Samara Atkins

Samara Atkins is an Oakland native and has been dancing, performing, and teaching hip-hop since 1999.


Her mission is to utilize dance as a somatic tool for celebrating, addressing, coping, connecting, and healing within our lived experiences. She's been technically trained in hip-hop, ballet, and jazz, while her focus over the last decade has predominantly been urban street styles and social dancing. Samara has been director, choreographer, and dancer of Howard University's Vizion Performance Team while attending, Mix'd Ingrdnts, and dancer within the New Style Motherlode family and Carla Service's Dance-A-Vision. She's also back-up danced for Nile Rodgers & Chic at the Fold Festival in New York.

Samara is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Mix'd Ingrdnts, an all-female, multi-ethnic, multi-genre dance company, with a mission to educate, inspire, and empower women, youth, and the community. She and her crew have been featured on the Harry Connick Jr. show and KQED. She's also choreographer and member of the two-time GRAMMY-nominated children's music group, Alphabet Rockers. Samara and her movement have been featured in the Adobe Max Project 1324 campaign, as well as the recent Fall 2020 Columbia Outerwear 1938 campaign.

Samara loves traveling to international destinations to showcase, teach, preserve culture, and share her love of movement. She inspires people everywhere to move, no matter their age or skill level. She teaches classes, facilitates workshops, and engages in community events. Samara is currently a teaching artist through Destiny Arts Center, teaches adult classes at In the Groove Studios, and is doing online offerings. To stay up to date, follow her on Instagram @Samaralou, on Facebook at Samara Atkins, or email with inquiries.
photo of Samara Atkins


The Work: We Take Care of Us (A session on bridging with music by the Alphabet Rockers)
Alphabet Rockers (2020 OBI Artist-in-Residence) reveal how their songwriting process relies on inquiry into the human experience to effect cultural change. This anti-racist work centers children and families, listening to the questions they hold and developing musical responses. The process and products are intergenerational spaces for envisioning, finding joy and building cultural infrastructures of care and understanding. In this session they’ll focus on three projects that demonstrate how they embrace human experiences (LISTENING), embody community practices (EXPANDING), and use their art...