Skip to content
Black British Ballet

Samantha Webb (Binah)

Ethnic heritage: British Biracial (Jamaican parent)

Year of birth: 1965

Training: Nester Brooking School in London, London School of Contemporary Dance

Ballet career: Webb took her first ballet class at the age of eight at a small ballet school in Streatham, in south London. At the age of 11 she was awarded a scholarship to join the Nesta Brooking School of Ballet and General Education. At 16 she auditioned for the London School of Contemporary Dance and won a scholarship to study there for three years.

In 1983 she attended the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s auditions at the Royal Albert Hall. She was successful in gaining a scholarship to join the second company but had to wait a year and a half for a visa and funding. In 1985, she went to the Dance Theatre of Harlem with Adam James, Paul Bailey, Adesola Akinleye and Gregory James, four other British dancers.

Dance career: Webb spent two years at Dance Theatre of Harlem before joining a New York-based modern dance company called Deja Vu in 1988. The company was founded and directed by Barry Martin, a young African American dancer and choreographer who became a quadriplegic following a car accident in South Africa. His denial of entry to an all-white hospital shaped the company's unique narrative.

In 1989, Webb became a part of Donald Byrd/The Group dance company, situated in New York, with whom she toured extensively in America and Europe. Sadly, her dance career ended in 1991 due to a hip injury. Webb currently works as a Pilates instructor and real estate agent in Malibu, California.

From the age of seven months old to 18, I was raised in the foster care system in London. It was a mixed experience of both very good and very bad. When I discovered ballet, I found my voice. The hard work of ballet gave me discipline, and when I realised I had talent, I knew I could rise above the challenges of my childhood.
- Samantha Webb (Binah)