Samara is a multi-award winning bellydancer from the Northwest. She blends Tribal Fusion Bellydance with a foundation in classical ballet while embracing the American cabaret feel. Samara has performed, taught, and competed in this dance form for almost two decades.
At age five Samara began studying classical ballet in Portland Oregon, and continued these studies for fifteen years. After repeated injuries she decided to explore other dance forms. It was during this period of exploration that she began her Bellydance education in the American cabaret style. While Samara loved the dance form’s movements, she felt her dance background limited her ability to fully embrace the freedom of the style. Samara found herself at home in the structure and format of American Tribal Style Bellydance (ATS). In 1998 she began studying with the Gypsy Caravan in Portland, Oregon. She continued to learn and grow under the guidance of the caravan dancers for five years. During this time she also helped establish a bellydance collaborative from Welches, Oregon known as Earthdance.
After being accepted into the caravan’s performance level Samara moved to Central Oregon. In 2004 she met one of her dearest friends and her ultimate sister in the dance world, Kamini. Together they formed what would later go on to become the multi-award winning Tribal Fusion duet the Bijou Project. After melding their classical ATS backgrounds the Bijou Project discovered their own unique style of Tribal Bellydance that cohesively honored multiple influences in the bellydance and modern dance world.
In 2007, after working as a soloist in Dothan Alabama, Samara relocated to the Willamette Valley. There she had the privilage of teaching in Corvallis Oregon. During her time in the mid valley she continued her work with the Bijou Project and helped form the Wild Iris Tribe; a collaborative of students and professional bellydancers united through Samara’s teaching.
Samara moved to Olympia Washington in 2010 in order to be closer to her family for the birth and early childhood of her daughter Olivia. There she continued solo ventures through the guidance of Sahara of Bend Oregon while collaborating with the Bijou Project and the Nagamani Dance Company.
Samara returned to the mid valley in 2012. Since her return she has had the pleasure of teaching numerous workshops and advanced concept courses in the area. She continues her collaborations with the Bijou Project and Nagamani while coaching and managing her and her husband Craig’s CrossFit Affiliate, Calapooia CrossFit.