Sam graduated from the Ballet School of the Finnish National Opera in 2007 and after that worked for the Finnish National Ballet until 2010.He has performed in various classical ballets and works by contemporary choreographers such as Ohad Naharin, Kenneth Kvarnström, Christian Spuck, William Forthsythe, Johan Inger, Jorma Uotinen and Jarkko Mandelin. Sam has won three Finnish championships in street dance, placed second in the 2007 Nordic Ballet Contest in Sweden and in 2010 he won the men’s performing arts solo series in show dance. In 2010 he won the first So You Think You Can Dance contest in Finland (TV show), earning the title ‘Finland’s most popular dancer’.
Sam danced with Susanna Leinonen Company, touring to China, Spain, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sweden and Finland. He also worked in Denmark with Lotte Sigh and went to Israel to learn Gaga (Ohad Naharine’s Movement language). Sam joined Phoenix Dance Theatre in August 2013-2018 (Leeds UK). He danced works by contemporary choreographers such as Richard Alston, Caroline Finn, Itzik Galili, Didy Veldman, Christopher Bruce CBE, Darshan Singh Bhuller and Sharon Watson. After Phoenix he danced and act as a rehearsal director with SLATE contemporary dance company based in Shanghai China, where he toured to Italy and around China.
Sam gave up fulltime dancing to widen his horizons and is currently studying Contemporary Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is interested in performance making that tackles social issues around injustice, diversity and patriarchy, but also to tell stories. He wants to create performances in different platforms: online, museums, theatres, festivals, streets or maybe in your neighbour’s house. Sam wants to collaborate with different artists from a variety of practises. He believes that together we can create stronger performances that touch emotions, make people think critically or even change the world!
CREATIVE MOVEMENT DIRECTOR
Bare was performance in Leeds concept and director by Julius Ebreo. Dancers Sam Vaherlehto, Julius Ebreo and Karlena Moreno-Hayworth
Performance installation for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Contemporary Performance Practice Course.
Christopher Bruce CBE's Shadows in Mixed Bill programme 2014
Phoenix Dance Theatre based in Leeds
Caroline Finn's Bloom in Mixed Bill programme 2014
Phoenix Dance Theatre, Leeds.
Anneliese Charek's Why for SLATE contemporary dance company based in Shanghai, China. Tour in Italy and China.
Darshan Singh Bhuller's Mapping in Mixed Bill programme 2014
Phoenix Dance Theatre, Leeds. Tour Germany, Spain and UK.
FINNISH FIRST 'DANCE' WINNER
FINNISH FIRST 'SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE' TV CONTEST WINNER 2010
FINNISH FIRST YOGA CHAMPION
YOGA TEACHER 2017