Dancing is a disciplined field. It requires students to be clean cut, focused and determined.
The students in King’s dance program match this description. King’s dance program, which has won countless awards and competed in competitions across the state, has been thriving for years due to the coaching of Denise Allen who started dancing at the young age of five and danced her way through high school and college.
“I have been a dance teacher for 33 years,” said Allen. “Dance has given me the opportunity to travel and perform around the world.”
Dancing is known for its skillfulness and elegance but most people are not aware of how hard dance really is mentally. Incoming dancers usually have some struggles because dance may not be their desire.
“When we have practice and see someone struggling, we usually see if they need help or what we can do to fix it,” said sophomore Trinity Donaldson.
Though dancing can be strenuous it can also help students to be confident, focused, and calm. One of Allen’s students who has been in the program for three years said she believes that the program helps to create a support system for the girls in the program.
“Dance helps me express myself because I go through a lot and by me dancing I can leave it all on the floor,” said junior Mariah Shorter. “We help each other when we have practice. We go to each other and encourage one another.”
Dancers have the opportunity to leave high school and dance on the college level, but many students don’t take advantage of this.
“In Detroit Public Schools, many students don’t go on to major in dance or dance professionally,” said Allen.
Despite this, Allen has former students, male and female, who are graduating from Marygrove College with a major in dance and a few who are dancing professionally. From Allen’s current class, senior and dance captain Carene McGaughy plans on minoring in dance because of her love of dance and Allen’s influence.
“I love to dance. I’ve been dancing since middle school,” said McGaughy. “She [Allen] pushes me to be better than I already am.”
Current King students with an interest in dance, please see Denise Allen in the dance studio, and others can call (313) 494-7373.