Read Samantha's exclusive interview with 'VoyageLA' below!
Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Long. Samantha, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today?
"Born in Memphis, TN, I started dancing at the age of four. At the age of 11, I knew I wanted to be in the entertainment industry, and began traveling every weekend to assist top choreographers / creative directors that I idolized almost every weekend. I started assisting so often that ultimately I had decided to make the big move to LA at 16 to sign to an agency (the ultimate small town dancer dream). I passed a ‘legal 18’ test in California so I could work jobs right away as an adult. I felt there was no time to wait. Since then, I have had the opportunity to dance and choreograph for some of the biggest artists in the world such as J Balvin, Nicki Minaj, and more! When I turned 21 was when things really started to change and I decided that it was the right time to branch off and start my own brand; it was a time in my career and life when the so called ‘gatekeepers’ of my industry started to push back against my growth and a new perspective on self-worth was realized… but that’s a whole different story.
In response, I launched ‘A THREAT’ which is not only a brand but also a dance studio in North Hollywood including a dance performance clothing line. At A THREAT, we focus on developing artists from fresh to A-list. Create a space for performance improvement not just focused on content. Most importantly, create a sense of family different than the rest of what is out there that brings others down. A THREAT is continuing to grow at a rapid pace that I couldn’t be more proud of, and it’s truly just the beginning of what’s to come. ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together!’ That is the spirit of how I see myself and the team I’ve created with A THREAT moving into 2020 and beyond."
Has it been a smooth road?
"Being a young female entrepreneur is anything but easy in the entertainment industry. Having to navigate if people want to work with you based on your looks over your talent is something I’ve had to face countless times and continue to deal with. What I’ve learned is as a woman you have to hold your ground and be passionate about what you’re chasing. However, I am addicted to breaking glass ceilings no matter the situation. For example, I have been told ‘no’ a thousand times, done choreography for an artist only to be told I have to leave set before they arrive so that one of the choreographers can take all the credit, and even have had my choreography stolen many times by who I thought were industry ‘leaders’. Although facing these difficult situations have been rough, I have only gotten stronger from them. These obstacles have made me who I am today & have inspired me to go for it on my own. No matter who or what tries to stop me from my goals, I will be A THREAT to it. Bring it on."