Charis Railey, Director
Performance Artist based in Saint Louis, MO
Energetic, passionate, and detail oriented creator. Specializes in Afro-Brazilian dance, salsa shines, developing student creativity, and critical theory. Seeking clients looking for cultural education and collaborators looking to enrich the Saint Louis community.
Water is Life
Water holds so much of our well-being - we drink it, we are made of it. When we are embraced in it, we are weightless and have the opportunity to be released from the grip of stress. Water, in all its forms, is not merely a resource; it is a source of freedom and spiritual nourishment, grounding us in the essence of life itself. As Miss Mermaid Missouri 2021-2023, Charis' platform is inspiring humans of all ages to embrace the wonders of the water, promoting representation in aquatic activity, and making a positive splash in communities with fun and engaging performances.
Dance is Life
Charis obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance at Washington University in St. Louis in 2022 and is an alumna of the University's Olin Women's Fellowship. Her process is centered in her experiences with the Black arts of the Americas. The power and grace found in social music and dances like samba, salsa, jazz, cumbia, and bomba bring people together, heal personal wounds, and enable communities to stand strong and make change.
Learning is Life
Charis' philosophy centers on contextualizing art within historical, social, political, racial, and gender frameworks. Prioritizing primary and secondary sources as well as the experiences of the marginalized is key to her research. Applied to dance performance, this approach involves understanding choreography as a cultural expression, appreciating its historical evolution, and critically examining the societal influences on movement. By spotlighting the narratives of marginalized groups through dance, Charis seeks to amplify diverse voices, fostering a more inclusive and socially conscious performance art landscape.