Azaria G. is a curious and interdisciplinary performance and visual artist with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance choreography and performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In dance, she has curated original screen dance work Find Your Wings Draft 2 (2021) as well as her staged works Lovely and Ghetto (2022) and Blue’s Monologue (2023). Each work is informed by her interest in intersectional experiences and the embodiment of perspective, history and expression. Azaria G. explores the intersections between black and Caribbean culture, the concept of magic, and the practices of agency. Azaria G. is also a complex visual artist with themes focused on surrealism, color theory, storytelling, spirituality and magic in the black body. Through the practice of catharsis and improvisation, she has presented her interdisciplinary work at the Southeastern Center of Contemporary Arts (SECCA) during the Black@Intersection exhibition curated by Duane Cyrus. Azaria G. has also led social art initiatives of both dance and visual art at the Weatherspoon Art Museum during her internship for the Lorraine O’Grady retrospective titled Both/And (2022). Azaria G. continues to pursue social art and activism through her continued creative practices and pedagogy.
LaMia Dingle is the Executive Director and co-founder of REVEAL Movement. LaMia is from Camden, NJ and is a graduate of the city’s first arts high school. She attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she trained vigorously in ballet, modern, jazz, and other cultural dances. LaMia’s artistic flare was recognized while in high school when she was cast as lead dancer in Jill Scott’s directorial debut music video. Always an avid student of hip-hop, LaMia began to delve into the style more intensely after joining Face Da Phlave, a hip-hop company that focuses on pure hip-hop movement and positivity. She has also performed as a dancer for the Garden State Dance Festival’s repertoire company, Philadelphia’s Putty Dance Project, and Project Dance in Washington D.C. LaMia was also the director of dance programs for youth and a co-artistic director and writer of stage productions for a non-profit theater group in Philadelphia. She and the group went on to utilize dance and theater as an instrument of education for young women in Liberia, West Africa. LaMia currently co-directs her training and performing company, REVEAL Movement, while instructing and contributing to works in the Atlanta area.
Tambra “Omiyale” Harris is the Artistic Director of Giwayen Mata, the all-sistah dance, percussion, and vocal ensemble. With 26 years of company experience as a choreographer, teacher, and performer who is trained in anti-racist methodology, Tambra leads the company in performance works and classes that highlight the African Diaspora and the hidden treasures of black womanhood. She successfully developed the K-12 dance program at Charles R. Drew Charter School by employing her own curriculum specializing in African and Black American dance styles, STEAM, and the core values of Project Based Learning. Currently directing a dance program at Price Middle School in Atlanta in partnership with her company Giwayen Mata, she works as the school’s dance educator using cultural and creative movement to focus on identity, cultural relevance, and social emotional learning. At Moving in the Spirit, Tambra teaches the art of West African dance to our GLOW in Motion and Apprentice Corporation performance companies.
Jordan Nicole Heusner-Wilkinson (Joni) is a Moving in the Spirit alumna, teaching artist, costumer, and on-duty staff member. She graduated from The College of Wooster in 2019 with a degree in theatre and dance. By day Joni is a preschool teacher, and by night she is a costume queen. Joni has been involved with Moving in the Spirit for over 15 years, and she developed her love of costuming when she toured with the organization’s teen company, The Apprentice Corporation.
Versaille began their training at Gwinnett Ballet Theater under Wade Wathall, and at Terminus Ballet under John Welker. They have studied at companies such as Sarasota Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, The Marais School of Dance, Post Ballet, and Kim Robards Dance. Versaille has worked under choreographers such as Sidra Bell, Dennis Geter, Joanna Kotze, Fana Fraser, Kathyrn Vickers and Albert Quesada. Versaille has also done professional work for The Fidget Space under Megan Bridge and for Judson Church’s Movement Research. They are a recent graduate from University of the Arts, under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield with an artistic scholarship, as well as the Associate Director of the UArts Ballet Ensemble. Versaille is very excited to be working for Moving in the Spirit and Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance.
Kyla Langdon was raised in Chicago, IL. Kyla’s formal dance training began at a small community studio on the city’s south side. From there, she trained with the Joffery Ballet, Chicago’s community program, as a part of the city’s Gallery 37 initiative. She studied dance in college at Emory University, where she minored in dance and movement studies and majored in neuroscience and behavioral biology. Kyla continued to train after college with the inaugural adult company of the Anthony Burrell Center for Dance and Dare Dream Dance, under the direction of Anthony Burrell and CiCi Kelley, respectively. Kyla has appeared in awards shows, short films, and continues to train around the city of Atlanta. In 2016, she co-founded RAIIN Dance Theater and presented the work InHuman. Kyla has been working with City Gate Dance Theater as both a dancer and production manager for the past four years. Kyla holds a master’s degree in public health and a second master’s in integrative physiology. Currently, Kyla is pursuing her medical degree (MD) to become a pediatric neurosurgeon.
