Teen spirit on tour 

Every summer Dana Phelps Marschalk reaches a point when she thinks to herself, "Why in the world am I doing this?" This revelation occurs usually about halfway through her national tour with the teen ensemble of Moving in the Spirit, the dance organization Marschalk co-founded with Leah Mann in 1986.

"On the 11th day it starts to get really hard, but that's where a lot of the growth happens," says Marschalk. "It's so worth it."

In the past 15 years Marschalk has seen Moving in the Spirit grow into four intertwined programs, working with inner-city kids starting as young as age 2 and gaining national recognition through the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

The group's Apprentice Corporation has toured the country for the past 11 years, this July performing in Washington, D.C., Boston, New York and, for the first time, Toronto. The show puts 10 dancers (ages 12-17) in a multimedia pageant of dance, music and visual imagery. Works in the show center around social justice and youth-related issues. One piece looks at the decay of the American dream, set to the strains of Sweet Honey in the Rock and Jackson Browne, while another channels classroom frustrations.

The pieces were choreographed partly by the dancers in a workshop setting, and teens also work behind the scenes to keep the show going.

"The kids run everything," Marschalk says. "They introduce the pieces, they tech them, they change everything. It's amazing."

Moving in the Spirit's 2001 Tour Explosion, a preview of the Apprentice Corporation's tour show, will be performed at 8 p.m. June 29 and 2 p.m. June 30. $10. The Beam, 750 Glenwood Ave., Grant Park. 404-624-5295

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