DIVINE INSPIRATIONS CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Meet the Team Behind DICA

Capriece Piper

Founder and Executive Director

DICA All-Star Competition Team Head Coach

                                               

Born in Frankfurt, Germany to military parents; raised as a proud Alexandria, VA native I am a longtime advocate for at risk, underprivileged, and girls of color fighting childhood obesity. I was blessed to walk in my calling in 2015 when I founded Divine Inspirations Inc. The concept of my organization was born from my natural passion for the arts and the desire to participate in dance and arts programs as a child but did not have the resources or access to those opportunities.


My love for the arts was cultivated in grade school, where I danced as a performing arts student having the opportunity to perform alongside the Washington Team’s First Ladies of Football, Washington Wizards dancers, and was even featured on the front cover of the Washington Post all before graduating senior high school. Before my first year of college, I had the pleasure of traveling to New York City to compete on the hit TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.”


The arts truly saved my life, it was the light in a dark place, it was the path to creating a life that was my own. Our students have been featured on Washington DC’s News Channel 7, “Let’s Talk Live”, performed at the National Cherry Blossom Parade, and won many National Dance Competition titles just to name a few accomplishments. I have made it my personal goal to build a community of experienced teachers, coaches, and mentors that will support my vision in building a legacy in the arts for young girls of color. My life is dedicated to shaping and molding young minds and cultivating their passion for the arts but most importantly a sense of self-worth and confidence through my “Be Inspired!” Mentorship program where we also provide college prep assistance and scholarships.


It is always a pleasure to be recognized for my advocacy but never an expectation; it was an honor to be titled 2022 Remarkable Woman of the Year, a 2019 Harris Hero and interviewed by award winning journalist, Leon Harris of News NBC 4 Washington, nominated for the Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Awards in 2019, and was recently named a 2020 “Change Maker” in the Prince William Living Magazine and the 2021 Orchid Award Winner, a prestigious award from the Top Ladies of Distinction; Dale City Chapter. Out of all the honors that have been bestowed upon me nothing gives me greater pleasure than being a loving wife to my husband of 18 years and a nurturing mother to our five beautiful children.


I am a true believer that in order for a child to be successful in life we have to focus on the TOTAL child, that means their mind, body, and spirit. This is why I emphasis art education combined with mentorship at Divine Inspirations Inc. I am walking in my purpose, paying it forward to better the lives of girls everywhere! 

  

Erica McPherson 

Competition Team Liaison

Erica grew up in New Bern, North Carolina where the Arts cultivated her life and she began dancing at the age of 6. Throughout the years, her passion for dancing and the Arts led her to study at the Art Institute of Washington. While there, Erica gained the skills that excelled her on the caree​r path of business ma​nagement and entrepreneurship. Erica is the proud owner of E.D M​edia Photography and currently manages government contracts as the Lead Program Liaison. Erica loves to help others! Her goal is to inspire everyone to be the best version of yourself, always striving for better. 

Terryn Nelson 

African Dance & Music Instructor

Terryn Nelson is a West African dancer (primarily the dances of Guinea, Mali and Senegal) and choreographer who started dancing in 1999 with the African Caribbean Dance Theater in Tallahassee, Florida. In 2002 she joined the Balafon West African Dance Ensemble under the direction of Mama Kadiatou Conte. She has performed in the National Capital Area, Pittsburgh, the Kennedy Center and the United Nations in NYC. 


In 2014 she joined the Soul In Motion Players family under the direction of Michael Friend and Pam Lassiter Rhone and had the opportunity to perform for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Discovery Theater, and university shows in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Terryn is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel for the Army Nurse Corps. Upon her retirement in 2009, she decided to pursue her passion for fitness. She holds certifications in Aqua Cardio, Indoor Cycling, Zumba, Primary Group Exercise and Personal Training. She enjoys spending time with her big dog Teddy, her family and supporting the music ministry at her church. She is proud to be apart of building a legacy at Divine Inspirations Inc!

DICA Contemporary Coach, Nola

Nola Payton

Contemporary Ballet Dance Instructor

All- Star Competition Coach


Nola Payton has always had a strong passion for the arts. She is currently a sophomore at Old Dominion University where she is studying theater arts. She is a young inspiring performer who adores being able to uplift any and everyone that comes her way. She has over 10 years worth of dance experience in liturgical, ballet, majorette, modern & contemporary. Her favorite style is contemporary because she enjoys being able to tell stories through various movements. Coach Nola danced with Divine as a student in 2018-2019 and is beyond excited to be able to give back to her community.

Chyrah Piper

Majorette, Hip Hop, and All-Star Competition Coach

Chyrah Piper has been involved with and enjoying the arts since she was 4 years old. She is always working on and perfecting her skills as a performing and visual artist. Chyrah loves working with our students and is always helping them get to their full potential as a dancer. She was an All-Star cheerleader for 3 years, competing in several “Cheer and Dance Extreme” competitions, and she also has experience in many genres of dance including ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and majorette. 


Chyrah has been a member of DICA since the very beginning in 2015 and danced as Captain of the junior and senior stand battle team. Having a strong passion and love for what she does, she wants to continue her journey of dance and visual arts in college, with goals to compete in regional and national competitions and becoming an inspiring figure in the world of arts. Chyrah is proud to be a part of our organization and can't wait to teach all that she knows to our DICA students!

