Dance Faculty

Samantha Speis

Samantha Speis headshot

Photo by Hayim Heron


Samantha Speis, Co-Artistic Director of Urban Bush Women, is a mother and movement improviser intrigued with rigor, risk, and experimentation. She has worked with Gesel Mason, The Dance Exchange, Jumatatu Poe, Deborah Hay (as part of the Sweet Day curated by Ralph Lemon at the MoMA), Baba Israel, Marjani Forte, and Liz Lerman. Speis was the recipient of the Alvin Ailey New Directions Choreography Lab and was awarded a Bessie for Outstanding Performer. Her work has been featured at the Kennedy Center, Long Island University, Joyce SoHo, Hollins University, BAAD, Danspace Project, BAM, Dixon Place, BRIC, Dance Place, and The Kelly Strayhorn Theater. Speis has developed a teaching practice that explores pelvic mobility as the root of powerful locomotion and as a point of connection to the stories, experiences and lineages that reside in each of us. She has been a guest artist and teacher throughout the U.S., South America, Senegal, and Europe. Recent projects include Walking with Trane co-choreographed with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and her collaboration with Chanon Judson-Johnson and Raelle Myrick-Hodges on Hair and Other Stories.