Chris Thompson A King of Culture at the 2019 Charlotte African-American Festival

Since 2002 Chris Thompson contributions to the Charlotte African-American Festival and the Black History Walk of Fame have been instrumental in the success of the celebrations. Although many people know Chris Thompson, they have no ideal of his extensive portfolio. 

Come out and experience drumming and dance by Chris Thompson at the 2019 Charlotte African-American Festival on April 6, 2019 at Spirit Square. The festival will be held fro 10am-10pm and admission is free to the public.


Chris Thompson

Dance /Choreography/Teaching Curriculum Vitae



My dance training and passion are in the disciplines of African, African-American, Modern, Jazz and Hip-Hop dance for over 20 years. To that end I have my own company Chris Thompson and the Cultural Ensemble which is dedicated to teaching American and West African culture by using dance, drumming and storytelling. I am an independent educator in conjunction with CMS After School Enrichment Programs, Churches, Schools, Summer camps, Community Centers and other grassroots efforts to teach young people. I create unique programs for Black History Month, International Festivals or other special events. I provide entertainment for corporate events, galas and awards banquets. I teach dance and drumming classes to adults and children. I choreograph musical theatre productions and professional entertainers. Above all I emphasize the potential that is within all individuals to explore and share their creativity.


Teaching Experience: Dance Studios

2008- Present Albemarle Dance Academy (Albemarle, NC). Taught Hip-Hop/Jazz, African Dance and Drumming to students age 7-17 (beginning, intermediate, advanced). Top honors at various dance competitions.

2005- 2008 Open Door Studios- (Charlotte, NC).Ongoing classes in African dance and Jazz/Hip-Hop dance to teens and adults. Performance opportunity at annual community wide concerts.

2005-2007 Motions Dance Studio (Concord NC) Provided choreography

for the advanced students to enter competitions-Applause

Dance Convention (Lenoir, NC), Showbiz Dance Convention

(Spartanburg, SC), Showstoppers Dance Convention (Concord, NC).

2001-2003 North Carolina Performing Arts Academy- Instructed summer enrichment programs and prepared students for recitals

Premiere Dance Company (Artistic Director)

1992-1 997 Sullivan School of Dance (Rock Hill, SC)

1991- 1993 Gaston Academy of Performing Arts (Gastonia, NC)

Tçaching Experience: Youth and Children

2005-present Johnson C. Smith University — Upward Bound Summer Camp. Dance instruction & incorporation of self esteem themes for at risk youth.

2008 ADAPT- African Diaspora Arts Program and Theatre- Provided dance instruction for summer program (ages 5-15).

2007-2009 Crossroads Charter High School- Dance and Theater class in an alternative high school with behavior challenged teens. Spring & Fall Showcase Concerts. Kwanza presentation at Hidden Valley Elementary School.

2005-2010 Piedmont Chapter of the Links Inc—Black History Month Tours to elementary and middle schools in Gastonia, NC.

1998-2004 Churches- St. Paul Baptist Church, Chapel Christ of King, First Baptist Church West, Siegel Ave. Presbyterian Church, and South Tryon Presbyterian Church. Summer programs and after school programs of dance and drumming.

Performance Experience

Chris Thompson & Cultural Ensemble (1996- Present)

Various performances at cultural events & festivals (First Night Charlotte, Juneteenth, Art & Soul Southend, Matthews Alive, Charlotte African-American Festival. The Black History Walk of Fame, Charlotte Dance Festival, Cheraw Spring Festival-Cheraw, Sc, Charlotte East Summer Fest, Celebrating the Arts Festival-Wilmington,NC., Battle of the Salons-All Texture Barber Salon, Singing Christmas Tree- Carolina Voices,

Various schools and community presentations (Wingate University, University Meadows Elementary School, First Ward Elementary, Eastway Middle School, Briarwood Academy, Beatties Ford Library, Pawtucket Elementary School, Gateway Academy, Bailey Middle School, Statesville Elementary School, and others).

