Samantha offered me an amazing selection of workshops, and I have chosen one which I think is going to be so much fun for everybody, quite different to anything available locally and a good compliment to the other 2 workshops on the day with myself and Demelza Fox.
Competition Bhangra with Samantha Riggs
Bhangra is a folk dance style from the region of Punjab in Northern India. There are many Bhangra competitions around the country in which teams participate for prize money. In the quest for the prize, the traditional Bhangra moves have been spiced up by the competing teams… much as the bellydance community has elaborated on traditional Middle Eastern dances. The result is an athletic and exuberant version of traditional Bhangra… which is already quite aerobic in itself!
Samantha has studied this over-the-top style with Punjabi instructors and will break it down for you. Be ready for jumps, stomps, drops and fun with rocking Bhangra remixes!
This class is suitable for both men and women at a beginning or intermediate level in Bhangra. Women should be sure and wear a sports or support bra. trousers are recommended – students will only get frustrated wearing a skirt. If you need knee or ankle support to do deep knee bends, please bring it (alternate moves will be available for those with knee issues). This class is quite a workout, but fear not! You're up to it – just challenge yourself ;)
Level: All (athletic).
Level: All (athletic).
If you are interested in seeing some Bhangra, then Samantha has compiled an excellent playlist on YouTube.
So if you book all 3 workshops (at a discount no less), you can expect a packed day of sass and attitude, a little bit of slink, a little bit of introspection ending with a lively dance-filled session to get us all pumped up for the evening's party!
So who's the teacher?
[bio from Samantha]
Samantha Riggs is the Founder, Director and Choreographer for Portico Dance Company which is based in Bellingham, WA where she lives and teaches weekly classes. Portico Dance Company is Samantha's newest brainchild (but is now 4 years old!) and works with collaborating artists from British Columbia, North Carolina, Oregon, California and Arizona. "Portico", being an Italian word referring to a porch supported by columns, is so-named as a salute to the power of community. Samantha and Portico perform and teach traditional and original dances in the styles of Bollywood, Bhangra and Tribal Belly Dance. With profound love and respect for the cultures in India, the Middle East and the US by whom they are inspired, Portico's performances are a gift of love to their audiences. The dancers hope that their viewers, too, will partake in the joy of these traditions.
With a prestigious 21-year dance career, Samantha has amassed an impressive portfolio in both traditional and original dance styles. She specializes in Bollywood, Bhangra, Tribal Style Bellydance, Tribal Fusion, Fire Arts and Fight Choreography for Dancers, and is the creator of the innovative "Portico-Style Bollywood Fusion Improv” dance style. Gaining notoriety as both an independent dancer and with her troupe involvement as director, assistant director, choreographer, teacher and musician, her featured performances have reached audiences worldwide. During Samantha's time with Domba Tribal Fusion Dance Troupe, they won the 2006 Zaghareet “Best Troupe” award. With her second directorial project, Boom Boom Bollywood, Samantha's innovative “Minnat Kare” choreography won first place in the Aashiyana All-Indus Dance Competition in 2007. In 2012-15, Samantha's current company, Portico, performed and taught at a sold-out panel at Emerald City Comicon, as the headlining artist for the show "Bombay Underground" in Vancouver, BC, at Reigning Down on Oregon Dance Camp and as a featured artist in the “Shakti Awards Gala” in Surrey, BC. Samantha continues to be in demand as an instructor, choreographer and performance artist. She is also a core performer and the costume designer for Jamila Lotus Bellydance Carnivale.
For Samantha, Art is really all about saving the World through an unadulterated, fearless and unapologetic expression of Love and belief in the benevolence of others.
Samantha is also a tall ship sailor and gunner. She can often be found somewhere off the west coast of the United States or Canada, 70-90 feet in the air in the rigging, hauling like mad on a halyard, happily covered in pine tar or firing the black powder guns of the brig Lady Washington. She is currently studying to be a marine mechanic and electrician so she can fix things on more modern ships and work on big, loud engines.
I am feeling exceptionally lucky to be able to host Samantha here in Glastonbury, so don't miss your opportunity to learn from her, book your tickets today!