About Samadhi Hawaii
In the heart of the Kaka'ako's vibrant arts district, Samadhi Hawaii takes flight as the premiere aerial dance school in the Pacific.
Our mission is to train and entertain in the art of aerial dance, foster new artists, and perpetuate the arts in the community.
Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned artist, Samadhi Hawaii welcomes people of all backgrounds and ages to experience aerial dance and circus arts “Pacific-style.”
Honolulu's Pioneer Aerial Dance School
Established in 2004, Samadhi takes pride as the first aerial dance school in Hawaii—inspiring a generation of artists locally and internationally with its unique style and history. Samadhi Hawaii’s Founder/Director Andrea Torres’ career originally started far closer to the ground, as a ballerina in Brazil. However, when the chance came to perform as an aerial dancer in ‘Ulalena on Maui (by ARRA Montreal) she leapt at it and has been in the air ever since. After the Maui blockbuster, this flying dancer and yogini took the big leap and formed her company with fellow performers Marcus Quiniones and Ana Prada. Since that humble beginning, this approach has shaped Hawaii’s most talented, unique, and sought-after dance companies. Today, Samadhi offers an exciting variety of classes like tissu (aerial silks), aerial hoop, rope, or trapeze, aerial conditioning, partner acrobatics, hand balancing, and open gym.
(“total self-collectedness”), in Hindu and Buddhist religion and philosophy, the highest state of mental concentration that a person can achieve while still bound to the body and which unites him with the highest reality. Samadhi is a state of profound and utterly absorptive contemplation of the Absolute that is undisturbed by desire, anger, or any other ego-generated thought or emotion. It is a state of joyful calm, or even of rapture and beatitude, in which one maintains one’s full mental alertness and acuity. Samadhi is regarded in Hinduism and Buddhism as the climax of all spiritual and intellectual activity. The power to attain samadhi is a precondition of attaining release from the cycle of rebirths (saṃsāra). Hence the death of a person having this power is also considered a samadhi. By a further extension, the site where a person believed to be so empowered was cremated is in modern times also referred to as a samadhi; thus the site of Mohandas Gandhi’s cremation in Delhi is officially named Gandhi’s samadhi.
Enjoy the calm confidence you receive from working with a teacher with decades of experience cultivating students from newbie beginner level to professional performance status in the aerial arts. Andrea Torres has pioneered aerial dance in Hawaii and has been described as being one of the Islands’ most breathtaking performers. She is the Founder and Director of Samadhi.
Andrea can be booked for aerial silks and aerial hoop.
Tara’s fitness teaching experience began 20 years ago and includes a variety of dance, yoga, and aerial modalities. Her first aerial love began with hammock, and then soon after included lyra, duo trapeze, and then silks during her pregnancy in 2019. She is currently practicing silks and hammock. Tara holds certifications in teaching Aerial Yoga, Aerial Silks, and Aerial Hammock Dance with a variety of organizations, including Trilogy Sanctuary, and Aerial Revolution, both based in San Diego, CA, and The Aerial Studio/AIReal Yoga, based in Ventura, CA.
As an aerial instructor with a background in occupational therapy, Tara loves helping a new student of any age build confidence in inverting for the first time and achieve a new skill. She is very thankful to be part of the team at Samadhi Hawai'i!
Tara may be booked for aerial silks, hammock, and aerial hoop.
Codi started her aerial journey at Samadhi and is so excited to pass on the studio's creative energy. She enjoys spinning in the aerial hoop and silks, working on her back bends, and rock music. Come fly with Codi!
Codi may be booked for aerial silks, aerial hoop, and aerial partnering.
Valerie was born and raised in Texas and is now thoroughly enjoying the beautiful and lively oceans of Oahu. She was introduced to aerial from a former Cirque-du-Soleil aerialist in 2016, when she took the bull-by-the-horns and worked to grow as an aerial acrobat. She has trained predominately on silks, lyra, lollipop, and cube from several talented artists in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and even Italy. She has had the privilege to perform professionally at public, private, and corporate events. To her, aerial is a perfect fit to express and challenge her gymnastics and dance background. When not in the aerial studio, she stays busy attending grad school, doodling fabric designs, running a small Etsy shop, and trying to explore the ocean as much as possible. She is happy and honored to be at Samadhi.
Valerie may be booked for aerial silks and aerial hoop.
Chayton Davenport was born and raised on the island of Oahu and has been a part of the Samadhi aerial family for 12 years and counting. He embraced aerial arts at the young age of 9, entering under the wings and tutelage of Andrea Torres. Training with her to go further onto the bigger stages, he even went onto national competitions such as Viva Fest and Circus Star USA. His present skills involve the aerial ring, as well as a particular talent in contortion, contrived from the renowned coach, Catie Brier of the San Francisco Circus Center. Chayton has recently returned from the Montreal-based school of circus arts, École Nationale de Cirque. He now looks towards another form of art, teaching!
