Jaya is owner-director of Studio J and Sapphire Dance. As a choreographer, teacher, performer and entrepreneur, Jaya has been the driving force behind both companies success. She is a Bharatanatyam and Bollywood dancer, and has been performing for over 20 years. Jaya is also a physiotherapist, and she believes in the positive change that dance can bring to our mental, physical and social wellbeing. Read more about Jaya in our full interview here.
Gerard has the rare gift of being an equally exceptional dancer, teacher and choreographer. Trained in hip hop, Bollywood, contemporary, jazz, Latin and commercial dance, Gerard is also founder of Provokativ Dance Co. A highly sought after artist, Gerard has worked on countless shows, festivals and events throughout Australia & internationally, including the recent sell-out stage productions by BASS FAM Creative. Read more about Gerard in our full interview here.
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!
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 and Provokativ Dance Co.
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 LGBTIQ community.
With over 18 years of 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 moved to Melbourne where she completed her Honours in Psychology at Melbourne Uni. An experienced performer, Ida has graced the stage across India, Europe and Australia. She currently teaches a fusion of Bollywood and Kathak at Studio J Dance.
Ranvir learnt Bharatanatyam for several years at The Temple of Fine Arts, Malaysia. After taking a break to pursue a career in law, Ranvir returned to dance and resumed her Bharatanatyam training under Govind Pillai. As a Bollywood, Bhangra & classical dancer, Ranvir has performed throughout Melbourne, Australia & Malaysia. She is also co-producer at BASS FAM Creative, known for their sell-out dance productions.
Tiana has been dancing for 14 years, having trained in hip hop, commercial, Bollywood, jazz and contemporary. Alongside dancing with Provokativ, Sapphire Dance, and studying her Bachelor of Education, Tiana also began training as an aerialist in both pole dance and lyra in 2017, where she now currently holds the national title of Australian Amateur Pole Performer representing Pole and Aerial Divas.
Joshinder has been dancing, choreographing and teaching since 2002. A prolific creator, Josh also works extensively in theatre, TV and films. She has performed Australia wide and internationally in Germany, Malaysia, Dubai, Pakistan & India. Joshinder recently completed her Honours in Dance Research at Deakin University and is currently studio manager and teacher at Studio J Dance.
Piyali is co-founder of Sapphire Dance. She completed her Bharatanatyam arrangetram in 2005 and is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Health.
Kanika Gupta Sikand
Kanika has been training in Bharatanatyam since the age of five and has performed in numerous productions in Melbourne and overseas. One of our original Sapphire members, Kanika is currently on maternity leave with her first bub!
Dharsh started dance classes as a hobby, which turned professional after co-founding Monsuun Dance in Sydney. A versatile and talented dancer who is quick to pick up any dance style, Dharsh was snapped up by Sapphire Dance after relocating to Melbourne in 2019.
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.
“Sapphire Dance performed at my 50th and they were amazing. The 2 girls who danced (Rene & Kanika) were so engaging – colorful, fun, professional and very Bollywood!! They had everyone up dancing and trying out the moves. Everyone raved about them and so happy I booked them for a special night. Would definitely recommend them for anyone wanting to have a fun and unique night!”