Born in Huddersfield and now living in London, dance and movement are not only a career for Sam but a fundamental part of life. He has travelled the world to work with revered choreographers in film and theatre, whilst expanding his abilities and perspectives when on home turf. Let Sam share his candid insight into the rewards and challenges of the dance industry, plus the obstacles of making something you love your livelihood.
Filmed by: Harvey Gibson
Featuring: Samuel Baxter
Series: Movement Stories by So We Flow...
I think it's about letting go.
Life is about letting go of things you may or may not need. Naturally we move, our body releases chemicals that make us happy. There's such a variety in this world of movement and there's so many things I can choose from that it's almost endless.
I'm at my happiest when I'm in an environment where I'm moving physically. And it doesn't always have to be super physical. I don't have to be sweating. I'm very much interested in hip-hop, house dance and breaking as well as acrobatic, yoga, movement practice and improvisation.
My lens is as wide as it can be which I think has a lot of challenges because people like to see you as one thing - they like to put you in boxes. In my career choices I've tried not to narrow my focus but tried to allow access to as many things as possible.
I believe with any choice of career, whether you do movement or whether you work in an office, there is a very clear voice that tells you when you're doing something you love or when you're enjoying the thing, you know, when you you're being creative or you're doing a project and there's this sense of excitement that builds and builds and builds.
And then actually the challenge has been the opportunities that come up, what you say yes to and what you say no to. Really listening to that internal voice. And then sometimes you have to do the things that don't serve you so much and aren't as enjoyable. And sometimes you do find that it's often about swimming against the crowd and really listening to yourself, which also might not financially be the best thing.
Surviving as a freelance dancer isn't always the most profitable job to work in, but it's really about, okay, am I doing this because I want to make money off of it or am I do doing this because this is what I enjoy? Everything is balance and sadly, the balance shifts. I have the daily practice, I have the things that like 'yes I'm in such a good place'. And then you go into the next project and you're like 'I'm going to maintain this thing'. But naturally life starts to weight you down. The work is hard and you lose yourself a little bit, but I think that's the beauty of it.
You're never hitting a solid flow state. You're never in this perfect balance... Because it doesn't exist.
So it's about constantly meeting those moments. Somehow for me, learning to enjoy that, and I think that's massively beneficial when exploring any career, creative career, I think.
Yeah, movement is life.
Sam wears our Flow Trousers in Sand Light Twill