Dana Lupton

Dana Marie Lupton is Co-Founder, CEO and Artistic Director of Moving in the Spirit, a nonprofit that serves Atlanta’s young people and creates compassionate leaders through the art of dance. Ms. Lupton studied at The American Dance Festival at Duke University with Chuck Davis, Clarence Teeter and Jill Beck and earned a degree in Business Administration from Terry College of Business at University of Georgia. She has performed with Susan Eldridge’s company, DENSE, cofounder Leah Mann, Lori Teague and as a solo artist throughout the United States and Europe.

Ms. Lupton shares, “ As an artist engaged in the creation, performance, and teaching of dance, it is my hope to address those issues which are relevant to the community in which I live, specifically as they relate to the individuals and groups with whom I serve. I intend to explore and assist others with the exploration of their intrinsic artistic expression, “giving voice” to pertinent social, cultural, and personal concerns.

It is also my hope that the medium of dance may be utilized to enrich, empower, and enlighten people, drawing together individuals of diverse backgrounds and allowing them to learn from one another and to share their unique gifts. This is particularly important for Atlanta’s young people and adults who are not afforded such opportunities by current institutional and social structures.  In 1986, this belief inspired Genene Stewart, Leah Mann and I to co-found Moving in the Spirit.”

Over the past 35 years, Ms. Lupton has received numerous awards for her service to Atlanta’s arts community and youth, including a Lexus Leader for the Arts Award, a Bank of America Local Heroes Award, and the Mayor’s Fellowship for the Arts in Dance Award. Her leadership was recognized by The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, which honored Ms. Lupton and Moving in the Spirit with a Youth Program Award in 2005. Governor’s Award for the Arts & Humanities, presented by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, Dream Award,  and POW Award by Womenetics, Leadership Atlanta Class of 2016, eChievement Award, Inspiring Woman Award by Atlanta Dream Basketball, The President’s Community Service Award by Atlanta City Council, True to Atlanta Award by Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club, Emory Board of Visitors, and most recently a Woman Leader in the Arts Award presented by Synchronicity in 2019.

Genene Stewart

CFO/COO/Founder Genene Stewart became Moving in the Spirit’s very first volunteer in 1986. During the organization’s formative years, she served as chief operations officer, administrator, program director, choreographer, and influential teacher, reaching hundreds of children in area schools, churches, and community centers. In the 1990’s, Genene directed Moving in the Spirit’s Stepping Stones program and founded the Junior Company while simultaneously managing a career in accounting and administration in the corporate
sector. Genene was an accounting major at Georgia State University and has over forty years of experience in executive management and modern dance studies.

In 2007, she returned full-time to Moving in the Spirit, where her former students are now working with her as colleagues. Genene has been instrumental in securing the company’s long-term sustainability. Through Genene’s leadership and management, Moving in the Spirit received the 2011 Managing for Excellence Award from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. She has also served as a business consultant to Donnie Wellz Designs, Orangemoon Management, and Grio’s Fire Theatre Ensemble.

Artistically, she has participated in various workshops with the Alvin Ailey Company and Urban Bush Women of New York; Barbara Sullivan’s Atlanta Dance Theatre; Spelman College; and collaborations with The Renaissance Project and The Arthur Mitchell Dance Company. Genene has also created choreography that was performed by various artists of The Cathedral Academy, DeKalb Show Choir and the 1996 Olympic Celebration in Atlanta, Georgia.

Leah Mann

Leah Mann has always been a hyper kinetic and spatial learner. One of her first memories is of overstimulating her vestibular system and thinking she was flying. She was a competitive gymnast and found her way to dance at a Ft. Bragg, N.C., army base and later with a former Rockette in a rural suburb of Atlanta. Leah graduated from the University of Georgia in 1985 (BSed). She continued on to the American Dance Festival on a choreography scholarship. Shortly after, Leah founded Moving in the Spirit with Dana Lupton, a fellow University of Georgia graduate, and Genene Stewart. She remains the Artistic Director Emerita of the organization to this day.

