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Buffalo woman chases stardom with "unique" talent

Posted at 11:30 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 23:30:24-04

Shemika Charles has always wanted to be a performer. And after earning two Guinness World Records, the Town of Tonawanda woman is working to catapult her fame into a Hollywood career.

Charles has literally been setting the bar for years.

She set the record for lowest successful limbo height at 8.5 inches. That is about the height of a typical beer bottle. Charles also holds a record for the longest distance to limbo under 12 inch bars. She limboed more than 10 feet for that record.

And after gaining internet fame, Charles has made a number of television appearances displaying her record-setting ability. In February, Ellen DeGeneres had Charles limbo under a truck while holding two trays of drinks.

But Charles has been doing limbo much longer than she's been famous for it. She started participating in performances with her family's band, Caribbean Extravaganza, as a child and officially joined the group at 14.

"I like performing," Charles said. "I loved the little time that I spent on stage with my mom during their performances. It was really fun."

It was her uncle Bob Diaz who first noticed Charles had a unique talent for limbo and offered to train her. Without support and encouragement from her family, Charles doesn't think she would be setting records today.

"Regardless of anything, my family always being there, always backing me, always being there 100%," she said. "It made all the difference, it really did."

And so far, Charles' foray into entertainment has been going well. Her limbo skills helped get a foot in the door and now Charles says she has a couple talent agencies interested in signing her for commercial and print engagements.

"People obviously notice me because of limbo," she explained. "They want to learn more about me. So I don't want to say it's been easy, but they have been very welcoming. They've been welcoming and intrigued with my talent."

Charles has landed a job in a Caribbean film, has worked on Disney's Bizaardvark and is performing on the current season of America's Got Talent.

Charles says no matter how far her travels and career take her, she'll never forget where everything started.

"I love my Buffalo," she said. "Buffalo will always be home sweet home."