“It is my purpose and passion to teach the pursuit of greatness and the respect for its process. In saying that, my expectation of both my students and staff is to cultivate an environment of mental and spiritual progress to which the physical is then subject to submit. Creating a place where staff and students are challenged by each other and grow from one another in their pursuit of becoming their best as both student and teacher is my work and my calling at diPA Center. I enjoy watching young artists and instructors grow in their understanding of the importance of structure, discipline, work ethic, commitment, service, character, sacrifice, leadership, teamwork, love, fellowship, responsibility, and God as it relates to obtaining excellence in their artistry. These ingredients of greatness are ones to which I commit my life’s work and welcome the challenge of cultivating in others.”
La Shaun Dodds is a product of a childhood filled with supportive parents, family, friends, a rich community and cultural experience within the city of Chicago, and exposure to outstanding academic instruction and guidance from top educators within the Chicago Public School System. La Shaun Dodds is currently business owner and artistic director of the dance studio, diPA Center, a contemporary Christian recording artist and songwriter, a grad student at Liberty University’s school of Theology, and member of The Church at Chapel Hill in Douglasville, GA.
Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, La Shaun Dodds began her career as a competitive gymnast starting at the age of 5 going on to train and compete with the Lynn Allen Center for Gymnastics, Chicago State University’s Gymnastics team, and Governor State University’s Gymnastics team. She attended Beasley Academic Center where she was introduced to the world of dance and choreography by Mrs. Eddie Howard as a member of the Beasley Bee Dance Troupe. She went on to attend Whitney Young Magnet High School where she continued her dance training within the Chicago Public School System under the instruction of Ms. Lorraine Brunius her freshmen year and Mrs. Diane Brooks throughout the remaining of her high school year as member, captain, and choreographer of the Whitney Young Dancing Dolls and the Whitney Young Stage Dance program. Accepted into Howard University’s School of Business, La Shaun Dodds became a member of the Howard University Dance Ensemble her freshmen year and followed in her Sophomore year to found the Howard University Dancing Bisonettes. Throughout her college experience, she engaged in the School of Business while developing the organization as it’s president, dance instructor, and choreographer.
Upon graduating from Howard University’s School of Business, La Shaun Dodds auditioned and was accepted into the Alvin Ailey two year certificated program while taking additional classes at Broadway Dance Center in New York and teaching and choreographing at a number of dance studios on the East Coast. Within the year, she was offered to train and perform in California as company member of Bre Dance Theatre and teach and choreograph at Bre Dance Studio. She eventually became a principal dancer and choreographer for the company as well as Director of the modern dance department at Bre Dance Studio where reviews of her work had been featured in major city newspapers, such as the Houston Chronicle and others, as well as televised on public access programming such as DC TV and others.
Upon marriage to her Howard University soul mate, Curtis “Scorpio” Dodds, and becoming mother to Chaunnie and Curtis Dodds, La Shaun Dodds became a Christian and has since then concentrated her efforts in dance around ministry through choreography, instruction, and community development through the performing arts. Currently as artistic Director and business owner of diPA, Dodds International Performing Arts, she has the international goal of developing a discipleship program through ministry in dance in the efforts to develop a new generation of professional dancers equipped to inspire, uplift, challenge, and spread the Gospel to communities around the world through excellence in dance and choreography. She has currently served major communities such as the south side in Chicago, Riverside and Los Angels in California, Atlanta and Douglasville in Georgia, Washington in D.C., and Trenton in New Jersey with the vision to serve many more, even expanding into communities outside of the US.