About Calamity

Photo by Lee Corkett

Samantha (Calamity Sam) is a Tribal Fusion belly dance performer based in Oakland, California. Calamity has been entrenched in the belly dance world ever since she first saw Rachel Brice drop out of a back bend. Like many others, she knew instantly that she wanted her body to be able to execute such amazing acts. When in Los Angeles, she is often found performing at Zulu Lounge and Eclectic Ensemble. She also appears regularly with Electric Vardo in the Bay Area. Calamity Sam has been featured in Unmata’s  Bloodmoon Regale (with dance troupe Se7en), Tribal Rendezvous 2010, Electric Vardo Set: Tribal Fest 10 & 11 and ongoing collaborations with many LA and Bay area dancers. She recently began visits to Europe- teaching and performing in Northern France, Valencia (Spain), and in Utrecht(Netherlands).

A life-long dance admirer, Calamity has always loved music and its’ attitudes- and it was this that pushed her to study dance later in life than most. Her first formal dance class was in community college just after High School. Since then, Sam has seen dance as an integral part of her life, leaving it only to focus on her visual art education (which never happens for very long). Early teachers and mentors include Zahra Zuhair, Heather Shoopman, and Sherri Wheatley, as well as those that brought new forms of movement to light. The influence of these teachers and performers help Calamity to push her dance to new places every time she steps on stage. Now, (thanks to those just mentioned)  the use of character and musicality have become the hallmarks of Calamity Sam’s stage persona. In every performance, she seeks to have the audience enjoy themselves as much as she does while performing- whether it is a slow and serious piece or a light, comedic romp.

Above all, Calamity Sam sees tribal fusion belly dance as the medium of the eclectic- stringing together the pieces of inspiration from all over the world and mixing them up in her own way.

In her other life she is an aspiring animator & illustrator, while working as a freelance graphic and print designer. She seeks to strike a balance between a life of visual art and performance art, while using the two creative outlets as fuel for each other.

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