Caroline Calouche, 33, started dancing when she was 8 years old. She continued lessons throughout her childhood and studied dance at Texas Christian University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in ballet and contemporary dance.
Her work as a dancer, including studying, performing and choreographing, led to international travel. Calouche spent time in Rome, Brussels and Austria and locations throughout the United States.
In 2005, Calouche returned to Charlotte, residing in Steele Creek, and became involved in aerial dance. Aerial dance is a form of dance that evolved from the aerial work seen in circus arts.
Utilizing a variety of techniques, aerial dancers perform with the use of silks, trapeze and cube, which are suspended from the ceiling.
Caroline Calouche & Co. is a nonprofit organization, which includes a performance dance troupe, studio and educational programs.
Calouche is passionate about the role that dance can play in the world, with the aim of the organization, “to build cross-cultural dialogues with dance as a means to unite and educate the global community through an exchange of philosophies and methods.”
For Calouche, dance is not about competition. It’s an art form which leads its students to self-discipline and improving oneself, “without needing trophies.”
Through grants from the Arts and Science Council, she has taught dance in several local schools. She’s worked with disadvantaged children in her work and finds it rewarding. She loves being able to “help put smiles on their faces,” and finds that dance helps them by “feeding into their self-worth, which is very important in this world.”
Calouche and her dance company perform several shows at the Booth Playhouse each year and is a resident company of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. They also perform at other venues throughout the Southeast.
Their performances blend aerial and contemporary dance, meant to convey meaning and emotion through movement. Calouche enjoys “knowing the audience in engrossed in what you’re doing,” and describes what transpires between audience and dancer as “a very powerful exchange.”
She also teaches, along with several other professional dancers, at her studio at 9129 Monroe Road in south Charlotte, where children and adults can learn the art. Calouche said many people who haven’t done a lot of physical activity use the classes as starting point to getting in shape.
All students start with “Aerial 101,” where they can try each apparatus, learn the basics and figure out what specific training would work best for them. They practice close to the ground, with the use of crash mats.
Allison Futterman is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Allison? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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