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Anitra Davel

Anitra Davel

Founder & Director

Anitra not only has over 15 years’ experience as a successful musical theatre practitioner, both as performer and director/choreographer but also has an exceptional academic record which includes obtaining a Master's Degree in Drama (cum laude) in 2014 but also excelling in postgraduate business courses (2001) after a BA Law degree (1993). As a performer she appeared in many well-known musicals such as Oklahoma! (1997), BUDDY! The Buddy Holly Story (1998), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2000) and Boogie Nights (2004). Anitra was also privileged to be part of the original South African cast of CATS (2001), which not only performed locally but also toured internationally and to which she returned as Resident Choreographer (2009/10). 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 Tshwane Dance Theatre (2003).

In 2005 Anitra was nominated for a Naledi Award for her portrayal of Maria Elena in Richard Loring’s That’ll be the Day and was also seen onstage in the racy straight play Ladies’ Night (2005) and Tim Plewman’s farcical Grin and Bare It (2010). Anitra has 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.

Anitra is a qualified SABOD modern dance teacher and has taught both Drama and Dance at a primary and high school level. She has also been employed as lecturer at a tertiary level by both 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).

After becoming a mom, however, Anitra realized that she could combine her theatrical passion with working with mothers and their young children. Having obtained her Professional Aerobics Step Teachers Diploma in 1997 it made sense to extend the qualification with the FITCO Specialist Pre-Natal Fitness Instructors Certificate (2007) and she taught the pre- and post-natal exercise classes from Tina Otte’s Family and Child Centre in Randburg for many years. After becoming a certified Doula or childbirth companion (2008) she ran creative Mothers and Miracles workshops from her home from 2010 to 2016.

Whilst completing her Masters Degree in Drama at the University of Pretoria (2014), Anitra presented a paper at the FIRT/IFTR (International Federation of Theatre Research) conference in Barcelona (2013), was awarded the ‘Best Student in the Arts Cluster 2014’ for a UP Postgraduate Competition and published an article in the International Journal: Studies in Musical Theatre. Anitra is currently registered for a PhD Drama at University of Pretoria and lectures in the Dance and Musical Theatre Faculty at Oakfields College.

Tandi Meikle

Tandi Meikle


Tap, Jazz & Contemporary

Tandi matriculated from the National School of the Arts in 2001, where she specialised in dance. Her tertiary qualifications include a National Diploma in Musical Theatre from Tshwane University of Technology, Advanced Imperial Tap and Jazz, Advanced RAD Ballet and Elementary Spanish. She is also a qualified Pilates Instructor.

Her theatre credits include the role of Meg Giry in The Phantom of the Opera in 2004 (she re-joined the company as Dance Captain in 2012). She delivered a stirring performance of Hunyak in Chicago in 2005 and in 2008. An injured Goldilocks saw her delivering many performances as the understudy for the lead role in Janice Honeyman’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears. She toured New Zealand with the Ben Elton and Queen collaboration, We Will Rock You. After being on stage in High School Musical locally, she toured China with the company as the Resident Choreographer. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Super Star was her last big stage musical before she focused her attentions on having a family.

Tandi’s Screen Credits include lead actress opposite Khan Morbee in the SAMA Award-winning music video for The Parlotones - "Push me to the Floor”. She also appeared in a full robot suit for the beautiful music video for The Black Hotels’ song "Stone Wife". Tandi is a sought-after commercials choreographer having worked with Escape Artist Films, Freize Films, Casta Diva Pictures, AnimMate and Ola Films. Her credits include the Wimpy Epic, Two Jet ads, Vodacom Dancer and Vodacom Rapper, Kelloggs Special K, 8ta, Always and Yo Jelly Dance off. She has also choreographed numerous corporates and stage shows. A project that was close to her heart was directing and choreographing the 2010 version of their annual Mr and Miss Johannesburg Fashion Show for The Johannesburg Junior Council in order to raise money for charity.

Duma Nhlapo

Duma Nhlapo

Hip Hop

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 flashmobs 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 team!

Chanel Gomes

Chanel Gomes

RAD Ballet

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.

Clint Lesch

Clint Lesch

Music Theory & Vocal Coach (Seniors)

Clint hails from the Western Cape where he attended the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre to study classical singing through the Trinity College of London. He went on to study at the Tshwane University of Technology where he completed a National Diploma in 2009 as well as a Baccalaureus Technologiae (Cum Laude) in Musical Theatre in 2010.

