Capriece Piper; Founder and Executive Director


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 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 12 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! 

Zena Smith; Programs Liaison

Mrs. Smith currently serves as Divine Inspiration Center for the Performing Arts (DICA) Programs Liaison. At a young age, Mrs. Smith had a desire to serve the youth in her community. In high school, she was afforded the opportunity to do so. At the community center in her neighborhood, she was involved with the after-school mentoring and tutoring programs. This involvement become a foundation, which has taught her the importance of giving back to her community.

In 2015, her daughter joined the Divine Dance Company and Mrs. Smith became a supportive parent. After Mrs. Smith and her daughter completed their first season, she knew this was the organization where she can make a difference. Volunteering over the past seasons and extending her service where needed has become her trademark. Her goals are to help develop, support and communicate the organizational vision for success.

In 2001, Mrs. Smith received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force. Today, she continues to support the Department of Defense working as a government contractor in the National Capital Region.

Mrs. Smith enjoys spending time with her children, Tayler and Tyler and traveling the country with her husband Gregory.   

Erica McPherson; Studio Manager

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 career path of business management and entrepreneurship. Erica is the proud owner of E.D Media 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; West African Dance Instructor & Mentorship Coach

 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!

Starr Woodall; Dance Coordinator & Choreographer

 Starr Woodall, born and raised in Charleston, SC, started dancing at the age of 3 years old. Starr began her study of dance under the instruction of Karen Huett at The Dance Factory, studying ballet, tap and jazz until the age of 13. While attending the summer program at the Governor's School, Starr's introduction into other genres of dance began with character, pointe and modern dance.

In 2010, her last year of competing with Just Dance, Starr won Dancer of the Year at the Hollywood Vibe Regional Dance Competition in Myrtle Beach, SC. Winning Dancer of the Year put her in the running to win the MSA agency award at the Hollywood Vibe National Competition. Winning the MSA Agency award allowed her to travel to Los Angeles, CA, attend classes for a week at the Millennium Dance Complex, have a photo shoot and also meet with an agent at the Go 2 Talent agency.

Following her trip to L.A., Starr decided to further her education in dance by attending Columbia College in Columbia, SC. After a year at Columbia College, she transferred to the University of South Carolina. While at USC, Starr joined the Carolina Girls Dance Team, under the instruction of Lindsay Sprague.  Starr took the opportunity to compete at the national collegiate level at NCA/NDA in Daytona Beach, FL. After her two years on the Carolina Girls, she began her focus on giving back to the community through teaching dance to younger generations.

In 2017, Starr began work at The Dollhouse Dance Factory in Stone Mountain, Georgia, the home of the Dancing Dolls as seen on the Lifetime's series, ​"Bring It."​ She instructed classes such as: ballet, hip hop, jazz, contemporary and was introduced to majorette dance.

Starr looks forward to choreographing award-winning dance routines at both the regional and national level.

Lisa Renee; Resident Musical Theatre & Mentor Coach

Lisa Renee is currently a Comedic Actress for the Harlem Globetrotters, Spreadgame tour. During her downtime, she host the SLAMDUNK morning show, work acting and music projects. Secondly, she is a published Author writing books titled "Faking the Funk", "Silly", and "The Note Runner". Lastly, she has a extensive Leadership background, recently transitioning to her very own Life Coaching business! She is known for her infectious energy and will to assist others with their dreams!

Nola Payton; Contemporary Instructor & Musical Theatre

 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.

Quinesha Morris; Assistant Dance Teacher

Coach Nesha has over 12 years of experience in the liturgical praise art of dance. She has been the lead choreographer for five different groups (ages ranging from 4 to 65) all across the DMV area and served as Praise Dance Ministry President for over 5 years. 

Coach Nesha has a God given talent and passion for the art of dance and looks forward to instilling the love of dance in our DICA students!

