Moving in the Spirit blends dance class and youth development to provide holistic services for children and teens in Atlanta’s urban communities. Our vision is to activate youth to successfully identify their own unique talents and voice. Through the fun, collaborative, and accessible model of a dance class, we prepare young people to become agents for positive change. Our mission is to educate, inspire and unite young people through the art of dance, equipping them with skills and positive self-identity to thrive as leaders.
Why dance? It's not rocket science, but it really is brain science: neuroscientists know that there's no better way to stimulate brain development, peer-to-peer connection, or positive self-identification than movement. And our innovative curriculum even challenges the norms of a standard dance class-- students are expected to "check in" about their day at school, share structured positive affirmations with their peers, and contribute original choreography. Challenging assignments on socially relevant topics and a tight-knit community of peers to hold them accountable provide students with resiliency to solve problems with creativity and compassion and a safe environment to test their limits.
Moving in the Spirit delivers our curriculum through a series of programs offered at a home theater space and outreach sites including schools, shelters and recreation centers. Student enrollment is open to any community member who wishes to participate, regardless of dance experience or ability to pay. Students are placed into age-appropriate classes that meet for 1 to 5 hours each week. Class activities include training in modern dance and creative movement; exploration of movement therapies; health education workshops; creation of original choreography as a tool for empowerment; and leadership training that challenges students through both education and service.
100% of Moving in the Spirit students graduate from high school and gain college admission, prepared to thrive in the workforce and beyond. But more importantly, they enter this next, often stressful, time in their lives with a grounded sense of who they are as artists, community members and leaders, AND with the confident ability to create networks of support around themselves.