About Charis | Amara Arts 

Charis Railey

  Charis Railey has participated in a variety of movement arts since her teen years. She achieved a Black Belt in Yoshukai Karate at the age of 13 under Lloyd Gardner, then trained in American Tribal Style bellydance with Troupe Nailiyat under Radhiya Taj. She was a member of COCAdance and studied under Lee Nolting, Anthony "Redd" Williams, and Alica Graf Mack. 


In college, she further explored traditional and contemporary genres from the African Diaspora across the Americas and the Caribbean. Samba and Afro-Brazilian movement began to occupy a special place in her heart after Rainy Demerson's "Dances of Brazil" course at Lindenwood University. Professor Demerson encouraged Charis to combine her dance and anthropology studies, which continues to impact her creative process. Her love for samba and salsa was nurtured by training and performing for several years with dancer and businesswoman Lauren Wilmore. Charis completed her B.A. in Theatre and Dance at the University of Missouri St. Louis in 2016 under the tutelage of Ronderrick Mitchell. She is currently enrolled at Washington University in St. Louis as a candidate for the Master of Fine Arts in Dance and is part of the Olin Fellowship.

In her freelance work and Amara Arts presentations, she uses her Anthropology training and the inspiration of Katherine Dunham Technique to direct her creative thought. This background influences Charis' insistence on highlighting culture and meaning in dance.

Notable Performances

Chicago Samba's Carnaval - Guest Artist

Kevin Bowers' Nova at Jazz at the Bistro and KDHXFest  - Dancer

Tribute To Beyoncé at Twilight Tuesday (Principal Dancer) and Fox Midwest Live Dancer

Mai Lee Music Videos  - Dancer - "Low Key" and "Skr Skr" 

Afro Brazilian Lecture Demonstrations in St. Louis, Chicago, and Evansville

Sofrito: The Afro-Latin Dance Experience in St. Louis and Detroit - Dance Motivator

Chicago Samba's New Years Eve - Guest Artist

Recent Choreography

AfroKuumba Dancers - Saint Louis, Missouri (2019, 2020)

Dreamgirls - Harris Stowe State University (2019)

Ballpark Village - New Years Eve Live! (2020)

Dancers in Saint Louis
Modern Dancer in Saint Louis
Dancers in Saint Louis
Salsa Dancing in Saint Louis
Salsa Dancer in Saint Louis
Salsa Dancer in Saint Louis
Beyoncé Tribute in Saint Louis
Beyoncé Tribute in Saint Louis
Beyoncé Tribute in Saint Louis
Bob Morrison 2018
Charis Railey Dancer
UMSL Final Concert
Festival of Nations Saint Louis