SaMel Tanz is a Toronto based contemporary dance collective that was established in 2015. Samantha Schleese (M.A, BFA) and Melissa Hart (BFA), both versatile and experienced dance artists, founded SaMel Tanz to share stories through a unique fusion of Contemporary movement and techniques with Street and Latin influences. Their full length works address crucial social issues that are relevant to times and society at large (identity, female empowerment and mental health), with hopes to motivate audiences to start conversations in their own communities.

Their partnership blossomed after travelling to Chichester, England, for a 6-
month exchange during their 3rd year of studies at York University. Exposed to
an array of cultures and movement, Melissa and Samantha discovered that
fusing their experiences and training would best represent who they are.

Most recently, SaMel Tanz was a part of the 2019 DanceWorks CoWorks Series
and debuted their fifth production Mind-ful(l) which raised awareness about
mental illness within the dance community. Previous productions include: that
“F” word at the Next Stage Toronto Fringe Festival in January of 2018, receiving
NNNN from NOW Magazine and 3 out 4 stars from the Globe and Mail; The “F”
Word (2017) (nominated for Outstanding Contemporary Production by My
Entertainment World); words from my mother (2016) and Follow Me (2015).

Not only are SaMel Tanz rising stars in the dance production realm, but they are also extensively involved in the commercial dance industry and have facilitated and adjudicated for countless youth initiatives across the country. SaMel Tanz believes that dancing is the best way to satify the soul and continues to represent the vibrant multicultural city of Toronto, highlighting the importance of community in all their works.


Night Shift

ROM for the Holidays
​Breakin' Convention
CBC's "Interpretive Facts"
Evolution Dance Theatre's " Follow Your Heart"
CMR StarFest


Samantha Schleese
Melissa Hart
Samantha Schleese    

Based in Toronto Samantha Schleese is a professional dance artist trained in Classical Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Acrobatics, Salsa, Latin, and American Ballroom Styles.

Samantha has danced and toured throughout the UK with MAP Dance Company. There, she has worked under artists such as Saju Hari, Kiera Martin, Detta Howe, Yael Flexor, Lila Dance, Matteo Fargion and the late great Nigel Charnock. During her tour, Samantha completed her Masters in Performance Dance specializing in Contemporary dance. Samantha has also completed BFA in Dance from York University.

Upon her return to Toronto, Samantha joined DEUCEnDIP, all female Hip Hop crew. With the crew, Samantha has danced for events such as Pride, Unity, Unplugged and Canada’s Walk of Fame Festivals, WEDAY, Bazaar, and TeenzFav Music Awards and much more. Other credits include: Samsung, Mirror Awards, Rusk Hair Show, Bud light Sensation Concert, IOGO, and CP24 Breakfast Television. Samantha has also worked and performed with such companies as Pratibha Arts, ABS Crew, Gadfly, and Evolution Dance Theatre.
Melissa Hart    

Melissa Hart is a vibrant, established performing artist from Toronto. With over a decade of experience as competitive figure skater paralleled with her education in Classical Ballet and Contemporary dance, and passion for Street and Latin dance styles, she has a widened vocabulary and brings a unique perspective to the stage.

With a BFA Degree in Dance, from York University, Melissa has produced, directed and choreographed two contemporary modern shows: “End(less) Ways”, at the Maclean Performance Studio and “the things I love”, at the Scotiabank Studio Theatre.

Melissa is a member of Toronto’s all female Hip Hop Dance Crew DEUCEnDIP, (credits: WE DAY, MUCHMUSIC’s New. Music. Live shows, Canada’s Walk of Fame, World Pride). Melissa has taken her versatility across borders and danced at international festivals such as Glastonbury and Wireless UK music festivals, APTN’s Aboriginal Day Live Festival, and performed for artists like Jason Derulo, Hedley and Dragonette. 

While she has many TV appearances under her belt, Melissa takes the most pride in being an arts educator for youth outreach programs.  Working with Unity Charity and Just BGRAPHIC, Melissa has taught many workshops across Toronto and the GTA, inspiring, welcoming and sharing with students the art of dance and self-expression.


In 2007, at York University’s Fine Arts Frosh week, Sam and Mel were acquainted during a meet n' greet activity. Shortly after they discovered they were enrolled in the same program, classes and had inevitably had the same vision for their dance careers. Immediately they became inseparable. Spending countless hours in the dance studio, their passion for dance craved more than the classroom and they ventured out into other dance cultures including dancing together on the York’s Hip Hop team “stylewize.”
While in their 3rd year of studies Sam and Mel travelled to Chichester, England on a 6 month university exchange program. There, they were exposed to contemporary dance in an entirely new light. Floorwork became their new best friend. Capoeria, Contact Improv, Cunningham and Physical Theatre were added into Sam and Mel’s dance vocabulary. Their understanding of space and movement greatly changed as they travelled to different European cities, watching performances and taking classes ultimately igniting their vision of creating their own dance company.  
After completing University, Sam and Mel continued to perform together, immersing themselves in the Toronto dance scene, (commercial, contemporary, Hip hop, latin) as well as exploring their own work as SaMel. 5 years later, their versatile backgrounds have influenced and created captivating movement and stories. SaMel Tanz debuted their first full length show, "Follow Me" at Dancemakers in the Fall of 2015.