Meet Our Team

Karen Johnston – Principal

dance teacher Karen

Karen trained at the London College of Dance in England for 3 years where she gained her ISTD Teachers diploma. She then furthered her training in England and gained her Associate Diploma in modern jazz and her RAD Ballet Teachers certificate. Since moving to Australia Karen has achieved her Licenciate Diploma in the Cecchetti method of Ballet and her CSTD Teachers Certificate. Karen is delighted to be able to pass on her knowledge and love of dance to all her dancers and strives to ensure the studio has a friendly and encouraging atmosphere.

Summer Clarke – Junior Teacher

dance teacher Summer

Summer has been a dancer at the Jay school of dance for 10 years and has been teaching  Jazz, Tap, Hip hop and Contemporary for 4 years. Throughout her dancing career Summer has gained her major exam levels in Cecchetti ballet, CSTD Jazz and CSTD tap, performed in the Hairspray arena spectacular Hairspray and has worked as a model parading Tutus. By the end of this year Summer is hoping to gain her CSTD Jazz teachers certificate and after this achievement work for her CSTD Tap teachers certificate. Summer enjoys watching her students grow and develop into dancers by sharing her knowledge. She aims for her students to grow in confidence and achieve new goals and skills throughout the year.

Ashleigh Killin – Junior teacher

Ashleigh Killin – Junior teacher

In 2012 we moved to Adelaide from London and after trying a few schools I was fortunate to find the Jay School of Dance where I do contemporary and classical ballet. Ms Karen has guided me through every concert and exam in Australia, making them memorable, challenging and exciting. Besides dancing, I have learned to be more confident, overcome my shyness and perseverance. I cannot imagine a future without ballet and love the friendship and comradery I have formed throughout the years.

Ballet highlights for me include successfully auditioning for a role with the London Children’s Ballet and performing ‘A little Princess’ with them for a week at the Peacock Theatre. Passing my Advanced II ballet exam was also a highlight as many hours of work and dedication paid off.

My teaching experience began when I started helping with classes. Through this, I found I loved passing on my passion and being part of the process of helping the next generation emerge and do what they love. I am currently working toward my Cecchetti teaching qualifications.

Leo Ashenden – Contemporary teacher

dance teacher Leo

Leo is currently in his 3rd year at Flinders University, Adelaide College of the Arts studying to gain his Bachelor of Creative Arts in Dance and his Certificate IV and advanced diploma in dance.

Harriet Johnston – Assistant Teacher

dance teacher Harriet

Harriet Johnston is currently studying Sace year 12 dance and is completing her certificate in childcare. Harriet loves working with children and dedicates a large amount of her time to the school, As well as assisting in the lessons Harriet communicates to the parents, helps with costumes and the general day to day running of the studio. Harriet enjoys classes at the Jay school in Jazz, Tap and Contemporary.

Mario Alfaro Barrantes – Hip HopTeacher

hip hop dance adelaide

When Mario was 15 years old, he decided to join a breakdancing crew in Costa Rica where learning hip-hop became a major interest with his mentor Rey West, an Afro-American dancer who grew up in New York. In 2006 he was called to be part of a select group of dancers who called themselves “Conservatorio El Barco” which means “The Ship Conservatory”. While performing there he became a professional dancer and trained in Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz and Hip-hop dance styles; he has also danced in various live performances mainly in Theatre. Mario participated in various festivals in Costa Rica and is now living in Adelaide where he has performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. He is currently enjoying teaching Hip hop at the Jay School of Dance.

Charlotte Carozo – Assistant Teacher

dance teacher Charlotte

Charlotte Carozo born 9 weeks early in Adelaide, South Australia and spent the first 7 weeks of her life locked in a crib in the neonatal unit. In 2004 when she was 3 she decided she wanted to make up for those 7 weeks and spend the rest of her life dancing. She first started off with ballet and soon expanded into other genres like jazz and tap. At age 13 she changed studios and began learning at The Jay School of Dance. There she developed into a stronger and more confident dancer and began hip hop, pointe and contemporary.

Along with dancing she also found she enjoyed singing and decided to audition for The Voice Kids and even managed to get through the first round of auditions. Charlotte then began focusing on her dancing a lot more seeing as she wanted a career in that field. When she was 17 she started studying SACE dance at Australian Company of Performing Arts where she explored her technique in jazz, tap and contemporary and learnt how to choreograph her own dances.

She is currently studying her certificate 4 in dance at ACPA. There she studies vocal, acting, choreography, jazz, ballet, tap, commercial dance, musical theatre, contemporary, Pilates and audition technique.

Charlotte combines her dance studies with teaching and auditioning for a variety of dance and musical theatre productions.

Charlotte has been an integral part of the Jay School of Dance teaching team as an Assistant teacher for a couple of years. She enjoys passing on her knowledge to the younger students and is always eager to help them become better dancers.

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