By Danielle Miller
Growing up as a dancer in Milwaukee, Charon felt out of place in the dance world. Not only because she was one of the few girls of color in her in class, but because her body didn’t fit the image many dancers saw on stage.
Now on the edge of her 28th birthday, Charon is officially launching her first leotard line, designed with a more body-positive message for all types of girls that cross the stage.
When she was 13-yearsold, Charon said her mother and her had an idea about creating the line. Charon described herself as a small, petite girl but her growing curves made it hard to find leotards that fit correctly and helped support the girl’s bodies.
As a choreographer, dancer, student, and community volunteer, Charon has taken her experiences and decided to make a positive impact for girls who feel they don’t fit the image.
“How we view our bodies affects what we do,” Charon said.
She hopes to use her leotard launch to “open the door to a conversation.”
The project started after Charon noticed the need for more size options for girls. During one of her focus group at East Brook, a girl told her how she had to shop in the boy’s section to find shoes and apparel that fit, Charon said.
After setting up donations for dancers who couldn’t afford leotards and other dance apparel, Charon decided to take matters into her own hands, partnering with designer, Michelle Schmidt, of Kohl’s Department Store, to create a line made for more than just one body type.
Charon’s work with dancers gave her direct access for the girls to give their opinions and what felt comfortable and still looked good.
Currently working towards her graduate program at UCLA, Charon’s distance from home city of Milwaukee created obstacles for line’s development and launch.
The launch of Charon’s line 30:11 at Signature Dance Studio in Milwaukee is set for Saturday starting at 4 p.m. and will feature a panel of dancers and community activists to talk about dancers in the community that sometimes get left out.
“I know people who are working with youth for [their] body image,” Charon said. “[They’ll] all be together in one room.”
The community mixer will feature live performances of rising artists and dancers from Milwaukee.
Charon hopes to bring new and emerging talent to the front of Milwaukee to unite the artistry and dance community by showcasing the talent Milwaukee has to offer.
Charon’s future goal is to create a full line for girls and continue to grow her company that will focus on the people she wants to serve.
Charon’s focus on the Milwaukee is a special event for her, since she was born and raised here and wants to give back to the community. She said she hopes the community launch will give dance organizations, companies and youth centers a place to meet and unite to form new collaborations and partnerships.