La Shaun Dodds
Horton, Dunham, Graham, Jazz, Contemporary, Body Conditioning, Detox & Stretch Meditation
“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.
Marketing & Office Administrator
“After being back in Atlanta for a year, diPA has offered me the opportunity of a lifetime. I couldn’t be happier with the timing and blessing of this opportunity. I can not wait to work with diPA and assist in setting a standard of excellence and inspiration in the lives of so many. I thank God for this opportunity. There’s no place I’d rather be.”
Along with being a Mass Communications/Public Relations major at Xavier University, Gabrielle Henton also brings 20+ years of dance experience and 7 years of retail management and sales experience to her position at diPA Center as its Marketing & Office Administrator. Ms. Henton was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Gary and Cheryl Henton. She began her dance journey at the young age of 3 and hasn’t put her dance slippers down since. Always keeping education first, she excelled through school and made some strong footprints at her alma mater, Lithia Springs High School as Senior Class Secretary, President of Future Business Leaders of America, and Chapter Chaplain of the National Honors Society. She had the pleasure of starting her journey with diPA as the company first found its way to the Atlanta area. With diPA, she was able to truly find the drive and push to be the best dancer she could be. Following high school she travelled to her home state to attend college at Xavier University of Louisiana where she met some of the most influential people in her lifetime. While at Xavier, she continued her dance experience with Praise in Motion in New Orleans, Louisiana. While in school she aggressively worked at Guess Stores and worked up the ranks becoming store manager for two of its locations. Gabrielle is both passionate and exited about growing with diPA.
Creative Movement, Itty Bitty Jazz & Ballet, & Biblical Studies Mentor
The study of dance and God’s word have always gone hand in hand for me beginning in my early years at Praise-n-Motion Dance Co. The director, Lisa Dent, taught us to intertwine our passion for the Lord and the creative arts at every class and at every turn…or should I say pirouette. The environment at our studio was always one of celebration and humble offerings of our shared gifts and talents for dance. It was so contrary to the competitive nature of the worldly dance scene (which I didn’t realize was the unfortunate state of many studios and companies until high school when I began taking lessons at various schools around town searching for a place to call home–I never found one until DiPA)
I have taken and taught dance and fitness since my youth as an expression and service to the body of Christ. God has continued to open doors for me to pursue this part of my calling and I am thankful to be apart of the DiPA family.
The word of God is seed. It’s so miraculous and fulfilling to watch as it accomplishes the purposes it is sent forth to accomplish in the lives of God’s children. My passion is to encourage people (especially young ones) to treasure and cultivate that seed and to enjoy the growth and fruits of our labor together. I want to see all my babies receive the full blessing of a surrendered life in Christ I pray for wisdom and guidance to help them in achieving the goal of the heavenly calling of God!
Ballet, PrePoint, Point
Born in Chisinau, Moldova, Slava Belinsky received his Ballet training from the famous Bolshoi School in Moscow, Russia and Kiev Academy of Ballet in the Ukraine. He spent two years with the State Army Dance Company as a Ballet Master and Choreographer. He has been a principal dancer with Donetsk Opera and Ballet Theater
(Ukraine) and Theatrul Natoinal de Opera si Ballet ” Maria Biesu” (Republic Moldova).
Since 1991, Slava has been residing in the USA. He has performed with the following companies in U.S: Pennsylvania Ballet, Dance Theatre of Wilkes- Barre, PA, Russian Ballet Theater of Delaware, Manassas Ballet Company, VA. His repertory includes in “Giselle”, “Swan Lake”, ” The Nutckracker”, “Raymonda”, “Coppelia”, ” Cinderella”, ” La Bayadere”, ” Romeo and Juliet”, ” Sleeping Beauty” and ” Don Quixote”. He has toured in the USA with ” Russian Roulette Show” (Reno NV, Los Angeles CA, Miami Beach FL, Atlantic City NJ). Slava was teaching at the professional Ballet company in Europe, Chisinau Opera and Ballet Theater (Republic of Moldova). He toured the United States three times with the Donetsk Ballet Company before joining the Russian Ballet of Delaware USA.
Mr. Belinsky was praised for his commanding and charismatic presence on stage as well as his classical technique. He was chosen to play the role of Mercutio in ” Romeo and Juliet”- choreographed by Daniel Baudendistel of the Joffrey Ballet. New York City Ballet, principal dancer, choreographer Robert La Fosse cast Mr. Belinsky in the lead role of the “Entertainer” in his Ballet ” Rags”. He performed in several ballet pieces, choreographed by Leslie Brown- principal dancer of American Ballet Theater. Performing as a guest artist and teaching master classes and choreographing across the USA and Europe, Mr. Belinsky brings 30 years of experience as a Professional Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer. Mr. Belinsky has 18 years in Ballet, Pointe, Solo variations, Pas de deux, Character Dance and Partnering.
Mary Beth Stinson
Tap, Jazz, Ballet
“I have known since I was very young that dance was my passion and purpose in life. As I became an older dancer I have always felt a calling to not only dance, but to teach and choreograph. I love working with young dance students and sharing my love and passion of dance with them. I have grown so much as a dancer from when I was little. With my improvements, I want to teach what I have learned so that others can thrive and find their way in dance the way that I have. I feel a caring responsibility to teach my story of improvement in order to help other dancers achieve success. I truly love teaching dance and being able to help develop them into better people and performers!”
Mary Beth Stinson is a graduate from the University of Georgia with a BFA in dance. Originally from Kennesaw, Ga she danced with Great Gig Dance Company for ten years. She has a predominately strong base in tap training studying under well known tap dancers. She won numerous tap scholarships from a very young age and learned that tap was her favorite type of dance. Through specializing in tap, she started dancing when she was six, studying in all styles of dance. Since attending the University of Georgia, she has performed as a member of CORE Aerial and Dance company, a featured dancer in Spring Dance Concert, and a member of CADE:NCE performing ensemble. The university has allowed her the opportunity choreograph three works for the Young Choreographer’s series, one of which was presented at the prestigious ACDA dance festival. She has years of experience in not only dancing, but teaching all genres of dance including musical theatre. Her love of choreography and teaching has lead her to also achieve an extra teaching certification for teaching dance in public schools K-12 for the state of Georgia.