• It all started from an idea...

    On October 12th, 2014 colleagues & friends Justin and Linda got together and brainstormed an idea, a dream, to run a dance studio together and imagined what it might look like. They both had notebooks, colored pens and pencils and started taking notes.

    That very day, they made a deep commitment to themselves and one another that they were going to do it. Somehow, someway they would do it together! 

  • Themselves inspired by organizations such as Luna Dance Institute, the Peter Pan Foundation, and the Pinole Community Players, Justin and Linda's goal was to further lift the perception of the value of dance education and entertainment, and to help legitimize the profession of teaching dance by hiring staff as employees with access to sick days, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation and other basic benefits standard to most jobs. They imagined connecting the Lamorinda dance and theatrical arts community to the greater professional arts and education circles in the Bay Area and nationally, both through collaborations on performances and workshops and through maintaining a positive, entertaining and educational presence on the web across multiple platforms.

  • Justin & Linda wanted to take their passions for teaching and putting on a show, mix in their organizational savvy, and use it all as a force for good. They decided to build something they could be unquestionably proud to be a part of...a non-profit dance studio. On June 8th...they filed for incorporation papers.

    They imagined a clean and beautiful place where all people--youth and adults, ladies and gentlemen, budding sports stars and pop stars--could feel welcome to dance.

    They pictured vibrant collaborations with other local performing arts groups and thought of offering traditional dance studio styles, with multiple annual community performance opportunities and programming for under served dance participants who have difficulty fitting into mainstream dance classes.

  • They wanted to attract a Board of diverse professionals from outside the field of dance and imagined a non-profit company managed transparently, responsibly, and always sustainably and in service of the community.

    A year after their "crazy idea" they selected their first board. It began with 5 successful and diverse leaders who provide strategic direction and guidance for Joy in Motion, plus co-founders Justin and Linda. The board was formed with the expectation that the leaders would bring with them valuable experience in non-profit organization and business, plus voices from our target markets. They met for the first time on October 15th, 2015. 

  • Just after the end of year of the "Day 1 Project" they launched their website in November of 2015 and began accepting enrollments for their first ever Winter/Spring Dance Session!

    They started teaching classes out of Star Pilates and Fitness in Moraga on January 4th, 2016. In their first week of classes, they had 16 Boys and 39 Adults in Hip Hop. Their desire in hoping to fill the gaps in the community and provide options that haven't been readily available to everyone in the community were evident.

  • In their first Session they had a remarkable number of just over 200 students and held their first Spring Stage Show in May of 2016. By the 2nd Anniversary of "Day 1", they had 30 classes a week and over 300 youth students between them including Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, two all Boys Hip Hop classes, one High School Boys Tap Class, two Adult Hip Hop classes, and Senior Citizens Tap Class. Their dream had become a true reality. Their name has even gone Global because of Dance for Kindness!

  • On the 2nd Anniversary of the Day 1 Project, October 12th, 2016, they met once again at Peet's Coffee in Pinole just after securing the venue for their 2nd Stage Show. They reflected on how far they had come and decided their next point of focus would be on getting a Space of their own. They felt the same way they did two years previously. Somehow, someway they would do it together!

    The ball really started rolling in April of 2017 when Joy in Motion got notice from the IRS that and our 501(c)3 application for non-profit status was APPROVED!!! 

  • When they found out their status was approved, they once again reached out to a broker they had been talking with previously about finding a space. After visiting several properties and feeling a bit discouraged, they mentioned that the Old Post Office was their original dream location in Moraga.

    He said that he knew the owner and would reach out to him to see if he would consider leasing it to Joy in Motion. After all it was 5466 square feet simply being used as an office for 8 and storing beauty supplies. They all thought it would be great to bring new life into this historical landmark.

  • By May of 2017, just as they were in their 2nd Spring Stage Show Countdown, they started lease negotiations for the space. 

    On August 21st, 2017, they had a fully executed lease for their future home and submitted the application for a use permit.

    On September 21st, 2017, The Planning Director approved their Suburban Office Permitted Use application for a dance studio facility for the non-profit Joy in Motion, Inc. at 1545 School Street. 

    They were in the midst of their fullest Session ever.  They doubled their enrollment numbers to over 400 students by the Fall of 2017.  They knew they had outgrown where they were and really needed a new space. Little did everyone know...they were working on it.

    Then on January 4th, 2018, exactly 2 years after they were heading to their first day of classes, they got the keys to Joy in Motion's future home.

  • Next came working with architects, construction workers and securing a loan to help with the build-out of Joy in Motion's new home. Construction started in April of 2018 and continued throughout the entire summer. 

    They hired 5 new dance instructors since they would have 3 studios and planned to double Joy in Motion's class offerings. It was awesome to add to the staff of two which they had since the beginning. They found people who were in line with our Mission and Core Values and had their first staff meeting during construction. 

  • In July and August there was a ton of painting to be done, decorating, furniture building, Lamorinda Treasure hunting and brainstorming on how to make their space welcoming and a home away from home. 

    On August 23rd, they had their official Ribbon Cutting and were overwhelmed by the response. There was a lovely reception with Moraga Chamber of Commerce members, Town Council members including Mayor Dave Trotter and Vice Mayor Teresa Onoda, the Moraga Planning Department, our broker Dave Schnayer, some local business neighbors, Joy in Motion Board Members, Lamorinda Arts Council members and many of their closest friends and family.  They were finally able to feel a moment of accomplishment and great achievement.

  • They opened their doors on August 27th to the public and started our Fall Session. Currently, with over 70 classes a week (11 of which are for adults), 500 students and 700 class spots filled...Justin and Linda are truly feeling blessed to be in their official home in such a wonderful community!  They are still learning, still growing, and still tweaking things...but beyond thrilled to have a space of their own to create it all in!  

    Stay tuned for more as they continue to spread more joy throughout the Lamorinda Community and beyond. Thank you for your love and support!


    “The Time Before”

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