April 8, 2017

Smarty Spotlight: Caroline Calouche

Caroline Calouche and tankina

Aerial dance is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring styles to watch as it is truly an artistic interpretation of grace, strength and gravity-defying creativity. We are so lucky to have an amazing artist on the pulse of the aerial dance scene here in Charlotte, Caroline Calouche.

Caroline founded Charlotte’s only aerial and contemporary dance company and school, Caroline Calouche & Co (CC&Co.), a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring people of diverse backgrounds to explore beyond their boundaries through performance and education. Her vision is to create educational opportunities for people to experience the world from a unique and artistic perspective, which will enrich their lives and the lives of those around them.

Straight from her bio because this is just beyond impressive:
Caroline Calouche has taught contemporary dance, Pilates, Gyrokinesis and ballet at UNC Charlotte, Winthrop University, The Belmont School of Ballet, Gaston Dance Theatre and The School of North Carolina Dance Theatre. Her dance and fitness teaching background has allowed her to become a sought after aerial dance instructor. Not only has Caroline developed a safe method and syllabus of teaching Aerial Silk, Sling, Trapeze, Lyra, Corde Lisse and Spanish Web, she is able to teach students how to incorporate floor work with their apparatus to seamlessly move from the ground up and back again.

I’m excited for Smarty Charlotte to get to know Caroline through her productions, her camps, her summer intensives and also her super fun recos of her favorite things all over Charlotte.

Meet the one and only, Caroline Calouche!

Caroline’s Smarty Stats:

Mom of: Her fur Bebe Tankina, an American bulldog, featured above:-)
Years in Charlotte: 10
Hood: Berewick
Hometown: Gastonia
Occupation: Choreographer, Dancer, teacher, and then all the other hats I wear for productions and being the Executive Director, Caroline Calouche & Co

Tell us how you started with aerial dance.

I first saw aerial dance in college on video of Trisha Brown (who recently passed away on March 18, 2017) and then Brenda Angiel Aerial Dance Company from Argentina in Dallas, Texas while at TCU. A professor there impressed upon us that aerial dance was the next big thing in 2000 and this company was coming. I saw, I fell in love, I tried to convince people to hang me from the ceiling then but no go. Too much liability. While in Europe, I saw an amazing contemporary circus show in a tent in Salzburg while I was at SEAD. I fell in love again with the strength and challenge of the work from the dancers but especially from the women! My contemporary style was already athletic with acrobatics. Training in aerial dance has made me stronger on the floor.

What made you to decide to open a studio?

I love sharing my love of dance and circus arts and seeing how it can improve people’s lives and how they view the world is inspiring to me and I learn from them.

What ages of classes do you offer?

Ages 5 and up (including adults). Click here for more information.

What if my child has never taken aerial before?

No experience is needed! You only need the desire to learn and we can teach you. For adults a good sense of humor helps for sure!! Being able to laugh at yourself helps from getting frustrated.

How can aerial classes enhance other sports and dance?

Crossing training helps keeps the body from injuries caused from repetitive motions. Dance whether it’s on the ground or in the air works the entire body through a variety of motions that increase flexibility and strength.

Do you offer summer camps?

Yes! We offer summer camps for ages 5 – 11 for youth and 12 – 18 for teens / Summer Intensive for serious dance and circus students ages 12+.

Check out the Summer Intensive Program here:

Tell us about your upcoming show, Star Gazer? Where can we buy tickets?

We first premiered Star Gazer in April 2014. Jennifer O’Kelly, my lighting and scenic designer, likes to call it our Star Gazer 1.0. We are jumping ahead to Star Gazer 4.0 at least with this version on April 21 – 23. Adding more video projections that are integrated with the dancing along with set design, costuming and choreography are all improving greatly due to more experienced dancers, knowledge of the performance venue and funding. You can buy tickets HERE. {Smarties, get your tix now, this show is in two weeks!!}

Moving on to some fun questions about your favorite digs…

What is your perfect night out?

Dinner and a show. I love seeing other dance shows but also music and theater. Love being inspired by others art work.

Favorite restaurant?

Webb Custom Kitchen in Gastonia (serious, go out there!), Café Monte {which was recently voted as one of Top 100 brunch spots in America by Open Table} or Musashi

Best breakfast place in Charlotte?

In Piedmont Row, Terrace Café.

Favorite workout in the QC (other than CC&Co:-)?

Gyrotonic at either Absolute Pilates or Charlotte Movement Arts

Favorite boutique?

I really don’t go shopping. But I do love Athleta’s work out clothes if that counts. {Totally counts!}

What is your latest Netflix binge?

The Queen

Last book you’ve read?

Furiously Happy

Last meal you cooked?

Pork tacos from Blue Apron

What is your favorite thing about Charlotte in the spring?

The flowers and the trees blooming which gives me a sense of awakening. It peps me up – even more!

Smarties, you can find Caroline and all of her creative talent at:

Caroline Calouche & Co
facebook: www.facebook.com/carolinecalouche
instagram: www.instagram.com/ccalouche
twitter: twitter.com/ccaloucheco
snapchat: www.snapchat.com/add/ccalouche

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