DIRECTOR: Tap / Jazz
SALVATORE MESSINA - Mr. Messina and his wife, Barbara, are the founders of King David Dance Company, a non-profit touring evangelistic ministry established in 1985. They are also Artistic Directors of King David Christian Conservatory, the performing arts center which integrates exceptional training with a distinctly Christian worldview. Formerly on faculty at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Sal frequently traveled as a master class instructor and adjudicator throughout the United States and Canada. Widely remembered for capturing the first national Male Dancer of the Year Award for Dance Masters of America in 1979, he was also a principal performer for the Miss America Scholarship Pageant and for Am-Dance in Concert, a tap and jazz company belonging to the Northeast Association of Regional Ballet Companies. Mr. Messina’s choreography has been seen across the state, including staged works for the Charlotte Philharmonic and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce’s event with Dan Rather. He is currently studying through Rhema Bible School for future ordination.
DIRECTOR: Pre-Ballet / Ballet / Pointe / Tap / Jazz / Contemporary
BARBARA MESSINA - Mrs. Messina received her fine arts degree as a summa cum laude graduate and full scholarship student, and is well noted for her versatility in the dance disciplines. She has performed with the Buffalo Regional Ballet Company and was a featured tap dancer in Maurice Hines' Performing Arts Showcase in New York City. Barbara was formerly on faculty at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where her choreography was set on their resident dance company. Like Sal, she also traveled as a master class instructor and adjudicator for organizations nationwide. With professional experience spanning more than 40 years of teaching, performance, and choreography, Barbara partners with Sal in preparing, discipling, and mentoring others for a career in the arts. The couple’s students have gone on to dance in numerous venues, most notably with the New York City Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, the Young Americans, on cruise ships, at Disney World and Universal Studios. Married for 37 years, this husband and wife team have two adult children, Jacob and Gabrielle.
INSTRUCTOR: Contemporary / Jazz
SARAH ATWELL - Sarah, a Charlotte native, began her dance training with the Resurrection Dance Ministry at a young age and continued to grow with the ministry until she graduated high school. In addition, she has extensive formal training in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern dance technique from King David Christian Conservatory. Ms. Atwell attended UNC Greensboro where she studied Safety Release Technique under BJ Sullivan, and subsequently served in a Music, Art, and Dance school with Youth With a Mission in Australia, learning the deep relationship between ministry and the arts. She has since completed her Bachelor's degree in International and Global Studies, with a minor in Dance, and currently works with the local refugee and immigrant community with a non-profit organization called Project 658. Sarah is passionate about the marriage of arts and the community and the vast impact one can have on the other.
INSTRUCTOR: Hip Hop
REBEKAH MITCHELL-ABBUHL - Rebekah is enthusiastic about all things related to the performing arts! In addition to dance, her love for acting, singing, and musical theatre was evidenced through her participation in KidzAblaze Ministries, a traveling evangelistic group that uses the arts to minister to youth. Throughout middle school and high school, Ms. Mitchell was committed to the KidzAblaze team and often taught dance and drama workshops. She was also a recurring character actress in a Christian television program called Tween You and Me for several years before beginning her current work at Image Christian Preschool. Rebekah is deeply motivated to inspire children to find creative expression through the arts and is equally passionate in helping them grow into close relationship with the Lord.
INSTRUCTOR: Piano / Voice
PAULA WATTS - Born in the state of Maine, Paula's musical career started at the age of 5 when she began playing the piano and singing. Her growing-up years were rich with musical training, which she continued at Christian Life College in Stockton, California. Mrs. Watts has traveled extensively across the USA teaching and performing, including singing in several group projects and recording a solo CD project. For the past 20 years she has taught formal music lessons, led choirs, ensembles, and small groups, as well as directed musicals, concerts, and coached vocals. Currently she serves as the Director of Music at Abundant Life Church in Matthews, NC. Paula finds great pleasure in sharing her musical knowledge with children and adults.