• David Ben Shimon

Experience Israel

Dancing All the Way to Israel

A choreographed journey to a new life

In 2009, Virginia native David Ben Shimon landed in Israel as a participant in Dance Journey, a five-month Masa program. Seven years later, he continues to experience Israeli life every day – now as a citizen. Here is the story of his leap to Israel.

When David Ben Shimon arrived in Israel in 2009, he was scheduled for a five-month Israel experience – at least on paper. As it turned out, those five months were just the beginning of his life in Israel. 

Today, David is an oleh vatik – an experienced immigrant, an Israeli citizen. He also happens to be a professional ballet dancer with extensive training. 

A native of Portsmouth, Virginia, David has been dancing since age nine. He studied at Boca Raton’s prestigious HARID Conservatory as a teenager, before receiving a full scholarship to New York City’s School of American Ballet. 

After his studies, David spent three years as a professional ballet dancer in Miami. He then returned to Virginia, where he joined the Todd Rosenlieb Dance Company. 

That was when David decided to take an unconventional turn in his career path. With an impressive record of study and professional dance already under his belt, David set his sights to the east – and made a different kind of leap.

Masa and Beyond

In 2009, David crossed the ocean to begin Dance Journey, a five-month, Masa-affiliated program enabling dancers from all over the world to learn from the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. In addition to honing their craft, the program is an opportunity for participants to spend serious time getting to know Israel. 

For David, Dance Journey was just the first step of the real journey.

After the five months were up, David opted to stay in Israel. He became an Israeli citizen and joined the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, first as an apprentice. Afterwards, he performed in the KCDC’s second troupe for a year and a half. Then, roughly five years ago, he made another leap, this time stepping up to the KCDC’s first troupe. 

Today, David still lives in Israel, and you can still find him dancing in the first troupe of the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. Dance Journey may have ended for him several years ago, but his dancing continues today – and so does his Israeli journey.  


21 Oct 2016 / 19 Tishrei 5777 0
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