Teaching Faculty

Perth Circus & Dance Academy is committed to providing quality dance and performing arts tuition in a safe and inclusive learning environment. Our vision is to provide world-class facilities to Perth performers, where they can build the foundations for a successful career in performing, whether that be in dance, circus or theatre. 

 

At the heart of PCDA are our core values of Passion, Confidence, Dedication and Appreciation (PCDA). We strive to instil a love for performing arts with a strong focus on encouraging students to have the confidence to experiment and develop their own individual artistic style, while maintaining a strong technical foundation in their work. At PCDA we are dedicated to providing high quality tuition that is tailored to the individual endeavours of each of our students. Finally, we firmly believe in developing a supportive dance family who have a great appreciation for each other and their teachers, as well as the efforts that go into becoming well-rounded, successful performers.

Jemma Gray

Principal Teacher & Owner

As a passionate dancer and educator, I always knew that I wanted to share my love of dance and performing with students.

* Bachelor of Education (Secondary)

* Cert IV Dance Teaching & Management (in progress)

* Acrobatics Arts Certified Teacher

* Progressing Ballet Technique Certified Teacher

* WCOPA Talent Scout 2020

* Meilan Music Perth Dancers Casting Director

* Cert III in Business

* First Aid

* National Police Clearance

* WWCC

As a young child, Jemma was no stranger to the stage or the limelight, beginning her performing career strutting her stuff as a tiny tot down the catwalk.

It wasn't until the age of 10 that Jemma began dancing, enrolling in her first jazz class at Bullsbrook Dance Academy. The following year, Jemma extended her dance tuition and found her passion for tap. From this moment on, Jemma lived for all things dance and began training in all styles, competing in State Dance Competitions and successfully completing examinations in the CSTD syllabus. Jemma has been taught classical ballet under both the CSTD and RAD syllabus.

After finishing school, Jemma went on to complete a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) minoring in Drama Education. Since 2016, Jemma has worked as a Secondary HASS teacher and was nominated for the WA Teacher of the Year "People's Choice Award".

Since 2010 Jemma has been teaching dance at various studios throughout Perth, choreographing routines for both recreational and elite competition students in various styles including jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary and acrobatics. 

2017 has proved to be a pivotal year for Jemma as she successfully gained recognition as a Module 1 certified Acrobatic Arts Teacher receiving a top score of 100% .

 

Additionally in 2017 Jemma was approached to be the Perth dancers Casting Director for Meilan Music's production "Thumbelina" performing at the Perth Convention Centre in December. Travelling from China, Meilan Music brings opportunities for Perth performers, hosting a cast of dancers, singers, actors and live musicians. This opportunity has led to an ongoing partnership between PCDA and Meilan Music.

In 2019, Jemma was approached to be a Talent Scout for the World Championships of Performing Arts.

Jemma is excited to merge her love of dance with her passion for education at Perth Circus & Dance Academy.

Sarah Gray

Principal Teacher & Owner

Ever since my first introduction to teaching, I have had a strong interest in passing on my knowledge and sharing my passion for circus and dance. Inspiring others to pursue their dreams and providing them with the tools to do so, is one of the best gifts you can give.

* Bachelor of Circus Arts

* Cert III in Business

* WWCC

Sarah began her tuition in Acrobatics at Bullsbrook Dance Academy at the age of 7 after showing a natural ability and fondness for being upside down. The following year saw her pick up a jazz class where she began learning the CSTD syllabus. From this point on, Sarah successfully performed in numerous State Dance Competitons and theatrical CSTD examinations.

Starting much later than most, Sarah began classical ballet training at the age of 15 but very quickly began demonstrating strong technique which led her to extend her training at the WAAPA Summer Ballet School.

The year of 2013 was a pivotal one with her first trip to Melbourne in April with Tanya Kerr, principal teacher of Bullsbrook Dance Academy. It was on this trip that she was introduced to the circus world, taking private lessons in aerial hoop, silks (tissu) and various other styles of circus.

