Maya is a versatile performer and choreographer with over 20 years experience in Jazz, Ballet, Tap, and Contemporary dance.From an early age, she was recognized and singled out by her teachers to travel and study intensively with Dance class masters from India and Mongolia. This was the beginning of her attraction to World dance styles with her mother’s influence as a traditional Javanese Dancer. In 1995 on his Australian tour she was chosen by Dance Master Kofi Walker from Jamaica to feature as principle dancer of his company “The Afro Caribbean Dance Theatre”, touring Australia performing and holding master classes in Dance schools and universities. Maya went on to study under and work with other well known influences of global dance throughout her career like Paul Saliba, Shirley Sweeney, Naisda, QLD Folkloric Dance Association and Bangarra Dance Theatre. Maya is the most popular Dancehall instructor in Sydney with her consistently busy classes. She also specialises in many African derived dance styles such as Afro-Caribbean and West African and featured in a lead acting role in the Australian Feature film “Resistance” directed by Hugh Keays Byrne of Mad Max fame. Recently she was a Principle Soloist at the International World FIFA congress (Opera House), starred in the So You think you can dance advertisement and her choreography credits include Sydney’s Annual Chinese New Year Parade, Apple, Verve Media, Nine MSN and videoclips for artists such as Kid Confucious and Vassy. To watch some videos of her work click here.
Paul Saliba danced with the Australian Ballet for nine years working under three artistic directors, Peggy van Praagh, Robert Helpmann and Anne Woolliams. While with the Australian Ballet Saliba also choreographed for company workshops along with colleagues Ian Spink, John Meehan, Leigh Warren and Graeme Murphy. His first work was Ties. Several others followed including Rapid Transit in 1977 made for Dance Horizons, a program to honour Dame Peggy van Praagh. In 1976 he received the Robert Helpmann scholarship and studies in New York taking classes from Dance greats Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey. In 1978 he made his first work for Sydney Dance Company, And you came too. He eventually joined Sydney Dance in 1980 appearing in an array of works for the company including Daphnis and Chloe in which he danced the role of Pan, Viridian, Rumours, An Evening,Wilderness and Poppy. During this time he also continued to choreograph making, for example, a solo called One and a group work, Interiors, both in 1980. After leaving Sydney Dance Company Saliba joined NAISDA College as principal dance teacher. At NAISDA he taught, choreographed for students and acted as course director for more than 20 years. Paul is a pioneer of Global fusion and contemporary dance in australia and many great teachers and dancers have been taught by him. His classes are inspirational infusing his dynamic and exciting energy into a style that is enjoyed by both professional dancers and students.
Lydia has been a professional performer/choreographer and Champion dancer in the styles of Cook Island/Tahitian/Hawaiian spanning over the last 11 years. It all began when she was living on her fathers island Atiu in the Cook Islands. That's where she got a real glimpse of the culture. From the very first moment she began It was something she knew she wanted to do. From being bullied at school, dancing with family and meeting new people, gave her an outlet to forget about those worries. Since Cook Islands is Lydia's heritage, her whole thoughts of the culture expanded and she built a stronger passion and love for her dancing. Lydia has performed in all of the top Australian dance groups and represented many islands in showcases such as "Ureia, Atiutaki Dance Troupe", Atiu Enua Manu "Te Maeve Nui" (also choreographed) and Cook Island Language school team 2010 and many more. She has travelled overseas for numerous dance competitions and that is where a lot of her experience comes from: "As that's a place where I can watch and learn from others. I thank my dad for his discipline and always being strict on my sister and I. If it wasn't for those times, I wouldn't be the dancer I am today. " "I'm glad I can teach the culture to all my students at Dance Studio 101 as I'm always open to share the beautiful culture with everyone. Especially to all the Polynesian people. I think it's important to know your identity and where your from. :)"
From toddler age and springing into primary school days, Memuna has always been enthralled by dance. Beginning her early journey of dance evolved from all sorts of African dance types like West African Dance , Soukous, Mapouka, Azonto to the discovery of Dancehall and it's variation into adolescence encouraged her to learn more about these styles from the African Diaspora. Hip Hop, RnB, Modern, Funk and Afro Cuban soon followed but it was and predominantly still is Dancehall and African styles that drive, motivate this curvalicious queen to seek out the freedom enticed by it. It has been a long time in the making, Memuna, the original crowned Australian Dancehall Queen is ready for the dance soldiers @ Dance Studio 101!!!
Since moving here from his native Ohio USA in the early 80's, Darrio has been an integral part of the Australian Dance Scene. With influential group The Double D's they took Oz by storm performing live allover the country and appearing on many television shows. Darrio has danced for the likes of Peter Andre, Selwyn, Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Bobby Brown, Rumba and recently appeared on Australia's Got Talent winner Andrew DeSilva's music video for 'Miracle'. He was also the choreographer for the 2006 and 2007 Urban Music Awards. A dynamic teacher, he is proficient in many styles, currently specialising in Hip Hop, Popping, Locking, and Krumping.
