Brief History of FDM
In May 1976, Deborah Shiposh opened the Brighton School of Ballet in downtown Brighton. With her commitment to a high standard of classical ballet training, it was recognized as a serious ballet school for a quarter of a century, bringing the arts to Livingston County by staging annual productions of the Nutcracker in December, as well as other ballet classics in the spring. In 2000, Mrs. Shiposh was led to integrate her Christian faith with her life's work, and subsequently joined forces with Debbie Tweedie (a fellow dancer and choreographer with 20 years of ministry experience) to found Fountain Dance Ministry. Their mutual vision was to maintain the strong commitment to excellence in dance training which had become a hallmark of the school, but also to incorporate a new, more meaningful dimension to the expression of dance. Based on their belief that beautiful dance is not only a reflection of the movement of the body, but also of the soul, their stated purpose was to train dancers who are not only graceful and technically correct, but also who have a heart for the Lord. Originally established as a branch of the Brighton School of Ballet the new work grew to encompass the entire school, which eventually led to its being renamed Fountain Dance Ministry to reflect its Christian framework. In addition, a resident Repertory Company was later formed with the purpose of expanding their contribution to the community beyond the arts to include dance as a form of worship and ministry. As partners in Fountain Dance Ministry, Deborah Shiposh and Debbie Tweedie continue to stage traditional ballet classics, as well as choreograph and present contemporary Christian pieces at churches, retreats and a variety of other venues. Fountain Dance Ministry is pleased with its growing repertoire and hopes to continue sharing the dancers' talents with the community in the years to come.