Born and raised in New York City, Charlie has been studying and performing dance, including jazz, tap and ballet, since she was three years old. With a passion for directing and choreographing, as soon as she could figure out how to use a camera, she began making movies and music videos. In the summer of 2002, after an initial class with Kelly Peters in Martha's Vineyard, Charlie was invited to join the KPD hip-hop dance crew and performed at the Agricultural Fair. The following summer, she choreographed and performed musical numbers from Chicago at the Chilmark Community Center where she was immediately cast as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Charlie's Aunt Eileen saw an ad for a Little Manhattan open casting call in the "Kidsday" section of Newsday, and mentioned it to her mom. When she responded to the idea of auditioning, her mom submitted a photo. Charlie was called in for a meeting with the casting directors, then the filmmakers. This was followed by several readings, including one with Josh Hutcherson, to see how the two of them would fit together and get along, and ultimately a screen test.