2017 Exciting News!

The Jaksa Team are very excited to be implementing a new rewards program called “SPOTLIGHT” highlighting our students who have shown not only improvement but also commitment, dedication, hard work & importantly, teamwork & kindness.  These students will be showcased on the website, social media & on our display boards.  We encourage parents to keep up to date with “Jaksa Performing Arts Studio” social media i.e FaceBook; Instagram; Twitter; Pinterest & YouTube as we’ve got a new marketing campaign happening too!

We are also integrating the CSTD Theatrical & Performing Arts Syllabus!

This syllabus aims to develop the triple threat, to train students to be versatile performers and to prepare them for musical theatre auditions.

Renowned musicals are are studied at each level and is designed to allow teachers creative scope, choreographically and stylistically.

2017 is going to be full of excitement and new adventures!

The First of Studio ‘First’s’ for 2015

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Today is the ‘first’ blog post on the ‘first’ Sunday after the ‘first’ week of classes.

After ten years in business, there aren’t quite so many ‘firsts’ anymore, so I am excited to write about our ‘first week.’

I have many words to describe last week however the one that popped into my head ‘first’, was mayhem.  It was an exciting, chaotic week of mayhem!

To begin the week, we had Mad Monday! Always a hectic start to the week, our ‘first’ Monday was just that. Students were unsure of what studio classes were held in, parents were unsure of timetables and teachers were unsure of class numbers. We had people wanting to buy uniforms and shoes, teachers looking for music and syllabus (though that should have been sorted beforehand…. Insert a Miss Jahn frown.) Our security camera’s were turned on for the ‘first’ time this year and registration forms were flying about, like the scene in Harry Potter’s The Sorcerer’s Stone when all the mail flies into Uncle Vernon’s house.

Jay John’s hosted our ‘first’ hip hop dance workshop for the year and we all had our first studio pictures with him (and our ‘first’ set of sore muscles!)

We had nervous little bellies of new students attending their ‘first’ class at Jaksa.

Yes, we had a few ‘first’ tears but after warm hugs from Mother’s and the start of ‘first’ exercises, everyone had their ‘first’ smiles and skipped out of classes with their ‘first’ class enjoyed by all.

At Jaksa, we love creating….. ‘First’s!’

Daddies are Brave.

I was going through the concert pictures and discovered these awesome shots.  They’re not awesome because of the pictures themselves (even though I do think they’re fantastic!) They’re awesome because it captured a magic moment of the brave Fathers who had the gusto to move out of their comfort zone and dance with their daughters in the End of Year Concert.

Out of 40 Father’s asked, eight brave men attended regular classes to learn a basic jive with their daughters. They put 150% effort into their rehearsals and even though it was hot and sweaty work twirling their gorgeous girls around and they got lost in their format here and there – they never complained.

What was magical, was the look on their daughters faces…. Priceless. That’s what we do at Jaksa.  We give the opportunity to everyone to create little pockets of priceless memories.

Well done guys. You were awesome. Xx Miss Jahn

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As a singing and dance teacher, my job is to raise confident little people – First.

Today, we live in a world that is full of endless opportunities. Children have a smorgasboard of extracurricular activities to choose from: swimming, tennis, netball, softball and all other sporting activities connected with balls!; chess, debating, girl guides, scouts, playstation 4, wi, xbox and other PC, DS, QRST games…. but let’s not forget about diving, go-karting, gymnastics, golf and thumb wars! The list is endless…

What worries me is our society is immersed with instant gratification, so how does that change our children’s confidence in the long term? Are we breeding a generation full of bravado, not a genuine confidence in sight? Will they have no understanding of commitment, no concept of reaping the rewards of hard work nor will they understand the value of money or loyalty.
I am not an expert however I have had over twenty-seven years of experience dealing with children (and parents) and it’s fascinating to see what ideals, ethics and life skills are being lost along the way.

From a performer’s perspective, our 21st century artists need to be formidable talents. They need to be able to sing, dance, act, flip and do tricks, learn to play an instrument, read sheet music all while balancing their hectic schedule as they self promote, write marketing campaigns and keep ahead of all various social media’s, tweet, beep and be discreet! (And I know I’ve only revealed the tip of the ice berg!) They need to understand their bodies, incorporate ways to hide their weaknesses and highlight their strengths, diet and nutrition, work health and safety, fashion and beauty, stage make-up and hair, update their skills and techniques and keep abreast with “re-inventing” themselves. That’s a lot to do! It’s a lot to think about!

