Nearly all cultures have traditional dances. The dances usually evolve from movements of their daily life, and often has roots in nature, work, religion, and other traditions. Folkloric dances often mimic movements done in fishing, hunting, and farming, or the dancers may emulate elements of nature and their environment. When we study a culture, it is easy to observe much of their way of life through their traditional dances. Therefore, it adds another dimension to our understanding of a culture when we see performances of their dances, or better yet, we participate in them.


People of all ages enjoy kinesthetic experiences and retain more of what they are learning intellectually if the learning can be reinforced by other didactic strategies.


Samra has many years of experience integrating traditional dances with studies of other cultures. She has served as artist is residence for weeklong programs, as well as shorter programs as an enrichment resource when children study other cultures, ancient or modern. Through dance one can learn about geography, history, and even the economy of a civilization. Dance helps the cognitive process of learning about other people in a manner that no other resource can. For example: The ribbon dance from China can help participants learn about: Dynasties, silk (how it is made, commerce during the peak era of the Silk Road), the various provinces and regions of China, the tradition of acrobatics that originated from that nation, the modern influence of China in the performance and visual arts, and its impact in the commerce today's the world, and much more. All this information is learned while the participants are engaging in healthy exercise and having lots of fun. Due to Samra's experience as an educator for many years, and her travels to many parts of the world, she can prepare complete educational packages entitled Cultural Clusters relating to many cultures.


Cultural Clusters are educational packages tailored to different age groups. These programs integrate the arts with various academic subjects related to the study of a country or an ethnic group. The participants also learn about art, music, folk dance, cooking and games relevant to that culture. Additionally, they do a comparative study with their own culture, and also put everything in historical perspective by relating the civilizations studied with the past and making predictions for the future. It is a comprehensive learning experience which makes the material studied really “stick” and become relevant. Samra has taught Cultural Clusters and variations for all ages, from young children to adults. Cultural Clusters can be prepared to last for several days or for a couple of hours, depending how involved the program should be, and how much information to cover.