Leah began collaborating with artist Ela Lamblin in 1993. This collaboration has sustained and evolved Leah’s kinetic spacial viewpoint into a whole body, multi-intelligence, all-sensory way of living and of looking at the world, which is then brought to new life in the physical music of Lelavision. Leah is the co-founder and administrator of Integrated Music, a roster of 12 artists providing music on wards and at bedsides in Seattle Medical Center. She teaches restorative movement to Alzheimer patients at community care centers, emphasizing developmental patterns for brain health. She facilitates personal development retreats exploring hope, resilience and healing using improvisation forms, developmental movement and the exploration of polyrhythms in the body. She also teaches youth workshops to cultivate curiosity and invention using the vehicle of movement and improvisational play.

Leah has been a main presenter at conferences such as National Sacred Dance Guild Festival, International InterPlay Annual Meeting, and The Society for Arts In Healthcare Conferences. Leah has been awarded numerous grants and commissions from entities such as the NEA Alternate Visions Grant, The Criminal Defense and Justice Project, The Pacific School of Religion, Seattle Arts Commission, Change Inc, Bossak Heilbron Foundation, King County Special Projects, Artist Trust, 4Culture and The Puffin Foundation.

Shalondra Henry

Shalondra E. Henry serves Moving in the Spirit as the Director of Strategy & Expansion. In her role she oversaw closing out the $8.4 million dollar capital campaign of Moving in the Spirit’s performing arts center. She also supports oversight of the strategic direction of the non-profit through fundraising and organizational management. Shalondra has 25 years combined experience working in philanthropy, non-profit management, entertainment, and wellness. At an early age, she realized that she had two passions: helping others and creative self-expression. Over the course of her career this desire has manifested itself in various ways. She enjoys using her creative gifts curating experiences of growth, win-win connectivity and strategic planning. She led at Hands On Atlanta’s (HOA) AmeriCorps program supporting goals of students, families, the Atlanta Public School system and corporations as a Team Leader and Associate Program Director. Her work at HOA included running an afterschool program, overseeing all aspects of human resources, budget management and developing processes and procedures to improve workflows. Upon leaving HOA, Shalondra went on to work as a Program Officer for The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation managing a beautiful portfolio of arts & culture as well as athletics & fitness grantmaking. Shalondra is a dynamic and compassionate leader who believes in the boundless capacity of children and adults to shine and thrive.

Dr. Charné Furcron, LPC, BC-DMT, BCC, ACS

Dr. Charné Furcron, BC-DMT, LPC, NCC, MAC, BCC, ACS, CPCS, is the Director of Education and Program Officer for Moving in the Spirit. Moving in the Spirit has been one of her devoted passions for over thirty years. She has contributed to the program architecture and manages program evaluation to provide evidence that proves the impact of the program on the dancers’ self-concept, youth development goals, and dance technique. Charné holds a BFA in dance from Texas Christian University, MA in dance therapy from Goucher College, MA in counseling from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology, and EdD in counseling psychology with an emphasis in program evaluation from Argosy University/ Sarasota. Dr. Furcron is a Board-Certified Dance Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Board-Certified Coach, GA Certified School Counselor, Master Addiction Counselor, GA Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor, and Approved Clinical Supervisor.

In addition to her role as Director of Education, Charné is a Visiting Associate Professor for Pratt Institute and an Adjunct Professor for Lesley University in their Dance/Movement Therapy programs.  Additionally, she maintains a clinical supervision practice. As a researcher, Dr. Furcron has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on various theoretical and research-based topics, focusing on dance/movement therapy, diversity and inclusion, and youth development.

While living through the pandemic, Dr. Furcron co-authored a chapter in Dance/Movement Therapy for Trauma Survivors: Theoretical, Clinical, and Cultural Perspectives. Also, she co-authored two articles with Dr. Leon Rodgers: ‘The Dynamic Interface Between Neuromaturation, Risky Behavior, Creative Dance Movement, and Youth Development Programming’ for the American Journal of Dance Therapy, and ‘Multicultural Competence: Exploring the Link between Globalization, Select Demographics, and School Counselors’ Self-Perceptions’ for the International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling. Her TED-style presentation, ‘Dance: Positively Changing Lives of Urban Youth,’ was featured by the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) as the first in a series, “ADTA Talks.” She is highlighted in the Profiles of Dance/Movement Therapists on the ADTA website, in “A Short Primer on Innovative Evaluation Reporting,” and the international documentary, The Moving Child. 