Clint has featured in a variety of productions during his professional career including Beautiful Creatures (Teatro 2010), Seussical Jr (Emperors Palace 2010), Dreamgirls (Teatro 2011), Forbidden Broadway (Lead Singer & Choreographer-UJ Con Cowen Theatre); Aladdin Jr (Jafar-National Children’s Theatre 2011 & 2012). He has performed in two of Janice Honeyman’s pantomimes Jack and the Beanstalk (Joburg Theatre, 2012) and Peter Pan (Joburg Theatre 2014).

Completely bilingual, Clint has also starred in Droomkind (Kevin & Musical Director-State Theatre 2014) and Reik Na Die Sterre (Werner-State Theatre 2014) as well as Afrikaans pantos Sneeuwitjie and Doringrosie (Emperor’s Palace 2016 and 2017).

Apart from featuring in many corporate performances as dancer and singer, other major credits include Starlight Express (Hopper 3 & Kruppe - Joburg Theatre 2013), West Side Story (Tony - The Playhouse Theatre 2013), Saturday Night Fever (State Theatre 2016) and Calling Me Home (Joburg Theatre 2017). He has also appeared in commercials for Aero Chocolate and Debonairs Pizza.

Clint has fulfilled his passion for education as a lecturer of singing voice and music theory in the Faculty of Musical Theatre at Oakfields College in Pretoria from 2012 to 2017. He is excited to be joining the JATA team as Seniors Vocal Coach and Music Theory teacher.

Cathrine Hopkins

Cathrine Hopkins

Music Theory & Vocal Coach (Juniors & Seniors)

Cathrine graduated with a B: Tech Musical Theatre (Cum Laude) from Tshwane University of Technology in 2005. Her stage credits include: The Sound of Music (State Theatre 2006), Hairspray (Tracy - Lyric Theatre 2007), The Rocky Horror Show (Magenta - Barnyard 2009), various People’s Theatre productions, Little Poof (touring), High School Musical (China, Hong Kong and Taiwan 2010).

She is a sought after musical director and has supervised many theatrical productions with success including: The Yellowwood (Grahamstown Arts Festival), Chef, Rattle ‘n Roll (Gold Reef City), Homegrown (Gold Reef City), African Adventure (Joburg Fringe, Naledi Award: Best Children's Theatre Production), Pop Quiz (Gold Reef City), The Rocky Horror Show (Barnyard - national tour).

Cathrine was the resident musical director for the People’s Theatre from 2009 – to 2011 and directed amongst others: The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Noddy, Jack and the Bean Stalk, Winnie The Pooh, Peter Rabbit as well as being resident on the more adult Little Poof for Space.com.

Cathrine has a passion for creating technical and artistic vocal superiority through sound and safe vocal coaching and has taught at primary, secondary and tertiary education level for the following iinstitutions: Tshwane University of Technology 2006-2007, Star Quality Academy 2007-2008, Waterfront Theatre School (Cape Town) 2013, Crawford College Sandton: Music and Drama Pre-Primary School and Heronbridge Primary School.

She is thrilled to be continuing her work at JATA, bringing out the best in young performers through a holistic approach to singing.

Demi Zoghby

Weslee Lauder

Drama and Film – Acting Coach (Seniors)

Born and raised in Johannesburg, Weslee obtained a B-Tech in Musical Theatre (Cum Laude) from Tshwane University of Technology. He made his professional debut in Buddy, the Buddy Holly Story (2010) and his theatre credits include African Adventure (2011), Dustin in Starlight Express (2013), Stoffel in Reik Na Die Sterre (2014) and Jonas Fogg in Sweeney Todd (2017).

Weslee starred in Janice Honeyman’s Jack and the Beanstalk (2012) as well as portraying Emperor Wun Tun Tum in her Aladdin (2013) and Dame Clementina Coconut in the subsequent Peter Pan (2014). He has received a Naledi Theatre Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Call Me Lee (2015).

Weslee has made a name for himself as choreographer, starting with Spring Awakening! (2011) as well as various music videos for LeopardTV. He premiered a critically acclaimed, neo-contemporary ballet J’Zel (2015) at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival and choreographed Songs For A New World (2016) and Saturday Night Fever (2016) which earned him Naledi Nomination for Best Original Choreographer. Weslee’s directorial credits include Stage by Stage (2015) starring Jonathan Roxmouth, From the Footlights (2015) and The Ultimate Phil Collins Tribute show: One More Night (2016). He was creative director and choreographer of the Ghoema Musiek Toekennings and received two Naledi Theatre Award nominations for Best Director of a Musical for Aspoestertjie (2015) and Sneeuwitjie (2016). Recently, Weslee directed Doringrosie: Die Slapende Skone (2017), directed and choreographed Jonathan Roxmouth’s From the Musicals (2017) and choreographed Rock Of Ages (2017) at Gold Reef City.