Chayton may be booked for aerial hoop, flexibility, and contortion.
Jesa Simpkins has a passion for the history of movement and the arts which led her to Andrea Torres and the Samadhi Hawai'i Aerial Dance School in the spring of 2009. She has trained with artists such as Alayna Stroud and Ana Prada, the Cirque Noir San Francisco aerial company, and other influential aerialists along the way. She has since become a performer and instructor for Samadhi Hawai’i, a co-founder and Director of Volary Aerial Burlesque, as well as a co-founder of Vayu Aerial Yoga. Jesa brings a kitschy vintage flair to her classes and draws on her experience as a certified yoga teacher to encourage injury prevention with a focus on strength, flexibility, and alignment. Jesa also dances with Iona Contemporary Dance Theatre and is and artist at Odyssey Tattoo Gallery in Kailua.
Jesa may be booked for aerial hammock and flexibility.
Angelica is a full-time instructor for Samadhi Hawaii and specializes in hand balancing and aerial net but also enjoys teaching all manner of aerial apparatuses and ground disciplines. She started her Circus journey in 2013 and graduated from the NECCA ProTrack Training Program in 2015. Since then, she has performed all over the US and abroad and has shared her instruction at NECCA, SHOW Circus Studio, Akrosphere Aerial & Circus Arts, and Circus Place.
Angelica can be booked for aerial silks, aerial net/hammock, flexibility, and hand balancing.
Marie began her professional dance career in N.Y.C.. She joined two Broadway production companies of The King & I; upon returning to Hawaii, she co-directed the dance school, Danceworks, and the professional dance company, Kaimuki Dance Theater. Marie has performed and choreographed for Tau Dance Theater, Ballet Hawaii, Hawaii Opera Theater, and Leeward Theater Dance Festivals. She was one of the artist' invited to perform in the production of, 'From the Horses Mouth', Hawai'i, and was honored to be chosen to participate in a PBS special featuring local artists, directed by award winning director, Robert Pennybacker. Besides teaching and choreographing, her passion is surfing, and aerial flying.
Marie can be booked for aerial silks, youth aerial hoop, and beginner aerial straps.
Brit Matsumoto Kruger
A childhood love for gymnastics and all activities adventurous, led Brit to explore yoga, Pilates, and pole fitness amidst raising a family and pursuing a career. It was fate that led her to aerial dance at Samadhi in 2010, capturing and building a unique set of proficiencies through thoughtful movement, strength and stage experience on aerial fabric, trapeze, aerial hoop, and rope.
A regimen of ballet, gyro and acro further enhanced her aerial skill set, as she quickly learned that in turn, aerial enhances all facets of life. She embraces a strong foundation, skillful attention to safety and desire to explore, as the seeds to plant for every aerialist. She takes pride in teaching “Samadhi Style” and is always honored to share with her students. Let her provide you the ability to soar and explore!
Brit may be booked for aerial silks and trapeze.
Lori is originally from San Antonio, Texas where she grew up dancing, competing nationally in tap before teaching dance classes and running a student dance team called Aggies in Motion at Texas A&M University. After multiple knee surgeries sidelined her from dance, she moved home to care for her aging grandparents and go to nursing school. During this time, she found aerials at Aerial Horizon in 2018. Lori has trained in a wide variety of apparatuses and styles of movement. Since her home studio closed, she focused her energy on aerial hoop and has traveled across the country to train with instructors in Las Vegas, New Orleans, Orlando, and at NECCA. When not in the air she is a trauma ICU RN.
Lori may be booked for aerial hoop and trapeze.
Drawn in to the beautiful movement of hula at age 5, Aurora has continued to perform and explore different styles of movement, dance, and artistic expressions through Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts), gymnastics, partner acrobatics, and aerial dance. Starting her aerial journey as one of the first keiki to take classes with the Samadhi Hawaii performance company almost 14 years ago, Aurora has gone on to train with Le Petit Cirque, Circus Smirkus, Ecole National du Cirque summer course, and VIVA Fest. She has also earned a minors degree in dance at the University of Hawaii Manoa. Working with Erzsa Palko at Punahou's after school Circus Class: Intro to Movement and Hawaii Academy gymnastics, Aurora fell in in love with teaching children the joys of expression and exploration through movement and training unique skills that will help students blossom into strong, generous, and well-rounded human beings.
Aurora may be booked for aerial hoop, aerial silks, and trapeze.
Dorothy first experienced the incredible opportunity to “fly” when she took her first aerial workshop in NY with Body & Pole. When she moved to the island in 2019, she immediately fell in love with Samadhi Hawaii. She has trained under Aurora Yokota, Andrea Torres, and Colleen McCown. She loves all apparatuses, but silks always take a special place in her heart. She receives so much supports from her circus family here in Samadhi. When she's not training with the studio, you can find her in the ocean, swimming with dolphins and turtles.
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