Various gala events (Mayors International Cabinet, Pride Awards, Piedmont Chapter of the Links, Delta Sigma Theta Charlotte Alumni, Leadership Charlotte Arts Day, ASC Staff Campaign Kickoff, Lion King Tribute-Club Cabaret, Hickory)

Community Wide Concerts (featuring hip hop, clogging, tapping, African dance, drumming, modern dance, musical theatre dance, gospel singing, liturgical dance and jazz dance).

April 2007 “Celebration of National Dance Week” –AACC

December 2006 “Headphones” at Duke Power Theater, Spirit Square

December 2005 “A Seasonal Gathering” at Afro-American Cultural Center

October 2005 “The Gathering” at Spirit Square

December 2004 “A Journal of Dance” at Afro-American Cultural Center

December 2003 “12 Months of Community Dance” at EE Waddell H.S.

________________________________________________________________________ EDUCATION

Howard University, Washington, DC

Studied Traditional West African Dance and drumming (1995-1996)

IFE-IFE Umoja Culture Bearers, Charlotte, NC

Studied & performed African and African Caribbean Dance and Drumming (1988- 1990)

Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX

Studied Modern Dance with Twyla Tharp

UNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina

B.S. Behavioral and Emotional Modification (1985)

North Carolina School of Arts, Winston Salem, NC

Studied Modern Dance (1982 &1983).

Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, North Carolina

Studied Graphic Arts, Child Behavioral Modification, Modern Dance, Ballet


Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, NC

Attended on track scholarship until knee injury (1979)

Olympic High School, Charlotte, NC

H.S. graduate (1979)


Theater Charlotte- The Full Monty (2009) played “Horse.” Show won Metrolina Theater Award for best musical.

Creative Loafing 2004 Choreographer & Sound Composition Nominee for

“The Colored Museum”

Pride Awards Outstanding Performing Artist (2003)

NAACP Youth Award (1996)

CMS Community Involvement Award

Regional and National Awards for competition choreography ages 7-18

Charlotte African-American Festival Cultural Award (2017)

Professional Memberships

North Carolina Dance Alliance- Board member 2006-2007

The Charlotte African-American Festival Committee Member

Other Experience

1989-1998 Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools — Teacher, Coach

BEH (Behavioral & Emotionally Handicapped) Counselor,

Administrative Assistant and Basketball Coach at Smith Jr. H.S.

TMH (Trainable Mentally Handicapped) Teacher- Lincoln Heights

Elementary School

In School Suspension & Substitute Teacher- Hawthorne M’S.

Dance Educator- Communities in School & Right Moves for Youth

1985-1986 Boys Town- Provided crisis care counseling for troubled teenage


1985-2000 Catchin’ On Dance Company -Co-founder and Choreographer Dance company that focused on a variety of dance styles-jazz, modern, ethnic and musical theatre and performing original dance works. Opened up for the vocal group Ladysmith Black Manbazo and performed at Dick Gregory’s birthday celebration. Performed in plays such as “Bubbling Brown Sugar”, “The Wiz”, “Annie Get Your Gun”, and “Porgy and Bess” locally and nationally. Community Festival in the Park, Springfest, Jazz Charlotte, Best of Charlotte, First Night, Arts Alive Festival, CPCC 25th Anniversary, Elizabethfest, Charlotte Panthers Halftime Show.

1984 & 1986 World of Fantasy Players- Performer

Traveled throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. Lead dancer,

and played the role of the Witch/Dwarf in the production of “Snow

White, and the Seven Dwarfs” and multiple roles in

Pinocchio.”Gained knowledge of full production techniques

(lighting, sound, and stage management).

1980 Ebony Dance Company- Co-founder .First All Black Dance company in Charlotte, NC

Contact Information

1850 Birch Heights Court

Charlotte, NC

(704) 303-4682

(704) 510-2033

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