Charis, originally from Teaneck, NJ has taught and choreographed nationwide for over thirty years; (ballet/pas de deux/variations, jazz, modern, contemporary and lyrical). In NYC alone she’s taught for Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH), Joffrey Ballet School (JBS) and Dance New Amsterdam amongst others. Charis is a former graduate and principle/soloist for the Jones/Haywood School/Capital Ballet Company and Duke Ellington SOA. Formerly a lead dancer/co-choreographer for the production “Divine Diva’s”, (in Las Vegas, Nevada), at Main Street Station and Stardust Hotels. In 1984’, she reined as the District of Columbia’s Jr. Miss, (National finalist in Mobile Alabama winning college scholarships). She also received a full scholarship to the Alvin Ailey School and offers to join Ailey II, in addition to being personally invited to join the DTH first Company by Arthur Mitchell himself. That same year, began her career as a dance educator /choreographer continuing to dance and teach professionally. Charis’ students have received scholarships and danced with renowned organizations such as the Kirov Academy, Complexions, N.Y.C.B., Pennsylvania Ballet, Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Washington Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Houston Ballet, Interlochen, San Francisco Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Bad Boys of Dance, Dance Theater of Harlem, Purchase Conservatory, North Carolina Dance Theater, Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet, Susan Farrell Workshops and many more. She has choreographed/staged full-length ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, La Fille’ Mal Garde’, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Raymonda and created many original works as well. She has owned/directed two successful performing arts studios, (on both coast), with hundreds of students in each overseeing all aspects of Administration and Artistic Direction. She created the arts and education/outreach program and retail store for JBS NYC, and served as production manager /costume coordinator for the 2010’ Nutcracker Production for the collaboration of Gelsey Kirkland Academy (GKA) and JBS. Charis continued as the development/outreach consultant for GKA, before working for JBS full-time. Briefly worked, in ABT’s Develop./Fund. dept. through DCM on a seasonal project. In addition to arts administration, she’s worked as a retail store manager for Nordstrom’s and Footlocker, Executive Assistant for Presidents/VP’s with NBC Universal and worked in all aspects of Human Resources for Mirage/Bellagio/Treasure Island hotels and many other large corporate entities.
Charis has created new works for the Joffrey Jazz/Contemporary Company, (under Michael Blake), including a Louis Vuitton collaboration in 2013′. While in Los Angeles, CA she served as the Ballet Mistress for Lula Washington Studios and Company for over four years before moving back to the East Coast. In 2008’ she choreographed two pieces for the nationally televised Black Entertainment Television (BET), Celebration of Gospel, including the opening number for Donnie McClurkin. Her musical credits include Mame, West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Wizard of Oz, Into the Woods and The 1995 local DC Jr. Miss Pageant. In summer 2010’ and 2012’, she served as the assistant director to Carol Foster for the Duke Ellington’s School of the Arts Summer Intensive & Musical. Charis also choreographed the off-Broadway Gospel Musical called… THIAC, (Tell Hell I Aint’ Comin’), for Thiac Productions in 2012’, as well as the music video and culmination event finale of NY Mercedes fashion week 2012 at the Intrepid for Code Purple Event. Most recently, she has choreographed and or assisted the following fashion designers, Che’ Elliott, Indashio, Sharon E. Clarke, (project runway consultant) and Anya Ayoung-Chee (project runway winner) amongst many others. Currently serves on the International Association of Blacks and Dance Conference Faculty and seminar speakers, while still teaching/choreographing at schools in the Tri-State-NYC area. In addition: she does seminars and consults studio owners regarding studio ownership and management. She lives in New Jersey with her three grown children and two dogs.