But what about those stars who rise to instant fame through Media platforms such as Australia’s Got Talent, X-Factor or So You Think You Can Dance. My focus is on the younger performers who have obtained a quick claim to fame when I ask, “What detrimental effect is this instant stardom going to have on that child’s persona & how will they cope in the future?”

As singing and dance teachers, I believe that our main focus should be to raise confident little people – First. We need to teach them to trust their judgement, work hard, commit and set small goals, make healthy choices and good decisions and learn to love themselves. We need to guide them to develop a strong sense of self-worth and understand that it is okay to be the square peg even if you don’t fit the round hole. It’s okay to make mistakes and it’s okay to ask for help.

The Entertainment industry is full of knock-backs. Instant stardom has a short life and is few and far between. However If you’re confident in yourself and have a strong sense of well being, then it’s easier to handle the negatives thrown at you. No matter what you do, you will always succeed.
Even though I’m a singing and dance teacher, my job is to raise confident little people – First.

21 Days until Concert!

There are now only 21 days until the concert. Wow!! I cannot believe that another year has flown by with the speed of 1000 gazelles and here I am, awaiting the crazy whirlwind that inevitably pops up as the Concert day looms closer. I write this as I sit eating my breakfast and organising my week, day, hour, minute…. As dance/singing/drama teachers we have the ability to squash 400 things into the small space of an hour. A rare talent I believe! And then we wonder why we get so tired! Ha ha. Today I have a very long “To Do” list. Already I have ironed two sets of school uniforms, made school lunches, dropped the kiddies off to school, put two loads of washing on and hung one out, put new bed linens on one bed, put the dishes away, fed the pets, emailed several clients, taken 4 phone calls and updated my website. It’s only 9.00am. Now I have to finalise insurances, update banking, finalise invoices, organise head pieces, finalise some costumes, organise tech runs, edit music, mix vocal tracks, go for a walk (to keep my derrier in check), then tonight I will teach for 3 hours and then attend the first audition sessions of The Regals Musical Society – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (I am the choreographer.) No doubt, when I crawl into bed at midnight I will be a tad tired. Perhaps I’ll need to fit in a nanna nap somewhere. TTFN, lots to do! Until next time. Zoom, zoom, zoom!

Being a Drama & Musical Theatre Student.

In Drama and Musical Theatre, we do two performances a year. A Pantomime and the End of Year Concert. All of our scripts are written by Miss Jahn and they are always light-hearted, and contain a child-friendly humour to them. Being a drama student is constantly fun. Playing acting games, working on improvisation, becoming a character and learning lines are part of what we do over the year. The Musical theatre is also available to drama students as a separate class on the same day but you have to do Drama to be able to do this class. Musical theatre is an extension class. It consists of singing, dancing and acting by learning songs as a group, then adding music and also lines to make short scenes. We also get to learn how to direct, choreograph and costume other students in our small performances. Drama and Musical Theatre classes keep me looking forward to Monday afternoons.  Lana (student aged 15 @ Jaksa for 7 years.)

Concert Rehearsals from a Student’s Perspective.

Rehearsals are always full on, but are definitely needed. They help us (the students) remember our cues for when we need to go on stage. At Jaksa we specialise in Musical Theatre, so our end of year concert always has a storyline and is full of Singing, Dancing and Acting!  Last year we did an adaptation of the Wizard of Oz and I got to play one of the lead characters called Dot. This year we’re doing an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and I’m playing a Jaksa-Who (like a Tweedle-Dee) and a talking Guitar! ha ha. So we don’t just have music cues but dialogue cues as well. We need to know exactly what’s happening. The rehearsals give us time to practice changing our costumes between all the singing, dancing and acting routines. The singers and drama students also use hand held radio microphones and head set microphones. Each student who uses them needs to know where to go to get the mics and where to put them when we finish. We also need to know what colour or number mic we have to use because the sound man has our mics tuned to our voices. This part does take a bit of time, especially when there’s new students who haven’t worked with them before. We also need the practice joining everything together. Jaksa rehearsals are a great way to get everyone ready for the end of year concert and help students know exactly where to stand on stage and when we need to get ready in costumes, with microphones and props. I forgot about props! But that’s another story! Lana (aged 15 & student @ Jaksa for 7 years.)

