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Orchestra's Dual Performer: Samantha Leung

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

How often do you meet someone who is skilled in audible and visual arts? Not often. One Arcadia student is melting boundaries between musicianship and dance by showing that it’s possible to do both.

Introducing sophomore Samantha Leung. Samantha is a multi-talented performing arts student who is not only a devoted violist in Concert Orchestra, but also a part of the elite Orchesis Dance Company.

Sophomore Samantha Leung is a talented dancer and classical musician

Samantha attended elementary school in Chicago, IL before moving to Arcadia for middle school. It was in fifth grade that she decided to play viola.

“I chose viola because no one else was playing the instrument,” Samantha admitted. “So I decided I was going to play it.”

Her informal declaration towards the instrument stands true to this day, as she continues to practice and improve on her viola playing. Sam’s dance journey, however, started even earlier, when she was just six-years-old. She began, as most young kids do, with ballet lessons.

With age, she has broadened her expertise by dabbling in other genres as well. Samantha now considers herself a contemporary, ballet, and jazz dancer.

Even with the years of experience, the tryouts for Orchesis were no easy feat, considering the circumstances of the pandemic.

Samantha midway through a dance routine

Samantha described the auditions as “a little bit harder” since the auditionees “had to know the entire routine and over Zoom call.” Despite these challenges, Samantha said it still “went okay in the end.”

Now, nearly half a year in, Samantha has acquired many skills from both sides of the arts spectrum.

Through group work in Orchesis, Sam “learned how to develop leadership skills and …how to work together as a team.” Whereas in orchestra, she was able to improve on her performance quality.

Since the return to school, Samantha said the most memorable performance this year was the Orchesis Winter Charity Show.

“It was really fun being back on a stage after about two years [and I’m] looking forward to the things to come!”

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