Shar Mitchell

Shar was born in Beautiful Byron Bay on Australia’s East Coast. A lover of dance from an early age, unable to afford dance classes, Shar was a lounge room enthusiast!! A reader, dreamer and an ever optimistic “dancer” to be.

Once High School hit, she was able to truly begin her journey through dance, leading her to study with top contemporary choreographers such as Niko N at the Lismore Conservatorium and a Teach-to-Train scholarship at the Ballina Fair Dance Academy where she mastered ADAP Ballet.

In 1998 Shar successfully auditioned for Newtown Performing Arts High School in Sydney so she packed her bags and moved to the big city, to be one of the only students to study full-time solely in the dance department. Following her passion for Contemporary dance she studied with an open heart and eager mind, but it wasn’t until a last minute rehearsal led her to Dance Central in 2002 that she fully realised where her true passion lay – That was deep in the “WORLD” of dance, but not as she knew it! The “feathers” of BRAZIL, the “riddems” of JAMAICIA, the “shimmies” of EGYPT, the “heat” of EL SAVADOR and the “drums” of the PACIFIC… Over the past 7 years, Shar has been able to train in a vast array of Traditional styles from many cultures and has graced the stage in performances with companies such as “PHUZE Latin Dance”, AfroBeat Drum and Dance”, “Sambafrog” and the “Sundance-Hall Stars” to name a few. In 2004, Shar auditioned for “PASIFIKA SWAY” an all female Dance and Theatre company directed by Aruna Po-Ching (NZ). She was lucky enough to tour with Pasifika Sway throughout Australia, Aotearoa and Hawaii –Needless to say falling in love with the culture and story telling that is offered through dance in the Pacific Islands.

Reggae Dancehall is the other style that has become a constant part of her life over the years, it began with her love of the music and soon moved to her expression of dance. This began under the guidance of her sister Maya Martinez who specialises in African derived modern dance styles. Maya’s natural flamboyancy in choreography and teaching has been an inspiration for Shar in the styles of Afro Contemporary, Jamaican Dancehall and Reggaeton (and all dance in general!).

Having began at Dance Central trading her time behind the desk for dance classes, then becoming an employee watching the business grow, to hiring other staff members, becoming manager and more recently (2008) one of the OWNERS/DIRECTORS, She is proud of what Dance Central offers to people. A chance to learn, dance, laugh and enjoy a cultural experience, be it Breakdance-Bollywood or Popping-to Polynesian!

QUOTE: “…for without dance I would never have had the opportunity to chant with the Hawaiians at the base of the Volcano, or Dance barefoot and pregnant with the African tribes of Mozambique!… Memories of the past and endless possibilities for the future….” –Shar.

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