Written by Shanna Kirkpatrick, Owner
You may be like me, “blessed” with a name that is perceived in different ways. Shayna, Shawna, Shannon…you name it, I have been called it. It’s Shanna by the way, think “Hannah” but with the Sh sound at the beginning. Therefore, you would think that when it came to choosing a name for my dance studio 13 years ago that I would have chosen something simple and easy to understand. If there is anything you should know about me, it is that I do not want to take the expected route, I want to take the meaningful one.
I discovered the word “chara” as a freshman at Texas A&M while sitting on the floor of my dorm in Briggs, pouring over the Beth Moore Bible study, Breaking Free. Chara is a greek word that means “to know and experience a depth of joy.” This discovery had an instant impact on my heart and my path forward in life.
I was in the process of starting a dance company at A&M due to limited options at the time. I wanted this dance company to not only fulfill the need for a high level dance company but to make an impact on the students we performed for; encouraging the freedom and subsequent joy that comes with knowing and experiencing Jesus. I based Chara Christian Dance Company at Texas A&M on Isaiah 61:1. The company continues to have an impact today in it’s 16th year as a recognized student organization on campus.
CHARA THE STUDIO
When it came time for me to open my studio in 2007, I wanted to continue to share that message of “good news” but in a new way considering I was now serving a different audience. I knew that often enough when a dancer walks into a studio after school there can be anxiety and negative thoughts created from that atmosphere. It is my daily prayer that when our dancers and their families walk through our doors that they will experience PEACE and JOY….Chara.
“Peace” may be the last thing that comes to mind when parents and grandparents walk into a studio as lively as ours. However, we are after a deeper kind of peace at Chara. Peace of mind, knowing your dancer or musician is learning from great role models. Peace in your studio choice, seeing your dancer perform in a costume that honors God while still making them feel special. And the peace that comes from feeling well communicated with and cared for by staff that love to serve! These are the types of peace that lead to chara…”Experiencing a Depth of JOY.”
For my team and myself, all of this is rooted in the One who gave us the gift of dance to use for His glory and our enjoyment. We are thankful to Him and to you for allowing us to be a blessing to the 900 precious children that come to us each week.