Carollette Goodman Phillips, Founder & Chairwoman - Carollette is proud to be a native Detroiter. She earned her Masters of Fine Arts degree at Wayne State University and passed the Cecchetti Council of America’s teacher’s examinations for Grades I, II and III. She also successfully passed 4 years of the Teacher’s Training program with Dance Masters of America, achieving an excellence in teaching scholarship in 2013 for outstanding performance in her ballet, tap and jazz teacher examinations. No stranger to the stage, Carollette began dancing at age three at Sheryl’s School of Dance and has since gained substantial experience as a dancer and choreographer. During high school she trained with Gina Ellis and the Renaissance Dance Workshop before moving on to Miami University of Ohio. There she was a dancer and choreographer with Vision Dance Company and earned her B.A. in Mass Communications, with a focus in Broadcast Journalism. She has taught tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop and modern dance, and provided choreography for numerous events with organizations such as the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, The Rosedale Park Players, Andover High School, the Wharton Center at Michigan State University and The Cotillion Society of Detroit. In 2000, Carollette participated in a master tap workshop with Gregory Hines and appeared alongside him in Ebony Magazine. Carollette has had numerous opportunities to work with notable dance professionals and programs including traveling to Russia and studying under former prima ballerina Larisa Dmitrieva at the Moscow Art Theatre School. When Carollette is not onstage, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends.
DeLashea Mya Strawder, Vice-Chair - DeLashea is the LSODance Foundation’s Vice Chair and is the Artistic Director and Director of Music Programs at Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. An alumnus of Mosaic’s programs, Mrs. Strawder knows first hand how participation in arts programs engages, transforms and inspires youth to find their voice and pursue their dreams. A graduate of Wayne State University’s College of Fine and Performing Arts, she has dedicated her life to empowering young people through the arts. Throughout her performance and teaching career DeLashea has studied and performed with many iconic artists including Sweet Honey in the Rock, Frances Brockington, Idy Ciss, Babacar NDaiye, DeeDee Bridgewater and many more. When she is not working with the youth of Mosaic, DeLashea spends her time working with the Oak Park Arts & Culture Commission to bring enriching artistic and cultural experiences to the city of Oak Park. She has taught choral music, vocal jazz, classical voice, West African dance and has coordinated entertainment and operations for various festivals. DeLashea believes that art has an innate ability to impact, motivate and mobilize people by reaching them at their core.
Ayanna Smith, Treasurer - Ayanna has 10+ years in finance and human resources management. She is a graduate of Wayne State University’s School of Business, and has served as the Financial Officer for the Detroit Jazz Festival. Ayanna has a love for performing arts and Latin dance. She believes that dance builds confidence, courage and creativity. Ms. Smith works with local non-profits to build systems and secure funding to better serve Metro-Detroit’s youth and community at large. When Ayanna is not in the office, she enjoys Salsa dancing with her friends.
Wilkanda LaShelle McLendon Secretary - Wilkanda has been dancing and performing since the age of three. She received a foundation in tap, jazz and ballet while attending Sheryl’s School of Dance for 14 years and competing as a member of Sherylette’s and Company. She also traveled and performed in Cozumel, Mexico and on a Caribbean Carnival cruise ship with Sheryl’s in 1995. She became exposed to Modern and African dance while attending Cass Technical H.S. At Ferris State University, she became one of the founders of New Vibe Dance Team and choreographed and performed with them throughout her college career. Wilkanda founded LaShelle's School of Dance in 2004. In recent years, "LaShelle" earned her Masters of Business Administration, completed 4 years of the Dance Masters of America Teacher’s Training School and passed her Cecchetti Grade I & II teacher’s examinations with the Cecchetti Council of America. Prior to opening LaShelle’s, she instructed Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Tap classes for other programs in the Detroit area. It has always been her dream and passion to start a dance program in metro Detroit, because Wilkanda LaShelle believes dance should be an art that all growing children are exposed to. As a Michigan certified teacher, she has an unconditional Love for teaching all ages.