Charlene Weirup, GDSC’s Acro dance instructor, is not only safety-certified, but also a member of the USA Gymnastics.

Charlene began her journey of being an instructor through many different life experiences. Living in a small Oregon coastal town most of her life, she began her love of gymnastics at age 5. In high school, she was a high-level sprinter, as well as a four-year member and one-year coach of her dance team.

Coaching and working with children have always been a big part of her life. Starting at age 16, she was a volunteer recreational coach for five years.

In 2002, Charlene helped put together and co-coach a dance team in which kids from Kindergarten - 12th grade were allowed to participate. In her small community not a lot of families had the opportunity to offer their children dance and she wanted all kids to be able to get the chance.

When Charlene was 24, she coached gymnastics at a small local gym for two years until her second child made his debut. Charlene’s son was born with Autism and this lead to a whole new world of knowledge and challenges. Since the rural area they lived in wasn’t the right place for their son to get the help he needed, the family decided to move. In 2004, Charlene and her husband packed up the family and moved to Bend.

After 11 years of being a stay-at-home mom of three, she got the crazy idea to better herself and became a ballet student at GDSC. Starting ballet at age 35 was not an easy task, but she loves a good challenge and is very grateful that she made this move in her life.

Charlene is also a strong advocate for Autism Awareness and likes to promote healthy, clean nutrition for children and adults.