JATA Dance

Contemporary, Jazz &

Modern Dance
Modern & Tap Dance
Ballet & Contemporary
Hip Hop
Hip Hop

Anitra Davel

Born with an impressive dance lineage – both her parents danced with the Royal Ballet in London - Anitra’s theatrical career has included successes as performer as well as director/choreographer.

Her performance credits include, amongst others, Oklahoma!, BUDDY! The Buddy Holly Story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Richard Loring’s That’ll be the Day. Anitra was also privileged to be part of the original South African cast of CATS, which not only performed locally but also toured internationally and to which she later returned as Resident Choreographer.

Apart from performing in an almost infinite number of corporate events as a dancer, her varied career has also included various pantomimes, extravaganzas and television appearances as well as being a founder member of the contemporary company - Tshwane Dance Theatre.

Anitra has also choreographed and directed many corporate events (including the 17th Annual South African Music Awards - SAMA’s), commercials and theatre productions as well as a number of shows for the Barnyard Theatre Circuit. She is a qualified SABOD modern dance teacher and has taught both Drama and Dance at a primary and high school level. She has been employed as lecturer at a tertiary level by Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and University of Pretoria (UP) in their Musical Theatre and Drama departments respectively, and has directed and choreographed productions for both departments including I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (2008), the controversial ASSASSINS (2009) and Bat Boy – the musical (2013). She was also employed as Jazz and Theatre Dance lecturer in the Dance and Musical Theatre Faculty at Oakfields College for 5 years where she continues to be a guest lecturer.

She delights in passing on the knowledge of her craft to the next generation of performers in honour of the legacy started by her mother, Vicki Karras – an arts educator extraordinaire.

Tandi Meikle

Tandi has spent a lifetime training in numerous dance disciplines including Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Contemporary, Latin American and Pas de Deux (Exhibition dance). After matriculating from the National School of the Arts, she went on to obtain a national Diploma in Musical Theatre from Technikon Pretoria and has spent the last 17 years working in various aspects of the performing arts industry – on stage, on screen and on television.

Her theatre credits include Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, We will Rock You, Jesus Christ Super Star and High School Musical. As a corporate dancer, Tandi has worked with many well-known industry choreographers but she has gone on to become a sought-after commercials choreographer and movement specialist in her own right and has numerous advertising credits for clients such as Wimpy, Vodacom, Jet, Aero and Kellogs. An on-screen highlight for her was acting opposite Khan Morbee in the SAMA award winning music video for Push me to the floor.

While Tandi has directed and choreographed various corporate and musical productions, her talents have also been used behind the scenes as wardrobe co-ordinator, make-up artist and assistant art director and in special FX.

Over the past few years, however, Tandi has dedicated more of her time to nurturing the next generation of performers. She believes that if you want to have a career in dance or theatre, just doing syllabus work is not enough; opening your mind and body to new styles of dance, and constantly challenging yourself to improve in each area, is all part of becoming a true artist in your craft.

Chanel Gomes

Chanel received her degree Baccalaureus Technologiae: Dance (Teaching) Cum Laude from Tshwane University of Technology’s Department of Performing Arts (2006). Prior to that, she had achieved 91% for the Royal Academy of Dancing’s Student Teachers Certificate (2004) and subsequently acquired full Registered Teachers Status (RTS) with the RAD with an overall average of 89% (2006).

Chanel has been privileged to teach dancers of all ages – from 3 to 23 and her teaching credits include Dance Theory and Ballet at the National School of the Arts (2005 to 2007) and resident RAD teacher at Crawford Preparatory in Pretoria (2007 to 2009) while also being employed full time as Lecturer at TUT from 2008 to 2011. While teaching various theoretical and practical subjects at TUT, this association allowed Chanel to oversee the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Programme which enabled student teachers to gain hands-on experience teaching children.

Following this, Chanel was employed part-time by both Oakfields College and Southdown’s College in Centurion, teaching Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Stage Work, Dance Teaching and Production at the former and History of Dance as well as RAD Syllabus classes at the latter.

Extending her knowledge of physical training, she has completed the Pilates Course 1 with Top Condition SA (2001), the Body Conditioning Trainer’s Course 2 (2007) and also the Body Conditioning for Dancers with Pat Gush, pioneer of the technique in South Africa (2010 – 2011).

Chanel’s choreographic credits include neo-classical, contemporary and jazz pieces for TUT’s Dance Seasons, Ballaré – a collaboration with Debra Gush – for Oakfields College (2012), various children’s and schools’ productions as well as award-winning pieces for various eisteddfods. She also served as assistant to dancer and choreographer Joel Morris for Dirk Badenhorst’s production of The Nutcracker, performed by the Roodepoort Youth Ballet (2007). As a proud mom of two, Chanel has taught the preschool music programme: Music Box at various schools in and around Randburg and Roodepoort.

