Samantha Halas is a professional contortion artist and antipodist originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She began practicing contortion at age 21, much later than many believe feasible to start this intense physical training.
In Bolivia, at 19 years of age, she started learning Capoeira with a group of locals. She fell in love with their devotion to their art and their command over their bodies. After discovering her talent for extreme flexibility, Samantha traveled to China to train with the Beijing Acrobatic Troupe from 2007 to 2008.
She went on to perform with Vancouver’s Underground Circus at the 2010 Winter Games and the Vancouver Art Gallery, as well as performing independently in variety shows, cabarets, and nightclubs.
Eager to expand her professional repertoire, Samantha moved to San Francisco in the summer of 2010 to study contortion, hand balancing, and foot juggling with the world-renowned Mongolian contortionist Serchmaa Byamba at the San Francisco Circus Center. During the summer of 2012, she trained with Ehntsetseg Lodoi and XBud Roses in Mongolia.
After returning to Canada, Samantha worked with equestrian circus Luna Caballera to create Kaleidoscope and La Centauree to create Les Betes de Cirque, which toured Quebec in 2014. In 2015 and 2017 Samantha performed a duet called Fossil Love in Red Sky Performance’s Backbone. Her performance received rave reviews. She also performed at the 2016 International Contortion Convention in Las Vegas.
In Winnipeg, she founded Frostbite Circus so she could produce her own circus shows. The Blacksmith's Ball, The Prism Cabaret and Heartache Hotel were performed at the Gas Station Arts Centre in Winnipeg from 2014 to 2016. Samantha’s circus cabarets featured up to 20 artists and musicians and every show was a sell-out success.
Samantha teaches contortion and hand balancing to teenagers and adults in Winnipeg and has given workshops all over North America. Her diverse background and late start to contortion helped shape her techniques and approaches to using contortion as a form of fitness and self-expression. She has earned a reputation for being a gifted and innovative teacher who can bring out the best in her students whether they’re beginners or professionals.
Samantha speaks English, French, Spanish, and basic Mandarin.