Valerie Koon; Hip Hop Coach

Valerie Koon graduated from Old Dominion University with a bachelor's in Health Services Administration and a minor in Dance. She has been dancing for 13 years and loves teaching as well. Her background is in hip hop, kick, pom, and jazz but has also studied different genres such as modern dance. Coach Valerie has always enjoyed learning and exploring new genres of dance! She has choreographed various pieces in afrobeat and hip hop for all age groups and would love nothing more than to teach, create choreography, and giveback full time. Her passion is in working with adolescents and finding strengths in her students, as well as mentoring them outside of the classroom. On her free time she enjoys spending time with friends, making new connections, going on long drives, and finding new food places in the DMV!  

Affala Atta; Asst. Majorette Coach 

Affala Atta is currently in her senior year at the illustrious Alcorn State University, majoring in Business Administration located in Lorman, Mississippi. Since a young age, Affala has been determined to advance her skills as a professional dancer. With so many high priced dance companies in Northern Virginia; she founded the first dance team at her local high school where she danced for 3 years as the Captain. In the spring of 2016, she  auditioned for Divine Dance Company, made the team, and soon became the Captain during the 2016 & 2017 dance seasons. She continues her passion for dance as a dancer at her university. Inspired by our Founder & Executive Director, Affala is the proud owner of FaFa lashes, a luxurious eyelash line. She aspires to be a mentor for the students of DICA and continues to be an inspiration to other DICA alumni!

Makayla Jordan; Tumble Coach

Makayla Jordan was raised to be strong and to find your life's passion and meaning in whatever you do. She lives by the motto: Give it your all! Since the tender age of 5, she has been tumbling and competing as an All-Star Cheerleader leading her team to local and national championship titles.  At the age of 7 she joined the award winning all star cheer team Hot Topic Allstars of Alexandria, VA where she quickly advanced her  tumble skills. She then moved on to join Legacy Allstars where she was blessed with the opportunity to compete at the largest cheer competition "The Worlds" Championship! 

Makayla also enjoys working with children and giving back on her free time. She is thrilled to be a part of DICA organization, where she plans to build a legacy for herself and the generations to come!

Chyrah Piper; Jr. Coach in Training

Chyrah Piper is a young aspiring performer who 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!

Arianna Bell; Jr. Coach in Training

Arianna Bell is a 17-year-old high school senior who has attended DICA since June 2021. She has trained in all forms of dance, but especially enjoys ballet, contemporary, and jazz. In 2019, Arianna was selected to compete with the Washington Football Team’s All-Star Dance Team, where they earned 1st place awards in Hip Hop and Contemporary categories at the UDA National Competition in Walt Disney Word Resort in Orlando, Florida! Arianna was also a dancer with Hylton High School Dance Team in 2019 Ariana also performed in a presentation of Alice in Wonderland with Ordway Conservatory of Classical Ballet. From 2012 to 2018, Arianna was a part of the competition dance team at All That and Jazz dance studio and competed in a variety of local ad national dance competitions. She looks forward to training this year as a junior coach at the wonderful DICA!

Elijah Javanni; Social Media & Content Developer

Elijah Javanni is a jack of all trades. He is a dancer and choreographer that specializes in Afro-beat dance styles such as Azonto and Afrohouse. He also has a background in Hip Hop, Naija Street, and a hint of Dancehall. Elijah has over 10 years of dance experience and 2 years of coaching experience. He is a member of the international dance academy known as Dance With a Purpose academy that was featured in Beyoncé's "Black is King" visual album. He has performed with music artists such as Deo, Kweku Williams, Tizo, Tobby Drillz, etc. He has also had the opportunity to open for massive artists such as Davido and Kwesi Arthur. Elijah is also a model, photographer, videographer, and content creator that utilizes his creative vision to materialize authentic art. From creating visual content that catches your attention and tells a story to capturing photos that highlight detail and emotion, Elijah is capable of doing it all. Behind the scenes Elijah enjoys to help people and is a powerful leader that knows how to bring people together. He thrives in diverse environments and has a mindset full of gold.