Caroline Allison Sunshine (born September 5, 1995) is an American actress. She has a main role (formerly recurring role) as the flashy European exchange student, Tinka Hessenheffer, on the Disney Channel original series Shake It Up. Her fans are known as 'Sunshiners'.
Caroline Sunshine was born September 5, 1995, in Atlanta, Georgia, to parents Thom and Karen Sunshine. She has two younger brothers, John (born in 1997) and Christopher (born in 2000). Sunshine was raised in Orange County, California, and began studying ballet at the age of 3. In kindergarten, she landed her first lead role playing Goldilocks in a classroom play. She then acted with the Orange County Children's Theater and danced competitively with the South Coast Performing Arts studio in Tustin, California. Sunshine's stage credits include Annie Warbucks at the Orange County Children's Theatre, The Nutcracker at the Academy of Dance and South Coast Performing Arts, and Stage Door at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA.
In 2006, Sunshine began going on professional auditions when she was 11 years old, and landed her first role in a commercial for Amazing Allysen the talking doll, as well as commercial work for Yoplait Go-Gurt, and Cap'n Crunch. In 2010, Sunshine filmed her first pilot for the CBS sitcom, Team Spitz, starring Rob Riggle of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart as a high school coach and her father on the show. Later that same year, she gained popular notoriety for her role as Barbara Winslow in her first feature film Marmaduke based on the comic strip of the same name. Sunshine currently has a recurring role on the Disney Channel original series Shake It Up! as the European exchange student Tinka Hessenheffer, alongside Kenton Duty as her fraternal twin brother Gunther. The glitzy brother/sister duo of Gunther and Tinka is said to be inspired by Ryan and Sharpay Evans of Disney's High School Musical franchise. She is now a member of the main cast for Shake It Up!'s Season 2
Sunshine is involved in several charitable causes including the Joyful Sewing Organization that makes blankets for cancer patients, Working Wardrobes, which gives underprivileged women and victims of domestic abuse confidence and teaches them courses in how to properly interview for a job, the Adoptahero.org program that provide for the needs of soldiers and their families, and the Loaves and Fishes Ministry that helps feed the homeless.
On November 8, 2011 beginning at 10:00am, Caroline met up with about 20,000 Orange County Third Graders at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim for an international Record-Breaking History Lesson. At the press conference after the event, the Guinness Book of World Records was on hand to certify and authenticate the event as the largest history lesson ever to take place.