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Jaya Karan

Jaya is owner-director of Sapphire Dance, and also founder of Australia’s largest Indian dance studio – Studio J. A dancer-entrepreneur at heart, Jaya has been the driving force behind both companies success. She is a former Physiotherapist who now works as a full-time dancer, talent agent & studio owner. She continues to choreograph, teach, perform and works with some of the best in Melbourne’s dance community.

Ida Ghatge

Ida Ghatge

Ida is Assistant Creative Director at Sapphire Dance. With over 20 years dance experience, Ida is a Kathak dancer who trained under guru Shri. Harish Gangani. She also attended the Terence Lewis Dance Academy in Mumbai, and later trained in multiple classical & contemporary dance forms. As a seasoned performing artist & choreographer, Ida has graced stages across India, Europe & Australia. She teaches a fusion of Bollywood & Kathak at Studio J Dance.

Shamita Sivabalan

Shamita Sivabalan

Sham is a performer, creator and theatre maker. Her foundations began with 15 years of ballet training, and she later completed her BA of Performing Arts at Monash Uni. ⁠Over the years she has picked up Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop, Bollywood, Dancehall and Vogue. When not shaking up stages across Australia, Sham works as an actor, model, dance teacher and movement director. She is an active performer in Australia’s queer scene, and is passionate about creating for the LGBTQI community.⁠

Laki Vasan

Laki has been dancing since the age of 5, and is a multi-skilled Bhangra, Bollywood & Bharatanatyam artist. She co-founded & coached Ranjhe, an all boys Bhangra team. She has performed on a wide range of stages across Australia, India & Singapore. As well as performing with Sapphire Dance & Ranjhe Bhangra, Laki also runs her own Bharatanatyam dance school, Natya Praana.

Elise May

Sonya Joshi

Sonya has been dancing for over 17 years and is trained in multiple genres, including in Bollywood, Bhangra and Odissi. Sonya was part of Shiamak Dance Academy for 10 years, and later co-founded her own dance company – LAKS Dance Crew. Sonya has extensive experience in performing, teaching and choreographing, and is currently an instructor & bridal choreographer at Studio J Dance.

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Emily Casey

Emily has been dancing for over 24 years in a range of styles including hip hop, bollywood, jazz, contemporary, ballet & tap dance. A versatile performer, Emily is currently part of hip hop crew The Legacy & Co and has danced Bollywood professionally across Melbourne. ⁠Emily is a regular guest teacher at Studio J Dance, Melbourne’s leading Bollywood dance studio.

Zoe Arsana

Zoe Arsana

Zoe began her dance journey at a very young age, training in ballet, urban, jazz and tap. Zoe’s vast experience in the dance industry, paired with her Bachelor of Education qualification, has led her to work with numerous schools & studios across Victoria. Zoe has taught, choreographed and directed several stage productions, workshops and showcases. She also currently performs with Team Dream, Melbourne’s leading children’s entertainment group.

Elise May

Ashwini Chettiar

Ashwini was born in Gandhinagar (Gujarat), and is of Tamil/Telugu heritage. She has been dancing for over 19 years, and is trained in a huge range of styles including Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Indian folk, Contemporary and Hip Hop. A versatile & experienced dancer, Ashwini teaches multiple styles at Studio J Dance, including Garba & Semi-Classical. She is also Director & Founder of South Indian dance crew, Angel Collective.

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Erica Grove

A versatile performer, Erica has extensive training in jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, ballroom & Latin, including two years’ full-time training to achieve her Diploma in Dance Performance. In 2009, Erica travelled to Mumbai as a back-up dancer, where she performed in several Bollywood movies, stage shows and film clips. Having danced on the sets of Bollywood for 6 months, Erica is our reel-life Bollywood talent!

Elise May

Joshinder Chaggar

Joshinder has been dancing, choreographing and teaching since 2002. Josh also works extensively in theatre, TV and films. She has performed Australia wide and internationally in Germany, Malaysia, Dubai, Pakistan & India. Joshinder holds an Honours in Dance Research and is currently pursuing her PhD in Arts & Education. She is also wellness manager and a Bollywood & Bhangra teacher at Studio J Dance.⁠⁠

Raksha

Raksha Parsnani

Having fallen in love with Shakira’s moves, Raksha has been learning & performing belly dance since 2006. She has trained extensively under numerous teachers across the globe. Raksha’s dedication to this art form led to her teaching and choreographing, including providing belly-dance training for Bollywood actress, Jacqueline Fernandez. Raksha currently teaches her hugely popular Belly-Bolly fusion classes at Studio J.

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Bhanupriya Chettiar

Bhanupriya has grown up her entire life performing, whether that be for community events, competitions, shoots, or even orchestras. Her favourite dance styles are Garba, K-Pop and Bollywood, but she loves the opportunity to learn anything new. Priya has been a regular dancer at Studio J for the past 2 years and currently performs with several dance crews including Angel Collective & K-pop with Venom Dance Crew.

Our Story

We have been featured in a mini documentary series as shown on the big screen at Lido Cinemas (Hawthorn). Directed by award winning Australian film director, Clayton Jacobson (known for his debut feature film, Kenny), the documentary shares our story and vision, as narrated by Sapphire Dance co-founder and Director, Jaya Karan.