Meet our amazing MJDS Team!

“The staff are dedicated, beautiful women with a true passion for dance and performing who create a positive environment for young girls. Excellent role models for our growing daughter”
– Carla, Dance Parent of Maxi-Jazz

<span id="MAXINE">MAXINE JOHNSON</span>

MAXINE JOHNSON

Owner and Principal

Hi my name is Maxine Johnson, I have studied since the age of 3. Competing in Latin, Ballroom, New Vogue, and studying in Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary. I am a qualified Adjudicator and coach and have received my ACHPER Certificate (Australian Council for Health and Physical Education)...

I opened Maxi-Jazz in 1987 and have trained many students who have successfully opened their own studios, with Ylanda now at the forefront as part owner and principal, bringing such a passion of dance, new ideas and development to our family friendly studio. It is a new beginning to our studio after 30 years of operation!

FUN FACT: I love spending time with my grandchildren!

FAVOURITE STYLE:
I Love it all.

SHORT MESSAGE: No matter what age, ability, gender or physical obstacles, make sure you keep your passion of dance alive by having fun and participating!!

<span id="YLANDA">YLANDA ROBINSON (JOHNSON)</span>

YLANDA ROBINSON (JOHNSON)

Owner, Principal and Senior Teacher

Miss Ylanda, Principal and Owner of Maxi-Jazz Dance Studio has been dancing for 30 years. Styles that she has studied over these years include Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Contemporary, Pointe, Hip Hop, Funk, Cheerleading, Musical Theatre, Ballroom, Latin and New Vogue.

Ylanda has been teaching for the studio for 20 years now, with taking the final step in 2007 as becoming the Principal of Maxi-Jazz Dance Studio alongside Maxine, marking it her 10th year as Principal.

As well as just learning and teaching dance, Ylanda has performed at various events throughout New South Wales, and has competed in Ballroom competitions all over Australia.

Miss Ylanda took 9 of her students to participate in our USA Dance Tour in January 2012 and 16 students in 2014 with performances at Disneyland, California Adventure Park, Hollywood Boulevard and Universal Studios in LA .She and her students also took part in classes at ‘The Edge’ dance studio in LA and on ‘Broadway" in New York, taking classes in Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre and Ballet. In December 2016 she performed alongside 22 of her students on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Sea. Miss Ylanda says ’these trips are an opportunity of a lifetime for myself and the students. We had an amazing time dancing in Disneyland and Universal Studios and learnt SOOO much from the amazing teachers in the USA dance studios. I can‘t wait to start planning 2018’s trip!!’.

Miss Ylanda has dedicated her life to dance and Maxi-Jazz, and enjoys nothing more than to see her students having fun, getting fit and confident by doing something they enjoy.

She is like a proud mum of each and every student, every time they step on the to stage to perform!

FUN FACT: I started dancing 2 years of age due to turned in feet! I’m a movie buff! I love to lay around with my boys and watch movies, especially Disney ones!

FAVOURITE STYLE: It’s hard to pick but probably jazz!

SHORT MESSAGE: After an incredible 2017, (MJDS’s 30th birthday, my 20th year of teaching and 10th year as Principal), 2018 is shaping up to be another incredible year. I am so motivated and excited to implement our new teaching programs and practices. I’m looking forward to watch all our students grow and shine in each and every aspect of their dance lives. I am so proud of my teaching team and the hard work they put in for our MJDS families and I cannot wait to continue to be a more supporting, motivating and inspiring leader. Together let’s make 2018 absolutely amazing!

<span id="MIRANDA">MIRANDA HYLAND</span>

MIRANDA HYLAND

Team Leader and Senior Teacher

Miss Miranda has been dancing with Maxi-Jazz since 1996 and in 2008 she joined the teaching staff. Over this time she has studied many styles of dance including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Ballroom, Latin and New Vogue. Miss Miranda has participated in many performances and competitions over the years representing Maxi-Jazz everywhere she goes.

Along with being an enthusiastic and dedicated Senior Teacher, Miss Miranda holds a Bachelor of Primary Teaching/Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies and works as a Year 1 Teacher. She is a passionate dancer who always has a smile on her face. She takes pride in teaching dance to her students and loves to see them enjoy their classes just as much as she does.

Miss Miranda also joined Maxi-Jazz on their USA Dance Tour in January 2012, performing At Disneyland and Universal Studios in Los Angeles. She attended classes at The Edge Dance Studio in LA and on Broadway in New York.

FUN FACT: I started dancing 4 and a half years old. I started in the tiny tots at the old studio location in Charlestown. I have an extra bone in each foot.

FAVOURITE STYLE: My favourite style would have to be Jazz. It was where I started all those years ago. It has given me my foundation for dance, body control and discipline I need to pursue other styles of dance. I feel at home in the style of Jazz where I can express my happy and smiling personality within my routines.

SHORT MESSAGE: In 2018, I’m most excited about working within my new role of the studio as team leader, meeting all our wonderful new families and watching our current students try something new and continue to flourish at MJDS!

<span id="ANNIE">ANNIE STEWART</span>

ANNIE STEWART

Team Leader

Miss Annie has been studying and teaching dance at Maxi-Jazz since 1992. Over the years, she has performed and taught styles including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Contemporary, Funk, Hip Hop, Cheer and Musical Theatre. She has performed at local festivals, shows, Ballroom competitions and other special events, and has enjoyed seeing many of her students do the same since beginning her Dance Teaching career in 2005.

Miss Annie is a Primary Teacher currently teaching Kinder part-time, and holds a Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies with a focus on Creative Arts.

FUN FACT: I started dancing with Miss Maxine at the age of 4. I have a daughter, Alexia, who is 2 years old, and have 2 cats and a rabbit.

