From your child’s first class to their graduation performance, Chara Christian Dance Academy has a class for everyone! We specialize in beginners of all ages and offer comprehensive training through pre-professional levels. Our dance instruction goes beyond technique as we help students build important life skills. Chara Dance classes offer a positive, Christian environment with modest costumes and choreography in which a student’s passion, skills, and friendships can flourish.
The highlight of a dancers year at Chara Christian Dance Academy is our annual Spring Recital. Students confidently shine on the big stage and showcase their skills in one of our 5 different recitals held in May at the Slocumb Auditorium at San Jacinto College in Pasadena.
You can expect a professional and organized recital experience with performances that will both move and inspire audience members. Your dancers performance will be well rehearsed with a professional dress rehearsal and family friendly costume selections, music, and choreography! All recitals are streamed LIVE and each Chara family is provided with 4 FREE tickets, a recital t-shirt for each dancer, and a digital copy of each recital. We proudly recognize and award dancers participating in their 3rd, 5th and 10th recital.
Chara Dance Academy proudly employs professional, caring, and dedicated dance instructors who are active role models in the lives of their students. Our instructors teach students technical skills, Christian values, and self-confidence that will guide them throughout their dance journey and within their everyday lives. Many of our instructors have danced at a professional level and/or hold a university level degree in dance. Each instructor participates in continued education both within and outside of the studio to stay current in the field of dance.
Shanna opened Chara Christian Dance Academy in 2008 with the intent of combining her passion for faith, family, dance, and music and offering it up to the community in one faith based, professional dance academy. She attended Texas A&M University, receiving a BS in Sport Management and Minor in Dance and Business and has been a dance educator and mentor for over 15 years. In 2017 she and her husband Bobby, Associate Pastor of Friendswood Friends Church, started Part of the Art Foundation providing dance scholarships to deserving kids.
Meghan has been with Chara since 2014 and as our School Director since 2016 and brings over 31 years of dance experience to Chara Christian Dance Academy. Meghan grew up in Iowa with a passion for dancing and was captain of her high school dance team. She attended the University of Iowa receiving a BA in Dance and a BA in Performing Arts Entrepreneurship where she was a part of the university’s pre-professional dance company. Meghan holds a Masters in Physical Education from the University of Houston. Coming to Houston through Teach for America, Meghan previously coached dance and cheerleading teams in South Houston and is now our full time School Director writing curriculum, developing choreography, developing our instructors, and so much more.
Nicole has been with Chara since 2011. She spend 3 years training with Ingredients Dance Company in Dallas and had the privilege of touring the country with Dance Revolution Conventions. Nicole received her Bachelor’s in Public Relations and minor in Business Management and later started her own dance company “Flight Dance Company” that has been performing in the greater Houston area since 2015. Nicole manages our competitive and recreational dance companies and is the Administrator for Friendswood Contemporary Ballet. She has a passion for people and works diligently to extend the Chara Culture by giving back to our community.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from The University of Texas and a master’s degree in human resources and public policy from Carnegie- Mellon University. She spent over 30 years leading teams in healthcare human resources. Susan is a mom of a teenage boy and has been married to her husband, Craig, for 31 years. They enjoy going to Mustang and Longhorn football games, volunteering with the FHS Band and Boy Scouts, and serving at their home church, Friendswood Methodist. Susan finds her greatest joy at the studio in seeing the smiling faces of our dancers and their families!
Anna Ingram is from Alvin and a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with training in contemporary and classical ballet, afro- contemporary, Gaga, Pilates, and Gyrokinesis. She danced with international choreographers through a study abroad program at the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine in Anger, France. Anna is passionate about her love and gift for dance and passionate about investing in her student’s journey in dance!
Ashlynn fell in love with dancing when she was 9 years old at Life Moves Dance Studio in Richmond Hill, Ga. She has performed various roles in several productions with The Columbia City Ballet such as “Sleeping Beauty”, “Cinderella”, and “The Nutcracker.” She is an AFAA certified group fitness instructor and teaches Pilates. Ashlynn enjoys sharing her love for God and passion for dance with all of the children she teaches and looks forward to it every week!
Brianna grew up dancing in the Houston area and graduated from Texas State University in 2015 with a Bachelors of Science in Recreation Administration with a focus in Therapeutic Recreation. She, along with her husband, have been worship leading all around the Houston area for the last two years and she has a passion for the way that worship and movement collide. She is also a member of a Houston-based dance company called Flight Dance Company and a Chara Competitive Company Director.
Josh Cruz began dancing at the the age of sixteen after trying recovery of a spinal adjustment. Using dance as physical therapy and music as motivation, Josh began his journey as a self-trained dancer. For three years he was involved in kids programs at Grace Community Church including The Noize in which he choreographed and taught Hip-Hop with a fun, positive twist. Josh has an easy-to-follow style the energizes a room and inspires boys to experience the joy of dance!
Reagan Israel began dancing in Sugar Land with Sharon Valant. She danced with Ballet Forte, studying ballet and modern, and performed in classical and contemporary ballets with Ballet Center of Houston under Victoria Vittum as well as the Houston Repertoire Ballet and Sandra Organ Dance Company. Reagan was a trainee with Ballet Magnificat in Mississippi where she studied and share the gospel through dance. Reagan has been trained and certified by the American Ballet Theatre in their National Training Curriculum in Primary through Level 3 and holds a bachelor’s in Psychology and English and teaches Latin at a private school in Houston.
Rebecca receiving classical ballet training with Houston International Ballet Academy and Kennedy Dance Theatre. She was a part of the Ballet Magnificat! trainee program in Jackson, MS where she furthered her professional ballet training and performing and has lived in Milawi teaching ballet for African Bible College Christian Academy. Upon her return to the U.S., she was a part of Ad Deum II, traveling to work with Springs Dance Company in London with them. Rebecca is also on staff with Houston Ballet Academy and is a freelance dancer.
Grace is a former member of Chara Competitive Company and principal of Friendswood Contemporary Ballet. In the summer of 2015, Grace fractured part of her vertebrae in her lower back, which became a pivotal season in her life where she grew tremendously in her relationship with The Lord as well as began learning how to navigate through the obstacles of living with an injury. Grace feels most capable when she is serving others. She is interested in one day studying physical education and enjoys choreographing dances and challenging her students, adding to the fun and impactful atmosphere here at Chara.
Jennifer is a busy mom of four, three girls and a boy. Her and her husband, John, have been married for 21 years. She is grateful for the opportunity to homeschool her four children. She loves the Lord with all her heart and enjoys serving in the children’s ministry at Grace Community Church. Seeing children understand who God has created them to be and encouraging them to follow their God-given dreams is her passion. Working at Chara gives her the opportunity to see so many dancers and musicians smiling as they go after their dreams.
Jillian is currently in her last year at Northwest University studying Ministry Leadership. She attends Life Community Church in La Porte and serves as one of the Classroom Coordinators in their children’s ministry and helps lead their young adult group as well. She is a former member of the Deer Park High School Escort Drill Team and enjoys using her love for God’s children and dance at Chara to help find each dancer the style of dance that matches them perfectly. Let them praise His name with dancing. Psalm 149:3
Lori has been married to her husband Jim for thirty-five years, and is the mother of two daughters. She spent many years serving in Children’s ministry at her church. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as traveling to new places. Her favorite thing about working at Chara is making the young dancers feel at home in our studio, as well as making families feel welcome and comfortable.