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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

Director

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.

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.


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!


Lerato Moloi

Lerato Moloi

Acting Coach

A drama graduate of Tshwane University of Technology (2008), Lerato Moloi is a multi-faceted theatre practitioner who has worked in theatre as well as television and film. Her television credits include: Scandal, Wild at Heart, No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Home Affairs, Justice for All as well as Ntando in Backstage and a lead in The Res.

Apart from performing in various musicals her profuse theatrical credits include numerous industrial, corporate and educational theatre productions.

When not on stage, Lerato’s skills extend behind the scenes too and she has not only worked as props, costume and stage management in corporate theatre but has written and directed various educational shows including Mash the Myths which toured in Gauteng and the Cape, Nutrition and Positive nine-nine which tackled the pertinent issues surrounding HIV/Aids. Lerato has utilized her extensive dramatic knowledge in the running of acting workshops, touring school educational theatre shows as well as facilitating break-away sessions at corporate conferences.

She is excited to share her expertise and wealth of knowledge of her craft with the students of JATA.


Demi Zoghby

Demi Zoghby

Acting Coach

Demi Joan Zoghby graduated from the University of Pretoria with a BA Drama Degree. She then went on to complete one year of intensive 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.


Rowan Bakker

Rowan Bakker

Vocal Coach

Rowan is one of the most sought after musical directors in South Africa. His most recent credits include The Color Purple (2018) for the Joburg Theatre and Sweeney Todd, which followed hot on the heels of the South African premiere of Sister Act at the Joburg Theatre where he served as musical director and conductor.

Previously, he toured Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Malaysia and South Africa with Jersey Boys, winning him the 2014 Naledi Award for Best Musical Director alongside his mentor Bryan Schimmel. He was previously nominated for his work on the South African touring production of Mamma Mia!, and for the critically-acclaimed reconceptualised Pirates of Penzance. This was all a far cry from his start in Richard Loring’s The Young Ones and placing in the Top 16 on M-net’s “Project Fame”. He has had the privilege of working alongside Queen’s Roger Taylor and writer Ben Elton on the Asian Tour of We Will Rock You and with Anthony Rapp on the South African production of RENT. Other theatre credits include Menopause the Musical, Songs for a New World, Knights of Music, Forever Plaid, Carrie, Hot Mikado, Two in the Bush, Little Shop of Horrors, Forbidden Broadway, Dreamgirls, Beauty and the Beast and The Boys in the Photograph among others.

He has been resident musical supervisor for the National Children’s Theatre and The People’s Theatre and is co-director of Broadway Boot Camp.

JATA is proud to welcome Rowan as Vocal Coach so he can impart his wealth of knowledge to the next generation of performers.


Daniel Geddes

Daniel Geddes

Vocal Coach/Guitar

Daniel is a versatile performer, composer, and musician with an Honours Degree in Performing and Visual Arts from Wits University.

He has trained vocally with Adele Strombeck and Cathrine Hopkins, as well as studying musical theatre under Gina Shmukler, Bryan Schimmel, and Rowan Bakker.

His most recent performing highlights include playing Scrooge in NCT’s A Seussified Christmas Carol, guest starring in the most recent Johannesburg season of Ian von Memerty’s Handful of Keys, and playing the roles of Nicky and Trekkie Monster in the South African premiere of Avenue Q.

Daniel co-runs a small theatre production company, Liquid Fusion, which has produced award-winning work both locally and internationally. He has composed the music for many of these productions including the award-winning dance production, Burn. In 2015 he was employed as Associate Musical Director for University of Johannesburg Arts and Culture, where he co-ordinated the first two years of the massively successful UJ Can You Sing?

Daniel is also a regular accompanist, playing for shows, events, and weddings. He is excited to be joining the JATA as Juniors and Seniors Vocal Coach as well as Guitar teacher.


Gera Phielix

Megan Victor-Carelse

Vocal Coach



BIO COMING SOON!


Tulla Eckhart

Tulla Eckhart

Vocal Coach & Workshop/Holiday Club Facilitator

From an early age Tulla has been truly blessed to live her passion for music, entertaining and performing. She graduated from Technikon Pretoria (1999) with a National Higher Diploma in Drama and as a professional entertainer has performed as a front woman, vocalist, voice artist, musician, actor and dancer in South Africa and around the world.

Tulla completed her first international contract in Taiwan as a dancer at 'Encore Garden Park' (2000) and subsequently travelled overseas as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for “The Online Band” that had had numerous contracts across Asia and the Middle East from 2001 to 2008.

Since then she has been firmly based in Johannesburg, freelancing and dividing her time between performing - which included presenting for television, voice work for radio and television and appearing in corporate, musical and children’s theatre productions, as well as writing and recording her own music.

Tulla’s teaching career began facilitating group workshops for children aged 7 to 18 at the National Children’s Theatre in Parktown in 1999 where she also taught singing and music workshops from 2007 to 2012. She opened “The Tulla Show – School of Music” in 2008 due to a demand from private students who now range from 6 to 65 years old and have varying levels of musical knowledge. She is passionate about tailor-making individual plans to help them each achieve their own unique goals.

Throughout her teaching career, Tulla has had a calling for working with people with special needs and currently teaches at Bellavista School in Rosebank where her students have a range of learning and developmental difficulties and she creates specific programs for every student, designed to help the students overcome their challenges and build their confidence. Tulla also teaches music theory and singing at Crawford College in Benmore as well as teaching from her own studio in Franklin Roosevelt Park.

JATA is excited to benefit from her knowledge and expertise as we welcome Tulla as the music and singing co-ordinator and workshop facilitator for our Musical Theatre Holiday Clubs.


Jaco van Rensburg

Jaco Van Rensburg

Guest Teacher & Workshop Facilitator

Jaco has enjoyed a varied performing career, working on numerous international touring musical theatre productions such as Jersey Boys (Frankie Valli), CATS (Magical Mr. Mistoffelees) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Simon Zealotes), Chicago, RENT, Thoroughly Modern Millie and many more. Jaco has also worked behind the scenes as Choreographer, Company Manager and Resident Director for Add-Life Productions, KickstArt Theatre and Pieter Toerien Productions.

In 2016 he started his own producing company, VR Theatrical and has co-produced I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, The Mystery of Irma Vep, the SA premieres of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Rock of Ages, as well as Avenue Q which is currently on the boards at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre.

JATA is extremely privileged to be able to offer Jaco a platform as Guest Teacher and Workshop Facilitator to impart his immeasurable wealth of knowledge and experience to our students, to the benefit of the entire entertainment industry.


Claudia Moruzzi

Claudia Moruzzi

Contemporary and Jazz

Claudia started her dance career at the tender age of 5, doing ballet and modern at various studios in her neighbourhood.

Thereafter she attended Pro Arte high school and with ballet as her major, she was exposed to more styles, including Cechetti and Vaganova. At the end of matric, she made a vital decision not to audition for PACT.

She’d had enough of ballet and wanted to open herself up to more aspects of performance. She was accepted into the Musical Theatre course at Tshwane University where the curriculum included singing, acting and several styles of dance including jazz, contemporary, African and tap. Here she really found her niche as a dancer and in her third year, was nominated for a South African theatre award (now known as the Naledi Awards) for Most Promising Dancer on the strength of 2 dance pieces.

She was a favourite amongst top South African jazz choreographers and went on to a successful career in Musical Theatre, dance and choreography before moving away from professional performance completely.

Claudia teaches contemporary and jazz at various studios, and has taken up competing in pole dance nationally – an art that she has fallen in love with.