Chelsi Lester is a dancer, instructor, student, and artist based in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of four, Chelsi began to develop a love for dance in her church’s youth dance ministry, where she later recognized dance as one of her gifts. Making the choice at ten years old to pursue a career in dance, Chelsi began formally training under a local dance studio, where she studied ballet, jazz, hip hop, and tap. As she matured in her technical training, she began taking her gift more seriously and enrolled in a dance program at Gotta Dance Atlanta, under the primary instruction of Cicely “CiCi” Kelley. In addition to training locally, Chelsi began traveling frequently to New York City to study ballet under former Alvin Ailey instructor, Peter Brandenhoff.
After graduating from Sprayberry High School in Marietta, GA, Chelsi attended Spelman College. There, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance performance and choreography. In addition to serving as co-leader of Spelman’s praise dance ministry, Movements of Praise, Chelsi was blessed with many opportunities to perform, choreograph, and teach dance classes outside of the university setting. Such opportunities include a position as lead choreographer for MTV’s Wild N’ Out cast member, Mope Williams, and a teaching position at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.
Chelsi Lester wholeheartedly believes in remaining a student, even in spaces where she is titled the lead instructor. While fulfilling the duties of a leader, she simultaneously and humbly positions herself to learn from others in whichever space she encompasses, understanding that grand visions are not intended to be executed alone.
Dr. Charné Furcron, BC-DMT, LPC, NCC, MAC, BCC, ACS, CPCS, is a Dance Therapist 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.
Janan Mirza is a dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a B.A. in dance from Brenau University with a concentration in pre-physical therapy. Janan is a proud alumna of Moving in the Spirit, which became the root to her creative and pre-professional journey. Her dance training integrated the importance of diversity, equity, and proper youth development. At Brenau, Janan danced in works created by esteemed artists such as Du’Bois A’Keen, Carl Flink, and Madia Cooper-Ashirifi. She is currently a teaching artist around Atlanta focusing on early childhood levels in modern, ballet, and jazz. Her wish for her students is to gain the joy dance has always brought her. She believes being a teacher means holding great communication skills and being continuously kind in order to make all students feel welcomed and seen.
Chris McCord is a civic leader, founder, entrepreneur, powerful global community builder, and youth developer. An Atlanta native, graduate from Georgia State University with a degree in business administration, and recent fellow from the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, Chris is driven to make positive change in his community and the world. In 2002, Chris founded Men in Motion, an all boys program designed to help under-resourced youth succeed as leaders. His motivation stemmed from having experienced a severe shortage of strong male mentors as a young man. For over two decades, under the nonprofit umbrella of Moving in the Spirit, Chris has spearheaded workshops, classes, and performances that have positively impacted over 5000 youth in Atlanta, the USA, Europe and South Africa.
His civic duty includes chairing City of Atlanta’s NPU-Y for three years, Morehouse School of Medicine Preventive Research Center ‘18-’20, Purpose Built School of Atlanta CEI ‘19-’22, and serving as District 5 debate moderator ‘21.
He has a thirst for connection, knowledge, and authentic relationships. Mr. McCord has been inducted into nationally and locally prestigious professional development programs and awarded honors due to his grassroot efforts to create resource rich communities. Some of those awards and programs are City of Atlanta Proclamation 2022, Regional Leadership Institute (ARC) 2021, Atlanta Foundation Fellows 2018, Georgia Trends 40 under 40, 2018, BMOC 2018, Norwood University DVULI, 2006, Unsung Heroes Award WSB 2005 &NPU-Y Executive Advisory board (current).
He has had the distinct honor to present and perform throughout America, Europe, and South Africa for TEDx, Peachtree Rotary Club, Leadership Atlanta, Purpose Built Communities, UGA, Emory University, International AIDS Society, CCDA, Mailchimp, and DHL.
Currently he serves on several boards of directors and is the vice president of A Space to Soar, treasurer for Beacon Dance Company, and serves on the MC(2) advisory committee. He was on the champions committee for the successful completion of a $10M capital campaign.