Ashland. She describes the impact that show had on her and how she continued to think about it and was fascinated by it. In 2014, she threw a birthday bash that incorporated Burlesque as part of the entertainment. That same year she attended the Burlesque educational conference in Seattle, BurlyCon. Sundae describes BurlyCon as four days of education taught by national and international Burlesque luminaries. Within a year, Sundae was performing Burlesque in the Rogue Valley with fellow Burlesque performer, Miss Darby Doll.

Sundae works full-time in the world of art. Her husband is an artist, they make products and they travel extensively to vend at large convention across the United States. She notes that her travel schedule makes it difficult to commit to performing at local Burlesque shows, because she is constantly out-of-town.

Sundae describes the Burlesque community as the most inclusive group of people she’s ever met. She talks about the extensive supportive network throughout the Burlesque world and about traveling the festival circuit to perform. She details the logistics and finances of traveling to participate in Burlesque festivals and shows.

Sundae tells about her artistic process for creating a new piece of Burlesque. One of the acts that she is best known for is her Bigfoot act. She talks about how she got the idea for that act and how she created the costume. She explores how she creates choreography to express her themes. She explains her consideration for avoiding cultural appropriation in her art, citing examples from her experience. She admits that her performances are often in the “wacky” category, where cultural appropriation is less of an issue.

Sundae describes all the skills sets involved in working in the creative industries as an entrepreneur. She feels that the performance art form Burlesque is one of the most empowering and describes how it fights societies dictates of what “pretty” is defined as. She feels that it’s important to have all different types of bodies represented on stage and that Burlesque can shift awareness in society. She started performing Burlesque the year she turned 40 years old.

Sundae feels that the diversity in Burlesque means it will just keep growing and getting bigger as an art form. She notes that it is an expensive art form to produce, and it has so much history and inclusivity that it is inspirational.


Sundae Sparkles


Oregon Burlesque Performers Oral History Collection (OH 49)


Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Oregon State University Libraries


December 3, 2019


Laurie Kurutz


Born Digital Video




Oral History



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Laurie Kurutz


Sundae Sparkles


Ashland, Oregon

Original Format

Born Digital Video



OHMS Object

Interview Format


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