Inspired by her mother who was a Chiefs Cheerleader in the late 70’s, Charlena began her dance journey at the age of 5. She was a competition dancer for over 10 years at Byrds Studio in KCK. Throughout her studio years she gained many training experiences such as attending Dance Excellence in California and traveling to New York to train with Broadway choreographers & dancers.
During high school, Charlena also participated in local pageants such as Miss Kansas USA and National American Miss where she won numerous awards for her talent which was dancing! In 2009 she was in the NAM Top 5 and received the Spirit Award for being the most supportive and uplifting during the competition.
She was also the captain of her high school dance team at Bishop Ward High School. Her performance level and bubbly personality during summer camp her senior year landed her a position as a UDA Staff member. With UDA she spent the summer traveling the region to various high school camps teaching crowds as big as 100 dancers!
Upon graduating, Charlena accepted a dance scholarship to Avila University where she was a Glitter Girl for two seasons. During her time on the team the GG’s placed 3rd in the nation in Hip Hop under the choreography of Laura Edwards. In 2011 she returned to her home studio to teach and was the Dance Team Director for the past 5 years. Her director position gave her tons of teaching and administrative experience. She was able to continue her training by attending events such as Dance Teacher Summit and Monsters Of Hip Hop training under names such as Mia Michaels, Travis Wall, Nika Kljun, and Luther Brown to name a few.
Charlena received her degree in Human Behavior with a minor in dance in 2014. She was also a member of the Chiefs Cheerleader Training Team in 2015-16. Her choreography is diverse in many styles and has won numerous judges and entertainment awards. In 2019 her Hip Hop Trio was the National Champion division winners of Talent On Parade San Antonio. She has also choreographed for several local high school teams.
Charlena’s teaching style is fun, energetic, and kind hearted as she believes there’s a pace & space for everyone. She’s extremely excited to be joining the DE family this season and is looking forward to some great times in her classes!