Dr. Furcron serves on the American Dance Therapy Association Board of Directors as the Multicultural Diversity Chair. Under her leadership, the MDC received the Innovation Award in 2019, and in 2020 she was awarded the Exceptional Service Award. Charne also serves on the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) committee. She and her NDEO colleagues were awarded the Executive Director’s Award for their planning, presentation, and facilitation of the IDEA 101 conference sessions at the NDEO 2020 conference. In addition, she was one of 13 founding members of the Southern Chapter of the ADTA and served as vice-president and treasurer.

Chris McCord

Chris McCord first saw Moving in the Spirit perform over twenty years ago, when he was twelve years old. He was so inspired that he called Artistic Director Dana Lupton every week to make sure he didn’t miss auditions for the following year. After touring nationally and internationally with Moving in the Spirit, Chris graduated from Lakeside High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Georgia State University and a Georgia Peace Officer certification from the DeKalb County Police Department.

He later returned to Moving in the Spirit to found and direct our Summer Camp and Men in Motion programs. Chris is a graduate of the Devos Urban Leadership Initiative. He won the WB Unsung Hero Award in 2005 and Moving in the Spirit’s first Alumni Award in 2007.

In addition to his work with Men in Motion, Chris has personally performed for the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Studio Dionne, Abundant Life Church, and with choreographer Nicole Livieratos.  He has also presented as a guest for the dance program at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Chris is an active member and leader in the South Atlanta community and serves as the Treasurer of the South Atlanta Community Association.   In addition, Chris volunteers his personal time with Charis Community Housing, Adopt-a-Grandparent, and the holiday party for Atlanta’s Special Citizens. Chris’ story has been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Dance Studio Life magazine.

Betty Legette

After several years of working with Moving in the Spirit as a contractor, Betty Legette joined the team full-time in July of 2015. During the 10 years prior to accepting this position, she operated her own company specializing in administrative services and process improvement for small companies in the Metropolitan Atlanta area. Betty has over twenty-five years of experience in executive administration, finance, and management, working for corporations like Georgia Pacific and Quebecor Printing.

Kacey Dennis, Ed.S, LPC, NCC, SHRM-CP

Kacey Dennis is the Human Resources Manager at Moving in the Spirit. She holds a BS in sociology from the State University of West Georgia, and a Masters and Educational Specialist in professional counseling from GSU. Over 15 years ago, she was a Moving in the Spirit dancer and now shares her passion for working with youth.

Erin Weller Dalton

Erin Weller Dalton is a graduate of Oglethorpe University with a BA in English and Theatre. She is also a member LEAD Atlanta Class of 2016. As a nonprofit administrative professional, Erin has previously worked with such organizations as Actor’s Express and the Alliance Theatre. An active member of the Atlanta arts community, Erin has performed for Fly-By Theatre, Duende Dance Theatre, 7 Stages, Art on the Atlanta BeltLine, Nicole Livieratos and Maryn Whitmore. She is also a proud company member of Crossover Movement Arts. Erin passionately supports organizations that advance opportunities for artists in our city and is a founding board member of DanceATL, a dance service organization that nurtures and promotes dance as a vibrant part of Atlanta’s arts ecosystem. Additionally, Erin enjoys teaching Mini Steps and Girls in Motion classes at Moving in the Spirit.

Sulé-Joel Adams

A native of New Orleans, LA, Sulé-Joel Adams enjoys a career that personifies artistic versatility. He has worked in roles including dancer, educator, producer, choreographer, and arts administrator working to raise awareness through dance forms – culturally, historically and spiritually –  compelling the broader community to expand their embrace of the world. He is a graduate from the State University of New York College where he earned his B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Community Arts Management and a M.A. in Leadership in the Arts and Entertainment Industries from NYIT. As a dancer, Sulé has worked with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Francine E. Ott/The Walk, Soweto Street Beat, N’Kafu Traditional African Dance Company and other widely renowned companies and artists touring regionally and internationally. In addition to performing, he has created and continues to produce HomeGrown events and initiatives, which celebrate artists’ contributions to the cultural heritage of their communities through performances, exhibitions, talks and workshops. Ignited by his passion for the arts, Sulé’s mission is to always advocate and assist in building communities through arts education; paving a way for dreamers and their dreams.