Learn About Our History
A History of Transformation
Moving in the Spirit began in 1986 as the hopeful vision of Dana Lupton and Leah Mann, who believed that they could unite their love for dance with their commitment to social justice in order to transform the lives of Atlanta’s urban youth. What began as a dance class for a small group of girls at Stewart Avenue Shelter, has blossomed into a large and diverse organization reaching 200 children every week across Atlanta. Moving in the Spirit was initially founded as an agency of FCS URBAN MINISTRIES, and became a separate nonprofit in 1996. In that same year, Moving in the Spirit moved into its home theater, The Beam, with the generous help of Bob Lupton and GlenCastle constructors.
In its 25 year history, Moving in the Spirit has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the national Coming Up Taller Award, presented by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (2005). Moving in the Spirit was the first Georgia organization, and only the second in the Southeast to receive the Coming Up Taller Award. Our dancers were invited to perform at the White House awards ceremony, where they dazzled an audience that included First Lady Laura Bush. In 2006, The White House officials invited Moving in the Spirit to return to our nation’s capital once again, to perform for Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf