Char Petersen started her dance training at Joel Hall in Chicago. She received a scholarship to study at Frank Hatchet Dance Studio in NYC, which is now known as the renown Broadway Dance Center, NYC. She became a driven student of the arts and studied theater under the direction of Arlene Hawks.
Char later attended Jackson State University in Jackson, MS and is an alumnus of Columbia College, Chicago. While in Chicago, she studied at the Chicago Multi- Cultural Dance Center and the School of Homer Hans Bryant before becoming a student at the Debbie Allen School in Los Angeles. Char began her professional career as a dancer/actress in the theater production of Beauty Shop, produced by Shelly Garrett. Beauty Shop was later adapted into a movie starring Queen Latifah. She toured the US in several theater productions, both on & off Broadway as a principal dancer & actress, danced as a backup dancer for Epic Records and toured with DreamWorks Recording Artists. Her choreography has also been used in Disney animated films. Ms. Petersen has been a dance educator for more than 15 years and has a passion for developing young dancers. She has worked extensively educating dancers and choreographing for dance companies throughout the Midwest. Char is the proud owner and Director of the Dream Academy as well as Dream Contemporary Dance Company which are both know for technical excellence, movement quality and artistry. Her dynamic, energetic teaching style and thoughtful guidance has inspired her students and propelled many of them to successful careers in the arts. In 2018 Char Petersen was award the NIA Award (meaning: purpose) by the African American Heritage Council for her work with children & families through dance and community outreach. She has developed the most internationally diverse dance companies in the Midwest which she believes is one of her greatest accomplishments.