Following the death of famed local dance master Thaddeus Hayes, two parents wanted to find a place for his dancers to continue to dance. They approached Letitia White to become the instructor and Toe 2 Toe was born. In October 2000, they held their first recital with only 29 dancers and a dream. The first recital was held at Ruffner Middle School in Norfolk and was a huge success. The size of the company grew and the next two recitals were held at Booker T. Washington High School. In 2004, the company relocated their recital destination to the Roper Performing Arts Center in Downtown Norfolk.
Sadly, in February 2005, Letitia White lost her battle with cancer and left the company without an Artistic Director. The two parents approached Letitia's sister, Natatia Dodson, and asked if she would take over the position left vacant by her sister's passing. Natatia agreed and completed the 2005 dance season. When the academy began its next dance year, the name had be changed to the Letitia White Academy of Dance in Letitia's honor. In 2009, the company name was shortened to LWADance.
Natatia Dodson - Artistic Director. Natatia began dancing at the age of 6 with Thaddeus Hays and continued to dance for nearly 30 years. She has held the position of Artistic Director since 2005. Natatia graduated from Hampton (Institute) University with a degree in Mass Media Arts. In 2007, she received her Masters in Management from Cambridge University. Natatia instructs the Adult Ballet Class and the Ballet 1, 2 and 3 Classes. She also choreographs many specialty and large number performance.
Kelli Randolph - Hip Hop/Pom & Cheer Instructor. Kelli began dancing at a young age and put her skills to work as a cheerleader at Maury High School in Norfolk. She took her dancing experience to college where she became a "Hot Ice" dancer for Norfolk State University's Marching Legion. Kelli received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and is currently the Athletic Director at Cradock Middle School in Portsmouth. Kelli also served as the captain of the cheerleading squad "The Lady Redskins" for the Hampton Roads area semi-pro football team, the Norfolk Redskins. Kelli teaches Hip Hop, Mime and our award-winning Pom & Cheer team.
Alexandra Porter - Tap Instructor. Alexandra also began dancing with Thaddeus Hayes at the tender age of 4. She honed her tapping skills with Vincent Epps during the summer program with SEVAA. Alexandra represented LWADance during the Star Systems National Dance competition where she was awarded National Dance Champion.
Mikayla Revelle - Intermediate/Twilight Modern and Jazz Instructor. Mikayla is a trained dancer in various genres including modern, ballet, jazz, contemporary and African. With over 10 years dance experience, she has been trained at the Washington Ballet, the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, and other elite studios throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Her notable performances include The Kennedy Center, The Warner Theater, and at the White House for President Barrack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. In additional to being a Biology major at Norfolk State University, she is also the co-director and choreographer for the award-winning Norfolk State University Theater dancers.
Kayla Randolph-King - Hip Hop 2/Intermediate Hip Hop. Kayla began dancing with Dance DImensions at the tender age of four beginning with Cheer Dance. She transitioned 12 years ago to LWADance and blossomed in ballet, modern, jazz, and tap, but her first love remains hip hop. Because of her leadership, inititative, and passion, Kayla transitioned from student to instructor to take her hip hop dancers to the next level. Kayla, a honor roll student, is a rising sophomore at Maury High School and is Varsity Cheerleader.
Joppa Whitehead -Pointe Instructor. Raised in Portsmouth Virgina, Miss Whitehead trained locally with Andrei Yemelianov at Academie De Ballet, where she performed Variations from Markintanka, Swan Lake and Giselle. She also competed, receiving High Gold performing a variation from Don Quixote. She has taken summer intensives at Richmond Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Chacott Ballet in Yokohama Japan, Dance Theatre of Harlem and Complexions. In 2009 she joined Virginia Ballet Theatre, where she performed in the Nutcracker, Graduation Ball, La Sylphide and Paquita, as well as two original pieces by Joni Petre Scholtz. Alongside VBT, she was also able to dance with Todd Rosenlieb Dance company, which is a Hawkins and Graham based Modern company, where she worked with former Eric Hawkins company member, Todd Rosenlieb and former Alvin Ailey member Ricardo Melendez. Additional, Miss Whitehead has performed in the International Tattoo, Virginia Musical Theatre in Oklahoma, Lyric Opera Virginia in King and I, and Virginia Symphony Chorus to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Stravinsky in Les Noces. Additional choreographers, she’s worked with Elbert Watson, Ryan Corriston, David Keener, Janelle Spruill and Angela Brown Myers, and danced alongside company members from Louisville Ballet and Ballet San Juan.