TWA Advisor Committee
Artistic Director and Lead Instructor
Shakara Beckem is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Worship Academy Dance and Arts Center (TWA) located in Harrisburg, PA. She has been involved in dance as a form of worship for over ten years. She was a part of a few community dance teams in her hometown of Muskegon, MI before starting a community dance team called “Heaven’s Helping Hands” in 2006 which was comprised of about 18 children ages 6-10. They traveled locally and danced at nursing homes, hospitals and church events. Shakara relocated, along with her family, to Pennsylvania in July of 2010. She has gained experience from attending local classes in addition to numerous trainings and intensives. The Worship Academy was founded in April of 2013 after God laid the vision on her heart in October 2012. She continues to train locally in the Harrisburg Area on Technical skills, Pedagogy (Teaching Methods) and Regionally on Leadership Development.
The vision for The Worship Academy is to raise a generation of youth and teens that will spearhead a movement of pure worship through dance and arts that is uncompromising and un-perverted. In addition, to create a culture of learning and an atmosphere of worship, walking and dancing in the love of God. It is her heart that her students will know that age does not define their relationship with God or place any limits on their worship or ministry. In addition to local training she also attends monthly trainings at The Alvin Ailey Extension technical upgrade. In addition, she was a member of Ruach Dance Company under the direction of Pastor Alicia Rivera alongside a number of her students for one year.
Shakara is a Certified Worship Dance Teacher and Ordained Minister through Dancing For Him Ministries Lead by Pastor Lynn Hayden. In addition she is currently an active member at her local church, All Nations Church (Harrisburg), where she has also attended the School of the Prophets.
Alicia Rivera, Curriculum Advisor
Alicia Rivera is the founder and artistic director of Jubilee Dance in New York. She is also Assistant Artistic Director of Ruach Dance Company. Alicia has 33 years of dance experience that includes training in classical ballet, modern, jazz, Afro Caribbean, and West African dance.
Alicia majored in dance liberal arts/dance at Borough of Manhattan Community College. She ignited the start and served as dance club president for 2 years. As president she was in charge of rehearsals, choreography and organizing performances for the school.
Alicia also worked as a dance instructor for children and adults for nearly 20 years in public and private schools as well as the YMCA and in church settings. Alicia teaches in a variety of settings for inviting ministries and houses of worship. She provides invaluable resources, support and guidance to TWA that stem from her experience in dance as a form of worship and her relationship with God. She has shown her dedication and commitment to our students during our quarterly workshops, where she helps to catapult them into something new each time.
Lashon and her daughter Kiara have been a part of the TWA family since November 2014. Since day one their faithfulness and commitment have been evident. Lashon shows a great deal of love to each student and relates to them very well. She is very down to earth, fully understands the mission and vision for TWA and hopes to inspire each dance parent to be just as supportive and involved in their children's dance education and spiritual growth as she is. She has remarkable character and is able to give solid advice to parents from her place of understanding as a dance mom!