Our Story

“Havilah” is a strange sounding word, but it means something amazing! It is a word that inspired us long before we opened our doors, and we are humbled and honored to be able to share that story with our students and community.

Years ago on a mission trip to Africa, one of our founders, Brooke Hardiman, took part in an internship at an orphanage in Kenya. The children had very minimal material possessions and many had gone through great hardships, even in their young age. However, despite their circumstances, the children were FULL of constant joy. Additionally, Brooke noticed that all the children had a unique passion for dance! No matter the time of day, or worry about the future, the children expressed their joy so purely and carefree through movement. The name of this beautiful and inspiring orphanage was “Havilah Childrens Home,” a name which was lastingly impressed on Brooke’s heart. Several months later, when Brooke, her sister Brittany, and her mother Gail got together to enact the vision and create a ‘different’ kind of studio home for dancers in Matthews, Charlotte, and beyond – they were confident in what the name of that home should be! At Havilah Dance Company, we want to embody the meaning of our name, carry the message of joy and hope into our own community, and share the love and inspiration that each of those special children exemplified.

Further, “Havilah” is mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 2:12 and, in that context, means ‘land of gold’. In more direct translations, it can mean ‘circle’ or ‘dance’. Still another definition describes it as the ‘suffering and pain that brings forth [change]’. Most appropriately, we feel that all of these translations fit perfectly into our mission. We feel that the biblical translation of ‘land of gold’ epitomized our vision, not because we seek treasures, trophies, or rewards, but because each student is extremely valuable. Every dancer and child personifies a gift. We believe that each student has within him or her the precious and tremendous capacity to impact the world for good. Our logo, a circle, is also most appropriate because it has no definite beginning or end point; it is an infinite loop. Likewise, our journey does not begin or end with the dance seasons, or in the studio, but we strive to make large strides in our character and craft through the trials, discipline, confidence, boldness, and determination that are refined within the walls of our building. We learn what it means to sometimes succeed and to sometimes fail, as it is in life. Finally, we believe those lessons of discipline, perseverance, triumph and the occasional defeat inspire our students to change, overcome, and put forth the will to achieve to the very best of their abilities.