Supporting the Right to Dance!
Yesterday, The Callanwolde Foundation, Inc. filed suit against Dance Foundry, LLC and its founders, Kelly Oakes Dent and Jennilee Garcia Green. The Callanwolde Foundation says its decision to file suit was made after a drop in enrollment. The drop followed The Callanwolde Foundation's decision to cease offering the internationally renowned Royal Academy of Dance® and changes to longstanding dance traditions and management that our community and our students have enjoyed for years. The Callanwolde Foundation seeks to have Kelly and Jennilee stop teaching dance in our community, and are asking for money generously donated to the Dance Foundry's GoFundMe account (https://www.gofundme.com/2gnyvz8), and even more (including paying The Callanwolde Foundation's attorney fees for one of the largest law firms in the world).
Dance Foundry's commitment is to our dance students. Kelly Oakes Dent is certified in Royal Academy of Dance®, known as RAD. The Callanwolde Foundation does not appear to have any dance teacher certified in RAD programs. Our program is committed to the proven and established RAD method used at the highest level of our art. Students from the RAD program have excelled in dance all over the world, and Kelly and Jennilee's students have been accepted to advanced summer programs such as the American Ballet Theater.
We are encouraging The Callanwolde Foundation, which enjoys tax deductible, non-profit status and uses the DeKalb County-owned Callanwolde historic buildings owned by all of us, to act in the best interests of the children and community. Giving parents and students the choice to take RAD from a certified instructor is important to our community and our children's future in dance, whether they wish to dance professionally, in college and secondary institutions, or for their own health and enjoyment. We must all rise above the threats, lawsuits, and attempts to interrupt or stop RAD training.
Last night, The Callanwolde Foundation's attorneys interrupted a children's dance class, upsetting students by having legal process served in front of them. All would agree such tactics are deplorable, and indicate disregard for the children's dance education. Dance Foundry's vision is what is in the best interests of its students, and we will be contacting The Callanwolde Foundation to ask them to stop interrupting dance classes, and to stop trying to take away your choice of dance education and the RAD program. Several students and parents have also contacted The Callanwolde Foundation to ask them to stop the threats, explaining their concerns regarding the changes in the dance program and their right to choice in dance instruction which has lead to the success of Dance Foundry. Our collective voices have been ignored by The Callanwolde Foundation, which is intent to try to close Dance Foundry down.
Defending the right to dance may be difficult, but it is right. We choose to dance! We support the Right to Dance™. We believe in your right to choice in dance education, and will defend students' right to uninterrupted joy and dance education. Dance Foundry plans to continue on to offer the highest quality, caring RAD certified dance programs. No lawsuit can undo the changes in the dance program by The Callanwolde Foundation, no lawsuit can certify instructors in RAD without the years of work required to achieve that high level of dance education, or change what has happened regarding management of the dance program. Dance Foundry supports The Callanwolde Foundation's offering of alternative dance programs and we support The Callanwolde Foundation students, and wish them the best, but we must support the right to dance for all!
Dance Foundry is a minority and woman owned business enterprise, seeking certification from the Small Business Administration. Visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dancefoundry/ the internet at http://www.dancefoundry.com/.