Charis O'Connor A.I.S.T.D
Charis O'Connor is an experienced teacher, professional dancer and aerialist from Guildford, UK. She is a registered ISTD teacher having completed her Associate in Modern Theatre, as well as being fully qualified as an Acrobatic Arts teacher. She is currently in training for her examiners certification to be an Acrobatic Arts examiner for NZ and Australia.
Charis competed as a child in competitions all over England and was a top finalist in the All England Finals regularly. She trained at the Royal Ballet School- Senior Associates at the age of 15 where she gained a lot of extra training in her ballet.
Charis trained at Laine Theatre Arts, London, a well known, successful stage school in the UK. She then went on to working on board Norwegian Cruise Lines as a dancer and aerialist. She performed in Disney's Tarzan the Musical, in Germany for 3 years, and became Assistant Flight Captain for her last year, which involved 40 cast members. Her West End debut for a long running show was at the London Palladium in Sinatra: The Man and His Music, which was a huge dance extravaganza in one of London's most prestigious theatres. Other credits in her performing career included: The West End Experience (UK Tour), An Evening with Kenn Dodd (London Palladium), ballet dancer for CBBC/BBC MI High, dancer on SKY TV Got To Dance, model for The London Olympics Campaign, various pantomimes as a dancer over the South of England, and more... Charis was a choreographer for Thomson Holidays shows.
Since moving to NZ, Charis has taught at various schools in the Lower North Island and passed on her knowledge to lots of young, talented performers. She was a tutor at Whitireia, and as it now has become Te Auaha teaching Jazz, Tap Acrobatics and Audition Classes to the young adults ready to audition and work in the business.
Charis ran Charis O'Connor Theatre Arts from 2017-2021, which was a successful dance and performing arts school for many local children in Waikanae Beach. Charis made the difficult decision to close the school to be able to be mum to her children. COTA competed in local competitions, and performed in annual shows which Charis directed and choreographed alongside her staff.
Charis's teaching approach gives students the platform to excel, either one on one, or as a group. She aims to safely nurture talent and potentially provide the basis for a career in the industry. Welcoming all students from all backgrounds and abilities, and striving to make extra coaching fun and encouraging. Charis aims to provide teaching suitable for any student’s needs and capabilities.
ISTD and Acrobatic Arts syllabuses are very successful internationally and provide a solid technical basis so that students can develop and grow as dancers and performers. Acrobatics is hugely popular in Kapiti and New Zealand and is a great way of combining dance with gymnastics. With Charis' knowledge and skills to pass on to the students, this is now a great way to advance in dance at this moment in time.
Charis loves living in Waikanae Beach with her family and passing on all her knowledge and experience to young dancers.