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Chelsi Lester

CLester, Headshot_cropped
Chelsi Lester
Teaching Artist

Chelsi Lester is a dancer, instructor, student, and artist based in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of four, Chelsi began to develop a love for dance in her church’s youth dance ministry, where she later recognized dance as one of her gifts. Making the choice at ten years old to pursue a career in dance, Chelsi began formally training under a local dance studio, where she studied ballet, jazz, hip hop, and tap. As she matured in her technical training, she began taking her gift more seriously and enrolled in a dance program at Gotta Dance Atlanta, under the primary instruction of Cicely “CiCi” Kelley. In addition to training locally, Chelsi began traveling frequently to New York City to study ballet under former Alvin Ailey instructor, Peter Brandenhoff. 

After graduating from Sprayberry High School in Marietta, GA, Chelsi attended Spelman College. There, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance performance and choreography. In addition to serving as co-leader of Spelman’s praise dance ministry, Movements of Praise, Chelsi was blessed with many opportunities to perform, choreograph, and teach dance classes outside of the university setting. Such opportunities include a position as lead choreographer for MTV’s Wild N’ Out cast member, Mope Williams, and a teaching position at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. 

Chelsi Lester wholeheartedly believes in remaining a student, even in spaces where she is titled the lead instructor. While fulfilling the duties of a leader, she simultaneously and humbly positions herself to learn from others in whichever space she encompasses, understanding that grand visions are not intended to be executed alone.