Meet Samuel Akins currently living and working in Paris, France dancing with the Paris Opera Ballet or Opera National de Paris at just 26 and from Birmingham, Alabama. With a Rising Star and Ascendant in Gemini and both Sun and Moon in Aquarius in Tropical Zodiac, but before we jump into Zaftyg Magazine’s June Feature we’re going to keep a small deep dive into our feature’s Astro-cartography. It’s not hard to understand just from those three signs in Air signs that he is social and moveable and this is one of the key reasons astrologically that his life has taken him to dance at The Los Angeles Ballet for four seasons. Then on to Alabama Ballet for a year in his home state and from there to Melbourne, Australia where he taught ballet and lived for over two years. And now in Paris, France.
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Let’s start with Moon can give fame and Sam has both the Moon & Sun conjunct & Aquarius Stellium with Mars & Uranus in his 8th house of transformations. Additionally, I’ve seen any planets in Aquarius reach some level of fame. High indications of fame are also an air sign on the Ascendant in Gemini and we all know Gemini rules the 3rd house of travel. Let’s dive into the Astro-Cartography for Sam below! There are Venus planetary lines – direction and overhead lines from his birthplace in Alabama and where he dances for a year in Birmingham where the Venus line is strong. From there he went dancing in Los Angeles where he has a South Node planetary line. Melbourne has a Moon rising and Mars rising lines, remember his Mars+Moon is in a stellium also with Uranus and the Sun. Additionally not too far away his North Node is directional along with Pluto Direction; in Paris, he has a Pluto line also. Additionally, the Stellium in Aquarius with Mars definitely gives high movement explaining the ballet so well. And some of you know I do stellium research, so I am excited to this Samuel’s charts!
Now, that is solely based on his natal chart without relocation, but let’s change his relocation to both Melbourne and Paris as it’s current and see the results. WOW! A Venus directional line for both cities of Melbourne and Paris as relocation and Venus Direction line as its the ideal line for love, romance and that is all of Paris’ magic but also Melbourne has offered this too and which is where he Co-Founded Diverse Dancers Australia. So what can we expect? Since Pluto is a line that runs through his birthplace, this is consciously or subconsciously leading his direction in the form of beauty and arts, and that is all Venus. This theory is even supported more by having the North Node in Libra, a Venus-ruled sign. Though his chart ruled as a Gemini Ascendant is Mercury, we can now understand why life or destiny has taken him around the globe. There will be more beauty to come from Sam in the future!
Without further ado, Samuel Akins’ Featured Zaftyg Article for June 2022!
Did you have to audition for the current role as a dancer?
Yes, the Paris Opera holds an annual competition (Concours) for external entry into the company. I was invited to participate and I flew to Paris for the competition. There were about 150 male dancers from around the world who competed. We had several rounds, and I made it to the final round where I performed a variation in front of a jury of 25 members of the Paris Opera.
Where did you start training/practicing ballet and at what age?
I started ballet training in Birmingham, AL. At the Alabama School of Fine Arts at 7 years old. Then at 14, I moved to New York to train at the School of American Ballet with the New York City Ballet.
Who inspired you to dance?
There was a video of the New York City Ballet performing the Nutcracker that I saw. I remember falling in love with the Sugar Plum Fairy which was danced by Darci Kistler. Watching her move like that drew me in. Funny enough Darci later became one of my teachers.
Is dancing healing?
Dance is interesting because it is a physical art form. It can be incredibly difficult for our bodies to remain healthy. However, dance is also incredibly emotional. Especially, when you’re given a piece of movement or create a movement that allows you to lose yourself or even challenges you. For myself, that is when it becomes its most healing.
Do you consider yourself a role model or pioneer?
I use to teach ballet a lot when I lived in Australia, and that experience changed my life and my dancing tremendously. I would like to think that I could be a role model for the next generation of dancers. Especially, black, brown, and marginalized dancers.
Do you recommend dancing to others?
I believe everyone should dance. It’s an art and what is life without art? Not everyone has to do it professionally of course. I truly think there isn’t anything better sometimes than putting on your favorite song and dancing with an amazing group of people. No matter the setting!
Do you speak other languages or plan to learn?
Yes, I am speaking French now. I use to just say I am learning French, but then my tutor corrected me and we had a long laugh. I said ” I don’t speak French”(in French). Even though it’s not perfect, I do speak French.
What are you currently working on?
Currently I am dancing in La Bayadere.
Do you have other hobbies?
It’s not a hobby, but I am a co-founder of an advocacy organization “Diverse Dancers Australia” (DDA), and I am also in university online at Oregon State University studying Sociology. Studying French has become one of my main hobbies. I have tried to “acquire” the language instead of learning it. Anytime you see me with headphones I am probably listening to something in French.
What is your current career highlight?
This is hard. When I was younger I would have said dancing Cavalier in the Nutcracker. That was always a goal of mine. Now, I would say speaking up again social injustice, and then founding DDA. These two things have helped me stay driven and inspired to do and be better in the next few chapters of my career.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
Right now I try to stay focused on each day, week, and month at the most. Sometimes thinking about the future can overwhelm me. I just know that I would like to be as “successful” and content in my dancer career as possible. That “success” looks different for everyone, and I also allow the idea of what “success” is to change over time.
What originally attracted you to ballet?
I loved the challenge and the idea that you could express yourself through movement without saying a word. I also loved the idea of telling stories.
What is a typical work week look like for you?
My day-to-day changes often. Usually, we have classes every morning to warm up and train. Then we go into a series of rehearsals for several hours. In the evening there could be a show, just depending on the day. We also don’t work just Monday- Friday. The start and end days vary, but we will usually have one to two days off somewhere within the week.
Who has influenced you?
I find influence from several different sources; students of mine, colleagues, and dancers that I admire.
Do you have any tips for others that have similar dreams?
Never give up, you can do it. You can make it professionally. It will get hard along the way. Everyone’s pathway is different, but if you have a goal or a dream never give up on it. Always work as hard as you can to achieve that dream and hopefully, other opportunities will also open along the way.
What advice would you give another younger person who resembles you and who has similar goals?
Find your voice, and don’t be afraid to be different. Your differences are your strengths.
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