Moving in the Spirit's Men in Motion troupe will celebrate its tenth anniversary with performances on February 23 and 24, 2013 at the Beam Theater in Atlanta. Male choreographers and dancers from Emory University's dance program will join the festivities, setting new work on Men in Motion and performing alongside the troupe. Comprised of contemporary dance and hip-hop, the performance will deliver Men in Motion's signature blend of bold physicality and inspiration.
Nationally recognized as one of the nation's top youth development programs, Moving in the Spirit uses dance to help young people, many from Atlanta's most challenged neighborhoods, overcome the obstacles they face each day and realize the potential for their lives. Its Men in Motion program was created ten years ago by Chris McCord, himself an alumnus of Moving in the Spirit, with the purpose of providing boys ages 8-13 with an alternative to street life and a path to achievement.
"As a young man, I was lucky enough to find male role models through Moving in the Spirit and ended up graduating from both high school and college," explains Chris McCord, Men in Motion Director. "When I reconnected with Moving in the Spirit as an adult, more and more boys were coming to take dance class, many without men in the picture to help them make positive choices. So out of pure need, I founded Men in Motion."
Since 2003, the program has grown from a handful of boys to two separate classes divided by age and technical ability. Male mentors from the community volunteer with the classes, and professional male dancers and choreographers from Atlanta have performed in the troupe's annual show and taught workshops, including noted artists Daryl Foster, Leon Von Brown, Corian Ellisor and Blake Dalton. 100% of Men in Motion students who stay with Moving in the Spirit through their senior year go on to graduate from high school and enroll in college or vocational programs.
A partnership with Emory University's dance program has propelled Men in Motion's growth over the past three years, impacting students' technical dance ability and increasing their access to male role models. Greg Catellier, dance faculty member at Emory and creator of the acclaimed Catellier Dance Projects, is setting new contemporary work on Men in Motion in honor of its 10th anniversary. Julio Medina, a senior dance student at Emory and a Men in Motion teaching artist, collaborated with Men in Motion students to create a competition hip-hop piece that the group will perform at its annual show. An all-male hip-hop crew based at Emory, TrickaNomeTry, has also been working with the group over the past three years and will fully integrate Men in Motion into one of its pieces this winter. TrickaNomeTry and Men in Motion will perform together at both the 10th Annual Men in Motion Show and the AHANA Spring Concert 2013 at Emory University.