Following much resistance, Sarah auditioned for the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), not really expecting to be accepted. Much to her surprise, she received a first round offer and moved interstate to Melbourne in January 2014. Over the next 3 years she trained five days a week and graduated with a Bachelor degree in Circus Arts, specialising in Static Trapeze, Contortion, Handstands and Group Acrobatics. Each year brought success to Sarah with her receiving awards for academic and artistic excellence, as well as the award for the highest achieving graduate in the Bachelor of Circus Arts in 2016.

During this time, Sarah performed in numerous shows and corporate events including "Things Not of This Earth", "The Landscape Project", NBL Season Launch and Melbourne's White Night.

Since the age of 15 Sarah has been teaching dance in the styles of ballet, jazz, tap and acrobatics. She has also taught circus skills to children of various ages at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA). 

Sarah hopes that PCDA will grow to become a vibrant, family friendly studio that equips students with strong technical foundations to pursue a career in the performing arts industry.

Aimee Deighton

* WWCC

* National Police Clearance

* Cert II in Dance studied at WAAPA

* Cert III in Dance studied at Charlesworth Institute of Dance

Aimee’s passion for dance began at a very young age. First studying ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary at Jody Burchill’s Dance in Perspective. It was here she achieved her CSTD advanced theatrical examination and CSTD Advanced Gold Bar (Tap) examination.

 

After many years of dance in different genres, Aimee realised her passion for ballet and strived to achieve success in this area of dance. In 2012 she was offered a position at WAAPA in the certificate II program. Aimee was accepted into a full-time program at the Charlesworth Ballet Institute the same year, where she studied the Vaganova method and achieved a Cert III in Dance.

 

From here, Aimee went on to continue her studies in classical ballet at the WA Conservatoire of Classical Dance. Over this time she studied the RAD syllabus in which she completed her Advanced 1 certificate. She also studied the Cecchetti syllabus in which she also received an Advanced 1 certificate.

 

Aimee was then offered a pre-professional placement with the Victorian State Ballet Company, from which she went on to be promoted to a Young Artist professional position with the company.

 

Upon returning to Perth from a professional career, Aimee has found a passion for teaching and sharing her love and joy of ballet with others.

Shannon Monson

Teacher
Hip Hop, Senior Jazz & Contemporary

* WWCC

* National Police Clearance

* Advanced Diploma of Performing Arts

* Diploma of Performing Arts (Dance)

Shannon has been dancing since the age of 2, where she grew up participating in exams and competitions. She was then accepted into John Curtin studying in the specialist ballet program where she performed in seasonal ballets and contemporary pieces. 


In 2012 she was accepted into Principal Academy of Dance studying many genres which include ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, showgirl and pas de deux. She graduated after two years of full time with her Advanced Diploma.


Shannon is experienced in CSTD, ISTD, RAD, ATOD syllabus's.
Shannon now enjoys sharing the studio with her students and watching them grow into technical and passionate dancers.

Head of Ballet

Elaina O'Connor

* WWCC

* National Police Clearance

* Cert II in Dance studied at WAAPA

* Cert III in Dance studied at Charlesworth Institute of Dance

Elaina O’Connor is 20 years old, and has been performing for as long as she can remember, discovering musical theatre at the age of 12.

 

Elaina was singing as soon as she could talk and took any opportunity to perform on stage. After performing in musicals during her secondary education including “The Wedding Singer”, “The Addams Family”, and “Grease”, where she played the role of ‘Sandy’, Elaina went on to study and graduate with an Advanced Diploma in Performing Arts at APAN Academy. This led to her being fortunate enough to play the role of ‘Elle Woods’ in the APAN Entertainment production of “Legally Blonde” in 2018, and ‘Dorothy Gale’ in “The Wizard of Oz” 2019.

 

Elaina has also played the lead role of ‘Veronica Sawyer’ in the Hama Production of “Heathers”. This show was brought to life at the State Theatre as apart of Perths Fringe Festival 2020.

 

Elaina enjoys bringing roles to life for audiences, and is looking forward to passing on her knowledge learnt through her musical theatre training.

Coming Soon...

Acrobatics Teacher
Head of Musical Theatre / Vocals
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Email: admin@perthcircusdanceacademy.com.au

Phone: 0430 333 446