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Positively New Jersey: Family-owned studio is staple in NJ dance community

Nancy King and The King Centre for the Performing Arts have been a staple for the New Jersey dance community for more than 50 years.

Karina Gerry

Jan 12, 2024, 3:33 AM

Updated 158 days ago

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“Locally grown, nationally known” is what one New Jersey family-owned dance studio is proud to say about its students.
For over 50 years, Nancy King and The King Centre for the Performing Arts have been a staple for the New Jersey dance community.
“I enjoy teaching children how to perform and how to be on stage," said Nancy King, owner of The King Centre for the Performing Arts. "It's such an honor to be able to do that and see them grow.”
King and her husband Brendan purchased a warehouse in Wanaque in 1971. The 6,000-square-foot building would contain the home the couple and their four children would live in, as well as four spacious dance studios.
“As a kid, I remember telling my friends I can’t wait to graduate high school because I know what I want to be," said Natalie King-Smith, King’s daughter. "I did Radio City, Pittsburgh CLL, then did Broadway."
Performing has been a true family affair for the King family. King’s four children and her grandchildren have gone on to have careers in 10 Broadway shows, her daughter was a Radio City Rockette, and they’ve been featured in Cirque de Soleil, TV and movies.
Her students have gone on to have impressive careers in show business as well.
The business, which now has three generations teaching classes, has over 300 students, 23 instructors and two locations.
“I have been very lucky," King said. "I have many students that have been in over 30 Broadway shows. I’m very lucky I have many that are very successful teachers, very successful in their fields. But that’s not why I teach. I teach just to develop a child.”


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