Dr. Ca-Asia Lane

 Liturgical Dance & Movement Instructor

Dr. Ca-Asia is an academic scholar, author and a liturgical dance and movement leader in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC metropolitan region. As an academic, she develops daily leadership nuggets to provoke change in the dialogue centered around leadership development. As an academic researcher, she uses dance and leadership to disrupt the social norms of leadership roles within the culture of dance ministry. In addition, her passion is to help others identify with the uniqueness of dance and communicate such expressions of love through creative movement. 


Dr. Ca-Asia's personal journey and advocacy for dance and the creative arts is one of help, healing, and hope, which she brings to the dance and movement industry. She is a retired Army Commissioned Officer with nearly 20+ years of active-duty military service and the founder of wHolyPraise Dance LLC and WPDM Publishers.  

Jamya Powell

Cheer & Tumble Instructor

Jamya Powell has 12-year of experience in the field of Cheer and Tumble. She discovered her love for the amazing world of All-Star Cheer at the age of 5 years, where she first cheered for Dale City Sports Club and in middle school, she quickly became a Varsity Level Cheerleader where she won Most Valuable Player (MVP) award two times in a row. She is a graduated of Hylton High School where she made the 2017 State Winning Varsity Cheer team and cheered on varsity with advanced skills all throughout her high school athletic career. Jamya also competed as an All Star for the Stingray All Stars, she has always had a strong passion for Cheer and Tumbling and would love to pass down the knowledge she gained throughout the years to other young athletics here at DICA. 

Deidre Squire

Tap Instructor

Deidra Squire has been tap dancing for more than 30 years. She was trained at Ballet Met Dance Academy in Columbus, Ohio and Judy Conti Dance Academy in Youngstown Ohio. She founded Above Deck Tap Dance Ensemble at Hampton University. Above Deck Tap Dance Ensemble remains an official campus organization. Since relocating to the DMV, Deidra has taught tap dance at the Patricia M. Sitar Arts Center and the Program for Academic and Leadership Skills in Washington, DC. She has also taught at Impact Performing Arts, Momentum Dance and Fitness, The Dance Academy of Virginia, Adagio Ballet, Body Moves, JMD Studio, Legacy Performing Arts, Star Makers Academy of Dance, Dance Makers Dance Studio, and many more. She is also a visiting artist at Blackrock Center for the Arts. She recently received her Level 1 certificate in tap dance from the American Tap Dance Foundation in New York, New York. She looks forward to bringing her wealth of Tap knowledge and skills to the students at DICA!

Kayla Lanier

Jazz/Pom Instructor

Kayla Lanier grew up in Ocala, Florida, where she began dancing at 8 years old. She gained a spot dancing in the Marion County Center for the Arts in West Port High School, exploring the genres of jazz, lyrical, modern, African, Latin and tap. Along with dance she was also a member of the cheerleading and step teams. After moving to Stafford, Virginia, she became a member of Mountain View High Schools dance and teams. Kayla is an 8-year United States Air Force Veteran and has spend time stationed in Arkansas, South Korea, and MD, and in each location, she has spent time volunteering with children. Currently she is in graduate school at Park University studying Healthcare Administration. She is beyond excited for the opportunity to be a part of this organization and be a positive representation for the DICA students.

Tayler Smith

Tiny Tots Assistant Coach

Tayler Smith discovered her love for dance when she first became a student at DICA in 2015. As a student of the program her confidence and strength grew tremendously, and she would love to share that same experience of growth and positive self-image with others. Since being in DICA, she was also able to learn several different dance styles and techniques from genres including contemporary, ballet, and her personal favorite majorette. Tayler is currently a senior at Osbourn Park where she is also studying her love for math and science. Outside of dance she also enjoys music and cosmetology. Tayler looks forward to sharing her multi-talented gifts with the Tiny Tot students of DICA!

Stefanie Rivera

Tiny Tots Assistant Coach

Stefanie Rivera-Osorio first joined DICA back in 2017 at the age of twelve. Since then, she has continued to cultivate her love of dance, gaining experience in ballet, jazz, majorette, hip-hop, west African, and contemporary. Her hard work and dedication has taken her far, as over the course of her time at DICA she has lost over forty pounds, has been accepted to programs at Harvard and MIT, and has grown up into becoming an amazing dancer. As the only daughter of a Salvadorian single mother, Stefanie has grown up without a big family to call her own. Luckily, DICA has become that big, happy family she has always desired. Stefanie is a senior at Osbourn Park High School, and has plans on becoming a software engineer when she graduates college. She is super excited to work with the DICA community to create a fun learning environment for the future of DICA.

Shameca Cunningham 

Divine Diamonds Mentorship Leader

With a background of 10+ years in counseling, Shameca Cunningham (Meca) decided long ago she would be dedicated to helping others in their healing process whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual. Learning as a child from life changing inspirational life changing events like "Rites of Passage", Shameca knows how important it is to practice self love as a young-woman and into woman-hood. She is passionate about helping other young women discover their self-worth, inner beauty, and sense of self. Her main goal is to pour wisdom, grace, and positivity into the DICA students so that they can lead the rest of their lives in confidence and purpose!


Jadion Jones

Theatre Coach

Hello! My name is Jadion Jones and in May of 2022 I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in theatre education. Growing up, I suffered from anxiety and missed out on several experiences because of it. It wasn't until I found theatre that I realized how powerful my voice was and the confidence that came with that realization. My main goal after graduating was to bring my knowledge back to my community and help the

children that struggle with anxiety and self confidence through the creative world of THEATRE!