His film and television credits include: Elke Skewe Pot, HighRollers, and ‘n Hondelewe as well as many adverts and social media campaigns. This multi-talented performer, choreographer, director is also a lecturer in Musical Theatre performance at Oakfields College. Weslee is thrilled to be joining the JATA team and imparting his knowledge to the next generation of performers.

Demi Zoghby

Demi Joan Zoghby

Drama – Acting Coach (Juniors)

Demi Joan Zoghby graduated from the University of Pretoria with a BA Drama Degree. She then went on to complete one year of intense training in Dance and Musical Theatre at Oakfields College and is a vibrant, energetic, talented young woman with an absolute passion for her craft.

During Demi's four years of studying her credentials included: Anglo-Gold Ashanti Gogola TIE Project, Gopala Davies' Barbe Bleue: A Story About Madness, the South African premiere of Bat Boy the Musical directed by Anitra Davel-Van Zyl. As well as another South African first - Carrie the Musical directed by Elizma Badenhorst.

After her studies Demi worked as a substitute Drama Teacher at Greenside High School, as well as a a continuous substitute Drama Teacher for The Thea Gafin School of Speech and Drama. She has spent time travelling, writing and recording music in the UK and in 2016 Demi worked as Drama Teacher and Assistant Theatre Director at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts in New York, USA where she worked on productions of AIDA, On The Town, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, George M! and Winnie The Pooh.

Recently Demi has extended her repertoire by working as a voice over artist as well as the Stage Manager for Pieter Toerien's The Play That Goes Wrong directed By Alan Committie.

Demi is currently in the process of completing her Licentiate Teachers Qualification through Trinity College London and is excited to share her knowledge and passion with all the youngsters at JATA

Demi Zoghby

Renos Spanoudes

Drama & Film - Acting Coach (Seniors)

Renos Nicos Spanoudes is a teacher, actor, radio- and television presenter and award- winning writer. Born in SA of Greek-Cypriot parents, Renos graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with an MA in Education.

His film credits include A Drink in the Passage, Sugar in Looking for Jesus and Hades in Helen of Troy and he has also performed in the locally produced television series Isidingo as well as various advertisements.

Renos is no stranger to the stage having played Mr Kraller in The Diary of Anne Frank, Monty in Withnail and I and Dimitri Tsafendas in Tsafendas for the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees. He has also kicked up his heels in various musicals such as the South African premiere of Hairspray and also including taking the part of Dolittle in My Fair Lady and Gepetto in Pinocchio. Renos was most recently seen in his own comedic yet poignant one man show, Broken Plates where he demonstrated his skill not only as writer but also as a consummately versatile actor.

Renos previously taught Maths, Drama and English at Saheti School and he now heads up the Drama and Culture Department at King David Victory Park where he directs all the school’s dramatic activities. He can also be seen presenting on the educational Mindset channel and JATA is proud to welcome him as a member of the Drama and Film faculty.

Mary-Ann Barlow

Mary Anne Barlow

Drama and Film - Guest teacher and Workshop Facilitator

Mary-Anne Barlow is probably best known for her role as Egoli's super-bitch Coreen Edwards, from 1997-2003 and yet she is no stranger to the South African stage or international audiences who will recognize her for her starring role as Vanessa in the British television drama series Wild at Heart.

Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, Barlow received a National Diploma in Dramatic Art from Tshwane University of Technology (1997). She has performed in a number of theatre shows including Eskorts (Mandy Breytenbach Theatre in Pretoria 1997) and The Vagina Monologue Excerpts (2003) directed by Dawn Lindberg. After a few minor television roles Barlow hit the jackpot with the role on Egoli from 1997 - 2003. She subsequently appeared in a lead role on the SABC3 drama Shado's.

Mary-Anne has had supporting roles in movies like Last Rites of Passage and Cape of Good Hope, and lead roles in the 2004 film Roxi and the 2005 Gray Hofmeyr movie Mama Jack, with Leon Schuster. She also played the role of Dr. Sam Jones in the fourth season of the drama series Jacob's Cross. Other credits include Isidingo, Binnelanders, Ihawu, Roer Jou Voete and Snitch. She also played the role of Margaret Wallace in the television miniseries Cape Town (2016). She is eager to share her expertise and wealth of knowledge of her craft with the students of JATA.