Cherrise Wakeham is an established Atlanta-based choreographer and educator with a tenacious vision and a tireless devotion to her craft. She has shared her passion for dance with a wide range of students, companies, and programs throughout the country in both the professional and competitive arenas, making waves in the dance community. Known to “burn the floor with edgy, explosive LA contemporary jazz performances” – Dance Magazine, and have “an undercurrent of risk-taking and emotional honesty” – ArtsCriticATL, Cherrise has also been called “a true creative genius” by Dance Informa Magazine. She was named the 2014 1st Runner Up winner of the Capezio Award for Choreographic Excellence, a 2-time Choreographer Pick for the Pulse on Tour, and a featured choreographer for Carnival Choreographer’s Ball Atlanta. She has had her work commissioned for Flux Projects in Atlanta and has been invited to share her choreography as guest performances for charitable events and collaborative showcases such as Women in Film and Television of Atlanta, Project S.A.F.E., The Pink Frog Foundation, Phazes of Love, Legacy of Love, AIDS Athens, as well as having choreographed the College Football Hall of Fame’s Flash Mob sponsored by Chic-fil-A.
Upon moving to Atlanta in 1998, Cherrise was a founding member of The Phoenix Dance Project, under the direction and choreography of John Mattson, where she attributes her professional start as a performer, choreographer and educator. In 2007, she founded the Atlanta-based, non-profit professional contemporary commercial dance company, Project 7. Her work both independently and with Project 7 has appeared on stages ranging from the Joyce Theatre in New York City to the Alliance, Balzer, 7 Stages, Skwhirlhaus, and Buckhead Theaters in Atlanta. Cherrise is currently traveling with FORCE Dance Tour and also hosts her own in-studio workshops and intensive, iN House DANCE. Having graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors from Georgia State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Cherrise aims to combine a concentration in child development with her passion for cultivating creativity, discipline, and self-worth within her students in a professional and positive atmosphere.