Singing Teachers get to play with fancy costumes and listen to music all day!

I was prompted to write this blog by a student of mine.

This student is the sweetest little thing and she told me that she wants to get a job like mine because, “singing teachers get to play with fancy costumes and listen to music all day.”
Oh, from the mouths of babes.

My instant reaction was hesitation because that’s the least of my obligations but then I realised that’s all they see me do! So a grand chuckle pursued. Upon reflection, I do have the best job in the world! This flamboyant industry is full on, it’s hard work and I love every minute of it. However, it’s also complete with intricacies and daily chores that no-one ever gets to see. For a Dance teacher or Singing teacher we have to have many bows in our quiver.
I know for a fact, that I am a multitasking juggler under strict time constraints and regardless of the curve balls thrown to me. I must keep those balls up in the air! Not only are we expected to run a profitable business with up to date bookwork, business stats, BAS & tax implications. We need to market our business and keep up to date with changing social media. We also have to create a safe space, where each student gains confidence and support as they immerse themselves in learning this fine art. For those with families, you also need to keep on top of homework and school activities, housework and meals!
It can be a solo living consumed by bookwork and lists, lots of lists!

At my studio I am lucky enough to be the creator of all that we do.
I organise the concepts of our Pantomimes & Concerts; I write all the scripted works accordingly; I choose all the music, making sure it’s age appropriate and in the right key to sing; I give all the teachers their music and working parameters; I record all the student group singing work and help to mix and edit all the music tracks; I organise all the show runs, keeping in mind times to costume change; I book the venues, seats and organise production of ticket fonts and requirements; I organise all the costumes ensuring they suit the style of the routine and the different shapes of the students; I have to think about stage sets and hand held prop requirements and more often than not I make them from design and concept through to the finished product; I set up sound equipment and live microphones so the student benefits from practicing and working with state of the art sound equipment; I have to liaise with sound, lighting and audio engineers. Then of course I need to teach everything to the student within a time frame that enables them to feel confident for their performance.
And that’s just during concert prep!

Yes there are a lot of “I’s” in there and I do get some fantastic volunteers helping along the way.
I’m certainly not perfect (don’t tell my husband that though ha ha) my costume room is a shemozzle, I need to organise my costume hire aspect of the business (which I’ve still not done!), I’ve only just updated my website and I was really late in editing last year’s concert DVD because my computer chucked several tantrums!

But, I am lucky cos’ I get to play with fancy costumes and listen to music all day. lol

“Hairspray” & “Neighbours” stars to visit Milperra

HAIRSPRAY AND NEIGHBOURS STARS TO VISIT MILPERRA FOR SCHOOL HOLIDAY WORKSHOPS AT JAKSA

Stars of the stage and screen are making their way to Milperra for Canvas; school holiday workshops presented by Industry.Brothers.Creative.

Ashford Avenue performing arts studio Jaksa will host former Neighbours star Chelsea Jones (aka Tegan Freedman) and Hairspray sensation Nancy Denis (aka Inez) on July 11 and 12 for the two-day intensive.

Jaksa director Jahn Regan explained that the first day will comprise commercial dance sessions, led by Nancy Denis who has also appeared in stage productions of The Great Gatsby, Panjo 5 and Annie, as well as Hairspray.

“The workshop will focus on musical theatre, hip-hop and jazz, as well as lyrical/contemporary dance” Ms Regan said.

The second workshop will be led by Chelsea Jones, who many will recognise from The Sleepover Club, Stormworld, Wormwood, Streetsmartz and Foreign Exchange, in addition to Neighbours. The focus of this workshop will be on acting for film, television and the stage.

“Participants can expect to learn about and further develop their skills in screen performance, theatre technique, script and character analysis,” Ms Regan said.

The workshops are suitable for students of all ages and cost $130, although an early bird special is available before June 24, bringing the price down to $99. The workshops are open to the public, and highly recommended for budding dancers and actors.

“We’re really excited to be giving kids who are passionate about the arts the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business,” Ms Regan said.

“Plus it’s a great way for parents to free up a couple of days for themselves during the school holidays, while their kids are having fun learning lots in a safe and nurturing environment.”

Registrations and enquiries should be directed to ibc.workshops@live.com.au.