Charisse Shepherd


Venue: Berea & Morningside

Contact Charisse: 083 631 0889 / 031 205 7072

Charisse Shepherd, a native of KZN, the "warmest place to be".

I have been a dancer all my life and started Ballet at the age of 3, moving on to Jazz dance, ballroom, modern and flamenco in my latter years. I was a Natal gymnast until a bad fall off the high bars ended that career, but still continued to dance and turned professional at the age of 16.

After matriculating, I went to Edgewood Teachers training college, which I did not return to after the 1st year and went back into dancing, my true love, and was part of the first  group of South African dancers to dance at the Wild Coast Casino, performing in both "It's a Scandal" and "Hot Property", thereafter Sun City asked my to audition for the "Playmates" show, which I danced in for 2 years, leaving to go to London to audition for the West End, for "Me and My Girl".

The cold in London eventually drew me to audition for Circo Majico Italiano, a circus travelling through South America,which I joined as dancer, magicians' assistant and as a trapeze flyer, capitalizing on my gymnastic abilities.

The warmer climates still called, so I auditioned for a show in Greece, where I worked for Fotis Metaxopolis for a year, eventually opening my own company, "Shepherd Productions" dancing and choreographing for TV variety shows, music videos and TV advertisements, for several years and then headed off to Spain after being invited to dance for Paco Rebane as one of his lead dancers. After a year, I opened my own show, "Viva", in Spain, in Tivoli World, where I worked for 2 years.

I had been out of SA of 10 years and decided it was time to come home, I was beginning to feel the effects of being a professional dancer on my body and had become disillusioned with the dance/entertainment world. On my return to Durban, everyone assumed I would open a dance studio, but, still feeling negative, towards dance and movement, I opened a B&B instead, seeing the gap in the market at that time, and it has proved to be a successful venture, but still did not full the hole in me that dance had done.

I did Tai-Bo, Tai-Chi, Chi-Gong, yoga, Biodanza and contact contemporary as other forms of movement and started to study Flamenco the art form, still on the lookout for something that would lead me to find my Joy in movement.

It was through a chance meeting of a friend of a friend, that I came to hear about Nia and went to one of Alison Collingwoods' classes on the Berea, I attended and from the moment she started the class, I knew that Nia was what I had been looking for. Finally, a modality that incorporates all the knowledge of the movement forms and most importantly, moving the body in "the bodies way", non-impact, that still gave me the workout I desired.

My love affair with Nia took off after attending a workshop with Cathy from Cape Town and when she told us that we could take a white belt to become a teacher of Nia, I joined up immediately and took my White Belt in September 2009, with Ann Christianson, a fabulous black belt trainer from Hamburg, Germany. That week was a turning point in my life and left a huge positive, impact on me.

At this time, Alisson had been diagnosed with cancer and had started treatment, leaving her weak.  She asked me to take over her classes, which, once I had found a suitable venue, I started to teach in May 2010. I took my Blue Belt, in February 2011, again, with Ann Christainson, in Johannesburg.  (What a fantastic trainer she is, so dynamic and inspiring).

Even though I teach, I am still a student of Nia and every class I give fulls my body, mind and spirit with JOY! It is truly a pleasure to share my knowledge and joy with others, who are looking for some form of exercise that leaves one feeling inspired and in awe of this amazing vessel, our body.

Please feel free to contact me if there is any further info you need regards Nia, classes and venues.

Dancing through life!

Nia Classes

Tuesdays 5.00 pm
Girl Guides Hall, 180 North Ridge Rd.

Thursdays 5.30 pm
Berea Congregational Church,
27 Musgrave Road

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Our Instructors

Adie Bartels

Venue:  Pietermaritzburg & Hilton

Contact Adie: 082 890 0524 / 033 345 8528

Lorraine Relleen

Venue: Hillcrest & Kloof
Contact Lorraine: 031 767 1690

Follow Lorraine on Faceboo

Fiona Furniss

Venue: Sunningdale / La Lucia

Contact Fiona: 083 258 5880 / 031 502 5667

Charisse Shepherd

Venue: Berea & Morningside

Contact Charisse: 083 631 0889 / 031 205 7072

Liz Cunningham

Venue: The Heart Space, Clansthal

Contact Liz: 083 556 8108