Lauren is a professional dancer choreographer and teacher all the way from the other side of the world! Born in the UK she started dancing from a very young age, she then went on to her professional training for 3 years where she trained in many styles of dance and also singing and drama. After graduating in 2010 she went straight on to work for Disneyland in Paris as a character and parade performer where she had 3 separate contracts. Other credits include, singer/dancer in Qudos pantomimes and Dance Captain for Siblu holiday parks. In between her professional contracts she found a passion for teaching, gaining her teachers qualifications with the I.D.T.A and U.K.C.A and a Zumba Fitness Qualification, she has been teaching many age groups for several years and loves it just as much as performing. She is a versatile performer and choreographer and her passion and love for dance shines through.
Wanyika is a Kenyan born afro- creative whose first love is music and dancing. She is also involved in the fashion scene in Australia with her own boutique African Inspired label – “Wa-Nyika”. Wanyika has been in theatre and dance in her native country from a very young age making her an accomplished and seasoned performer. Since coming to Australia in 2001 she has been involved in various performances and productions further growing and improving her skill. Her teaching and dance technique involve various different dances from around Africa and afro-influenced styles from around the world; making her dance classes unique and entertaining. Her passion and love for dance and come through in her teaching as she is committed to bringing out the best in each dancer no matter their skill level.
Bboying (Break-Dancing) since 2000, Luke AKA Bboy Skywalker has created a career beyond any other Australian Hip Hop Dancer of this decade. Through competition, TV, Cinema and Theater, Luke along with his crew SKB (No. 1 Bboy Crew in Australia) has elevated the professional and underground break scene. Lately, Luke/SKB Have placed 3rd World wide at the R16 Bboy World Championships. He also has been touring the world on the DreamWorks How To Train Your Dragon - Live Spectacular show.
Joanna has been training in dance for 15 years in the various styles of Jazz, RAD Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern Lyrical, Contemporary and Musical Theatre. Joanna trained at Planetdance Menai for just under 10 years, whilst part time training at Ev and Bow and then onto fulltime at Brent Street. During Joanna’s senior schooling years she performed on the channel 10 TV show ‘Young Talent Time’ as a dancer and then toured with the group throughout Australia. Other TV and film credits include ‘Dance Academy’ Seasons 2 and 3 as a dancer/actor, ‘Colourman’ the video clip by Teddy Kim as seen on Australia’ s Got Talent and the Bollywood film ‘Orange’. Joanna also danced in many production shows ‘Steve King and the Legend of Elvis’ and ‘Six Pak Productions’. Whilst training at Brent Street to receive a CERT IV, Joanna has also had the chance to collaborate with Sydney Dance Company in the Production ’13 Rooms’ Choreographed by renowned artistic director Rafael Bonachela.
Prafulla Parida is a highly respected authentic Bollywood performer, choreographer and teacher who currently resides in Sydney after making the move from Bollywood Film City Mumbai in 2011. Prafulla has over a decades experience in the Bollywood film industry, having performed in many Bollywood hit movies including Three (Love, Lies & Betrayal), Wanted and Luck by Chance. Prafulla’s live performance credits include international tours with prestigious Bollywood stage productions The Merchants of Bollywood and Miss Bollywood. In addition to Prafulla’s stage and screen credits he has performed with some of the biggest Bollywood superstars including Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif and Shahrukh Khan in live international Bollywood shows and award nights.
Born in the UK, John, a late starter at 17, was fortunate enough to get a full scholarship for the Laban Centre London where he studied in ballet, contemporary dance techniques and choreography for 3 years. He then went on to travel the globe on cruise ships before settling back in London and pursuing a career as a commercial dancer. He has danced for artists such as Gloria Estafan, Chris Brown, Basement Jaxx, Leona Lewis and has worked with choreographers such as Jermaine Brown and LaVelle Smith Jr. Since arriving in Australia 3 years ago John has had the opportunity to work with Guy Sebastian and Dita Von Teese and feature in commercials for Samsung, Panasonic and Kirrin Beer. He has recently finished the 2011 summer season performing a Graeme Murphy production with Opera Australian.
Beginning in 2001, with a foray into aerobics, George has been instructing, Wining, for the past eight years. The class was first formulated in 2002, at the MICA Club, Potenza, Italy, with accreditation from the Italian Federation governing aerobics & weightlifting. Whether on the stage, or in a class setting, he has been always of the interest of getting people to move. Attending the Academmia Scharoff of Theatre, in Rome in 2002, he was able to continue his artistic progression, studying Corporeal Movement, and Dance for Musical Theatre. In 2003, he choreographed a stage performance for the Savelli theatre in Rome. This was followed by the musical, Grease, performed in MonteVerde, Rome, in the title role of Danny Zuco. Since arriving in Australia, George has performed in the role of musician, master of ceremony, comedian, dancer for bands such as One Love, Survival Reggae, Gervais Koffi & the African Diaspora, and Dance Company, Melange, having performed at festivals such as the Newtown Love Festival ’05,Williamstown Festival (VIC) ’06,Byron Bay Blues & Roots ’06, Peats Ridge ’06, Canberra World Festival ’08 and Woodford Dreaming Festival ‘08. Also, his association to the West Indian Community through CaribOz, has seen him lend his hand to raising awareness of the community through its fundraising, most recently in aid the Victoria Bushfire Victims.