Though grounded in excellent formal technique, the studio chooses not to drive students into annual competitions, where the pressure to out-do peers leads many to place the burden of ever more risque routines on the backs of children (ie, the 5 year olds who became an internet sensation gyrating in skimpy costumes to Beyonce's What a Girl Wants.) At King David, though contemporary and stylish, there is nothing about the musical choices or costumes that would make a parent blush.
Competitive pressure also pushes many studios to "performance perfection" - the scenario in which only the most talented and best-looking children shine. At King David, every child is part of the group, and as a result, onstage one will see children of every size, shape, and ability level, all given the opportunity to be their own best. The daily devotionals, which are part of every class, help children support one another, and to respect the challenges that make each child's path unique.
In an era when relations among groups in America is strained at best, another positive of King David is genuine and natural inclusiveness. The churches in Charlotte, NC, where the studio is located, are often called the most segregated locations in the city. Not so at King David. Here, black and white, young and old, male and female, prosperous and struggling - all interact on a foundation of shared faith. Even the musical choices for the annual concert reflect a broad range of ethnic influences.
King David models the highest possible standards. Parents are treated with professionalism. Studios and facilities are spacious and spotless. The annual concert is a large production, yet managed to the last detail to respect parents' time, needs, and budget.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
...watching children blossom each year as they master new challenges, make new friends, and become part of a "dance family". I am particularly moved when a class of typically developing children embraces a peer with special needs. At the conclusion of their routine at the annual concert, it is so obvious that each has taken something very special from that experience.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
...hope more volunteers would step forward to assist with marketing to get the word out. King David is Charlotte's best kept secret.