Samantha Nielsen began her dance training at age four in the Cecchetti method of ballet at the Montecito School of Ballet in Santa Barbara, California, and completed her Advanced II exam in the Cecchetti method at seventeen. She received a B.A. in Theater Arts with a Dance emphasis and in Communication from Santa Clara University in 2010. Since moving to the bay area in 2006 she has had the opportunity to work with many talented choreographers such as Abigail Hosein, Kristen Kusanovitch, Tandy Beal, David Popalisky, Claire Calalo, Lauren Baines, and Nahn Ho as well as the dance company Cardinalidae. Samantha is heavily influenced by her early years in classical ballet and continues to bring the ballet aesthetic to her dancing, working to integrate it with the jazz and modern styles that she has studied in more recent years. She is very excited to now be dancing with for change dance collective, and to have found an expressive, creative and collaborative environment to continue her study of dance.