JATA is privileged to benefit from Chanel’s outstanding expertise as resident RAD teacher.

Liyabuya Gongo

Liyabuya was born in Uitenhage but received her dance training at the PACT Ballet School, The Washington School of Ballet and The Zanelle Wessels Ballet School where she earned Intermediate distinctions in Cecchetti and Royal Academy of Dance techniques. She attained her Dance Degree, majoring in dance teaching from the Tshwane University of Technology (2009) and received a dance certificate with distinction from the Cape Academy of Performing Arts in the same year.

On graduation and whilst teaching pilates, she performed in Rivonia Trials, directed by Artistic Director of the State Theatre, Aubrey Sekhabi. As professional dancer, Liyabuya performed in a myriad corporate events but was also a member of the KMad Dance company as well as Tshwane Dance Theatre (TDT) and performed works by celebrated South African and international choreographers including Redha Benteifour (France), Sylvaine Strike, Sbonakaliso Ndaba, Kelsey Middleton and Belinda Nusser. She choreographed I AM, Alpha Beta Etc. for TDT and later fulfilled the roles of Assistant Artistic Director for the company during the Impact 1 and 2 shows (2017).

Liyabuya has been to the Afro-Vibes festival on two occasions first in 2012 as a cast member in James Ngcobo’s Thirst and the following year as assistant director and cheorographer for Mwenya Kabwe’s Afrocartography. That same year she choreographed a solo work Where’s Colony which she performed at Dance Umbrella. She then participated in a Sweden/South Africa Exchange; She-Khulisa during which she conceived Embodying Apart with Swedish dancer Disa Krosness and performed at the Dans Stockholm Festival.

In 2014 and 2015 Liyabuya worked for Khulisa Social Solutions, a community and social development NGO as a project coordinator and facilitator. She returned to Dance in 2016 with the creation of #WorkersChant by Nhlanhla Mahlangu, which opened the 2017 Dance Umbrella.

Most recently Liyabuya was a soloist at the Dance Factory touring Dada Masilo’s Swan Lake and Giselle. She is currently completing her masters research in Arts Management at WITS University as well as re-creating a mixed media work, Mobile Inertia with Director Siphumeze Khundayi, all while maintaining her place as an integral part of the JATA Dance team.

Duma Nhlapo

Born in Soweto, Duma is a first-class dancer, whose middle name should be “versatility” as he is accomplished in Jazz, Contemporary, Afro-fusion, Gumboot, Pantsula, Kwaito and Hip Hop and has had a successful dance career spanning 20 years. Under the tutelage of expert choreographers Debbie Rakusin and David Matamela, he was one of the founding members of Vusa Dance Company which performed with the legendary Tina Turner (1996) and later toured Australia as Visions Dance Company (1997).

Duma has performed in various long-running casino shows such as Sun City's own African Cirque du Soleil Extravaganza, Ba Letsatsi (1998) and at the Boardwalk Casino in PE and the Windmill Casino in Bloemfontein.

Duma has also performed in countless high-profile corporate events including the Rugby World Cup Final (1995), the SAMA awards (2011), the International Chamber of Commerce Gala Banquet (2016) as well as a myriad flash-mobs for various clients. Duma is passionate about teaching as a way to give back and is eager to impart his diverse knowledge as part of the JATA Dance team!

Quaid "Flip" Jones

Quaid "Flip" Jones epitomises the spontaneous and creative soul of the ‘Hip-Hop Culture’ and since 2007, he has become one of the most sought after Hip-Hop Instructors and Choreographers. His specialty is as a mix master and his area of expertise focuses on fusing Funk styles such as Breaking and Locking & Popping with other genres including Afro-Pop, Voguing and Waacking.

His work includes competing nationally and internationally, teaching and training, as well as choreographing various performances and showcases. Some highlights from Quaid’s career include:

  • IDO World Champion Finalist (Poland & Germany) - 2009-2013
  • Channel O Hip-Hop Express Commercial - 2014
  • Pop, Lock ’n Roll - Dance Movie - 2015
  • 'Rocking The Daisies' Performer - 2016
  • Street Knowledge Vol.2 & 3 Winner - 2017 & 2018
  • 'Apex Active Apparel' model, director & photographer - 2019
  • JET Denims TVC Performer - 2020

His creative talents extend way beyond dance, he is also a Designer, Videographer, Photographer and Illustrator and JATA is privileged that he takes time out of his busy schedule to share with our students his expertise in all things Hip Hop.

Johannesburg Academy for Theatre Arts

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47 Main Street (cnr Boundary Rd)

Anitra Davel: 082 577 4716

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