Samantha Riggs is the Founder, Director and Choreographer for Portico Dance Company which is based in Bellingham, WA. 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 intended as a gift of love to their audiences.
With a prestigious 25-year dance career, Samantha has amassed an impressive portfolio in both traditional and original dance styles and has founded dance companies, projects and collaborations. She specializes in Bollywood, Bhangra, Tribal Style Bellydance, Tribal Fusion, Fire Arts and Fight Choreography for Dancers, and is the creator of the innovative "Bollywood Fusion Improv” (“BFI”) 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. Samantha founded and directed Arizona's Boom Boom Bollywood dance company and was assistant director, dancer, musician and choreographer for Tribal Fusion troupe, Domba, for ten years. She was a founding member of Fyrae, a ground-breaking fire arts troupe in the US Southwest. Samantha's current company, Portico, has performed at Emerald City Comicon, in Vancouver, BC, as a yearly draw at Reigning Down on Oregon Dance Camp and as a featured act all over the Pacific Northwest. Samantha continues to be in demand as an instructor, choreographer and performance artist and was recently headliner and teacher at Gothla UK. She is also a core performer with and the costume designer for Jamila Lotus Bellydance Carnivale and is pleased to be half of a zany collaborative comedic dance duo with Calamity Sam of Oakland, CA, known as the “Samwich”.
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, engineer and gunner. She is an enthusiastic, if diminutive, paladin-style fighter in the western martial arts/medieval reenactment world and is currently working as a ship's engineer aboard an adventure-cruise vessel in Alaska.