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 The FOUNDERS 

JENAY "SHINOBIJAXX" ANOLIN 

CO-FOUNDER 

Jenay “ShinobiJaxx” Anolin is an Oakland Native who has been community organizing since for the past 16 years. She is a veteran educator focused on empowering teenagers through movement, nutrition education, wellness practices and leadership development. She graduated from the University of San Francisco’s dual masters program for Public Health and Behavioral Health and is currently a Health Education Specialist for the County of Fresno.  ​

She is the Founder of the youth dance group Mini Mix’d. A former company member for Philadelphia’s Hip Hop Dance Theater Company Rennie Harris RHAW and the creator for the Oakland youth dance, performance, and nutrition education focused group “the GroovLings”.  

 

In the past, she has performed with many other Bay Area Dance Companies such as The Oakland Ballet Company, New Style Motherlode, La Femme Panache, and for UCLA dance groups, Samahang Modern and ACA.

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SAMARA ATKINS

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CO-FOUNDER

Samara Atkins is an Oakland native creative who has been dancing and teaching hip-hop since 1999. She utilizes dance as a somatic tool to address, connect, celebrate, release, cope, and heal from life’s experiences. Simply put, she finds pure joy in sharing her love and passion for dance with others. Not only has she been a choreographer since the age of 14 and directed a student-run dance company at Howard University while attending, but has really focused on evolving the pieces she creates to tell an impactful story. 

She is member, Lead Choreographer, Singer/Songwriter, and Emcee of the GRAMMY-winning, and 4-time GRAMMY-nominated hip hop children’s music collective, Alphabet Rockers. Traveling to Mexico, China, Thailand, Nepal, and Vietnam to showcase, teach, and share her love of dance with other cultures, her passion is to perform and teach youth and the community to freely express themselves with confidence.

 

Samara has performed in various dance companies including New Style Motherlode, Diamond Dance Company, Neopolitan, Dance 10, St. Mary's Dance Ensemble, Vizion Performance Team, and Carla Service's Dance-A-Vision. She has also back-up danced for Nile Rodgers and the band Chic, as well as danced for LUAM, whose choreographer credits include Busta Rhymes, Rihanna, Janelle Monae, Kelly Rowland & more.

Samara is currently a senior teaching artist and mentor through Destiny Arts Center, where she has worked since 2011. Other roles include Lead Co-Facilitator of Power of Hope Bolinas, staff at Living Jazz as Faculty at Jazz Camp West and Head Counselor at Jam Camp West, Host, Youth Worker, and creator of Good, Body, Love, a line of organic and healing body butters. She is offering consistent dance class pop-ups at multiple studios in the Bay Area. Please consistently check Inthegroovestudios.com and her social media outlets for up-to-date class information.

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