Samantha Long is the Founder and CEO of A THREAT Media – an entertainment powerhouse built by women and allies of women, for women. Through an impressive social media influence and an in-house production team, A THREAT creates viral trends and moments that empower female trendsetters across pop-culture, music, fashion and business. The public praise Samantha has received from Billie Eilish, Shakira and Nicki Minaj are just the most recent validations for a movement decades in the making.
Known for her trademark ‘hip-hop-in-heels’ choreography, Samantha impacts hundreds of millions of fans worldwide through features in motion picture, television, music, strategic brand partnerships and innumerable viral videos – most recently including her signature intertwining of martial arts and dance.
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Dance Mogul: How important is it that major artists help create platforms for dancers?
Samantha: Dancers and dance as a whole play a massive part in the careers of artists, and I do think that we’re starting to see greater effort in making sure the effect of dance is recognized. By choreographing viral trends that then catapult music artists careers, dancers are always innovating while also keeping artists relevant in the public eye. Singers should definitely make it a priority to give dancers a platform in any way that they can as a sign of respect & gratitude for what dancers give to them. Even starting off with a simple tag for crediting the dancers when reposting them would be a great start – but that’s not even the tip of the iceberg in terms of addressing issues dancers face today. There needs to be a revolution in the way that dancers are paid. I will be doing everything in my power to lead in that revolution.
Dance Mogul: How does it feel to get back to work as a dancer after the pandemic?
Samantha: I am so excited to be performing again! I’ve missed the energy of the crowd so much since the pandemic started. Now that shows are back I have been super busy choreographing live performances, leading in movement coaching, and gearing up for Lil Wayne’s Uproar Hip Hop Festival! I am the host and lead judge for the Uproar Dance Competition as well as my media company A THREAT co -producing the competition. I can’t wait for the festival in August & to see all the dancers kill it!
Dance Mogul: When judging, how do you give constructive criticism without shooting down a person’s efforts in the moment?
Samantha: When it comes time to give critiques to dancers I love to lead with something positive before breaking down with some constructive critiques. With a competition at hand I definitely don’t hold back with honesty, but it all comes out of love. I want every dancer that walks away to feel motivated and inspired to better themself.
Dance Mogul: How can music artists and dancers better collaborate to help each other continue to grow on a grassroot level and an industry level?
Samantha: I think a great start to having music artists & dancers better collaborate is to give both parties mutual respect. A collaboration should be coming in equally rather than just one or the other. I would love to see more music artists spotlight dancers in music videos and tours giving billing to them as a feature. Putting dancers names on flyers for shows and in the title as a featured artist would show a great sign of respect. For example, if Nicki Minaj had Doja Cat as a feature on a project the description of the song would say “Feat. Doja Cat” no question. When a dancer plays a star part in a music video they should have the same respect & billing as a music artist would.
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UPROAR HIP HOP FESTIVAL at The Torch at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the immersive and interactive music, arts and nightlife experience hosted by Lil Wayne’s lifestyle brand GKUA and headlined by Lil Wayne, along with performances by Young Money and soon to be announced opening acts and Special Guests, on August 13th, is proud to announce trend-setting dancer and choreographer Samantha Long as host and lead judge of the festival’s DANCE COMPETITION. The competition is open to all dancers in California, or those willing to travel to California to compete, to show off their best moves, live at UPROAR to audiences worldwide. The competition reflects GKUA and Lil Wayne’s ongoing mission to discover and support new, up and coming talented creators with an array of artistic pursuits.
Judging alongside Long, who is co-producing the event with her company A THREAT Media, are iconic dancers: Lil Buck, the Memphis turned global sensation showing the world that Jookin is fine art; and Jon Boogz, who continues to push the evolution of what dance can be. Lil Buck and Jon Boogz are also co-founders of Movement Art Is, an organization to elevate the artistic, educational and social impact of dance.
“That GKUA lifestyle is all about inspiration, and that’s what Samantha, Buck and Jon are bringing to UPROAR DANCE COMPETITION,” said Lil Wayne.
CALLING ALL CA DANCERS, SHOOT YOUR SHOT:
Video submissions from 2-person dance teams, novice to experienced, are now being accepted for the chance to compete live in front of thousands at the UPROAR HIP HOP FESTIVAL and streaming worldwide–plus win thousands of dollars. To enter, post a dance video on Instagram, tagging @uproardancecompetition @samantha_long_ @lilbuckdalegend @jonboogz and use #UPROARDANCECOMPETITION. Dancers must also DM entry video and dancers’ names and contact info to @uproardancecompetition, and must follow @gkuaofficial and @uproardancecompetition. Rules and details available on UPROAR420.com.
SUMMER FREEDOM, THE BIG DANCE:
Only 12 talented teams will be selected from the social media submissions to move to the semi-final round in LA. Host and lead judge Samantha Long, who has worked with A-listers from Nicki Minaj to J Balvin to REI Ami, will run the Elimination Challenge, with Jon Boogz, in a two-day studio event on July 24-25, which will be live streamed worldwide, by Mandolin the 2021 Pollstar Award Winning Livestream platform. The competition will include choreographed pieces from each duo and improv dance battle rounds, to narrow the 12 semifinalist teams to the final six duos.
On August 13 at The Torch at the LA Memorial Coliseum, Lil Buck and Jon Boogz will perform Judge Showcases to open the competition. After a finalist showcase round and dance battle round, one team will be crowned winner and win $5K. Long will then lead the finalists through an original choreographed dance performance, opening the evening of the UPROAR musical stage performances.
“Our goal with GKUA Inspired is to spotlight talented artists from all disciplines, and bring world-wide attention to their work. At UPROAR, the Dance Competition, and the GKUA Inspired Photo Competition, we will create experiences that are inspiring, uplifting and engaging for the participants and the in-person and streaming audiences,” said GKUA Creative Director and UPROAR Producer Baqi Kopelman. “At GKUA, we want you to feel inspired and to share your passion with the world.”