SMB Spotlight: Charlotte Foster Williamson

Graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance, Charlotte Foster Williamson founded non-profit dance company, SIDEWAYS Contemporary Dance Company in 2006 and currently serves as the Artistic/Executive Director. 

In 2007, she founded the Foster-Schmidt Dance Academy for Down Syndrome with Vince Schmidt, and in 2009 she opened the dance studio, Atlanta Dance Central in Roswell. 

Recently, Charlotte worked at the Atlantic Center for the Arts as the choreographer for the Luigi Project. Her work, Being (Interpretations of Interpretations), represented the University of Georgia at the American College Dance Festival in March 2006, where it received impressive feedback from noteworthy dance professionals: Ann Reinking, Steve Rooks, and Wendy Perron. Of 48 pieces submitted, Being was one of 10 selected to be performed at the Gala Showcase. 

Her work was presented at University of Georgia’s Center for Undergraduate Research Organization Conference (CURO) and featured in the University of Georgia’s Journal of Undergraduate Research (JURO). 

Knowbody, a piece created in 2007 specifically for SIDEWAYS, toured to New York where it was recognized by current TV choreographers, Mia Michaels and Brian Freidman. Michaels deemed the piece “timeless” and commented on the honesty of both the choreography and the performers, a trait that Foster demands from her dancers. 

Before moving to Athens in 2004, Foster attended the University of Florida, where she pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance. While in Gainesville, she was chosen to be a member of the University of Florida Dance Team; the Dazzlers. She also choreographed three full-length musicals, and founded her own jazz dance company, Extreme Dance Company. This year Extreme Dance Company celebrated 15 years.

Throughout the past ten years, Charlotte has taught jazz, modern, tap, ballet, kinder dance, musical theatre, lyrical, hip hop, and voice. Her students range from age two to adult. She recently launched a resource website, physiojazz.com, dedicated to sharing the curriculum she developed while working with students who have Down syndrome.

Atlanta Dance Central was included in the Bulldog 100 for 2016, as one of the fastest growing businesses owned by a UGA graduate.

Over 250 of the studio’s local children, who range in age from 2 to 18 will perform in Atlanta Dance Central’s ninth annual recital, Ignite the World in Dance and showcase all of the ADC’s types of classes, including ballet, tap, hip-hop, modern, jazz, contemporary, musical theater, acrobatics, and aerial dance.  The Foster-Schmidt Company for dancers with Down syndrome will also be performing! 

There are four separate performances, of which two focus on the kinder level students and are approximately 45 minutes in length at 11AM and 2PM on Saturday, May 12 at Blessed Trinity High School. The two full length youth performances, however feature ADC students ranging in ages 6-18. and take place at Blessed Trinity High School at 7PM on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12. The show is open to the public and tickets are just $10. Get tickets - visit:  www.atlantadancecentral.com.

 

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