FAVOURITE STYLE: Jazz

SHORT MESSAGE: Hi everyone! I absolutely love Maxi-Jazz and am so excited about taking on the role of Team Leader this year. My passion is to inspire young people to have confidence and really love what they do and this is the best place for it.

<span id="NIKI">NIKI NICOLAOU</span>

NIKI NICOLAOU

Senior Teacher

Miss Niki has been dance teaching since the age of 16, joining Maxi Jazz Dance Studio in 2013. Starting dance at the age of 4, she has trained in RAD Ballet, Khorabushka Character, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop and Musical Theatre.

Miss Niki completed her Bachelor of Arts with a Psychology and Sociology major in 2014. Since completing her studies she has worked as a case manager in Out Of Home Care and is now working to promote inclusion for people with a disability at Ability Links (St Vincent De Paul Society). In her spare time, Miss Niki arranges performance opportunities at community events for Perform-Ability students.

FUN FACT: I am petrified of snakes (it’s an irrational fear)

FAVOURITE STYLE: I have a passion for contemporary because it gives me a sense of freedom to open up emotionally.

SHORT MESSAGE: I am excited about implementing some of the improvements we have for 2018. I am so looking forward to meeting and welcoming new students into our family. I know we are in for another year of hard work and dedication from our students and the team. Bring it on!

<span id="HOLLY">HOLLY ROBINSON</span>

HOLLY ROBINSON

Senior Teacher and Admin Team

Miss Holly has been dancing with Maxi-Jazz since 2010. Over the years she has taken classes in Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical and Burlesque and continue to study these styles of dance. In 2012, Miss Holly joined the teaching staff at Maxi-Jazz and this will be her 7th year teaching. This year she will once again be a senior teacher and one of the AcroDance teachers here at MJDS.

Over the years Miss Holly has performed in many local festivals, shows and events. In 2012 and 2014 she was a part of the Maxi-Jazz America Performance Troupe who travelled to the USA and performed at Disneyland, California Adventure Park and Universal Studios. In 2017,

Miss Holly also started competing in dance competitions with Maxi-Jazz and is excited to continue this into 2018. As well as being a dedicated Senior Teacher

Miss Holly is also currently studying at The University of Newcastle completing a Bachelor of Business. She has completed 2 years of her degree and will be going into her final year this year.

FUN FACT: I began dancing at the age of 7 in 2002. I danced for 8 years before moving to Maxi-Jazz in 2010. As well as dancing I have always played and loved sport and have played many different types since the age of 5.

FAVOURITE STYLE: HIP HOP!!!

SHORT MESSAGE: Hi Everyone! I am so excited for the 2018 dance year and I hope you all are as well! I cannot wait to see all of our old students again and the new faces that are coming into our dance family this year. I’m looking forward to meeting our new families and welcoming back everyone at the studio!

<span id="CHELSEA">CHELSEA PRESLAND</span>

CHELSEA PRESLAND

Senior Teacher

Miss Chelsea has been dancing with Maxi-Jazz for 13 years and joined the teaching team in 2013.
She is also currently completing her degree in Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary). Over the years Miss Chelsea has taken classes in Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary and Cheerleading.

Miss Chelsea has participated in many performances throughout the years such as Mattara Festival and Wallsend Winter Carnival. In 2014 she travelled the Disneyland and Universal Studios with the MJDS America Performance Troupe and in 2016, was a member of the MJDS Cruise Performance Troupe who performed on the Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas. In 2017, Miss Chelsea became a proud member of our MJDS competition team.

FUN FACT: I began dancing at the age of 10 in Miss Ylanda’s Jazz class at Garden Suburbs Hall! I have done nearly every sport you can think of!

FAVOURITE STYLE: Contemporary

SHORT MESSAGE: I cannot wait for the dance year to start! I’m excited to meet all our new faces and to welcome back our old faces! This year is going to be so much fun!

<span id="GEORGIA">GEORGIA WAY</span>

GEORGIA WAY

Senior Teacher

Miss Georgia has been dancing for 14 years now with Maxi-Jazz and has loved each and every year and is also studying a Bachelor of Social Science at Newcastle University.
Over the years, Miss Georgia has taken classes in Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Cheerleading and has recently become involved in the Competition World. This year, will be Miss Georgia’s 4th year working on the MJDS teaching staff.

In 2016, Miss Georgia was a part of the Maxi-Jazz Cruise Performance Troupe performing on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of The Seas.

FUN FACT: I began dancing at the age of 5 at Maxi-Jazz in Miss Maxine’s Junior 1 Jazz class (and Miss Ylanda as the assistant teacher haha!). As well as juggling school and dancing, I have played Netball for 12 years.

FAVOURITE STYLE: TAP TAP TAP

SHORT MESSAGE: I hope everyone is as excited as I am for the new things to come in 2018, including the new class structures, an added studio, mid-year showcase and much more! I can’t wait to see all the new and old faces within our studio.

<span id="DONNA">DONNA MICHALITSIS</span>

DONNA MICHALITSIS

Senior Teacher

Miss Donna has been dancing since she was 4 years old and has had many years of experience. She was a student of Marlene Black (Newcastle- student of Tessa Maunder), RAD classical and Les Griffith Tap (Newcastle – teacher of Dean Perry Tap Dogs). She has also trained in singing and drama with Colin Chapman (Newcastle).

Miss Donna has been running her own successful studio in Newcastle for over 30 years. Her students are very successful in Eisteddfod work, with one student (only 15 years old) recently winning the Mattara Tap Championship and $2000 Scholarship prize.

Some of her other students have performed in the Tap Dogs, Steel City, Bootmen and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

FUN FACT: I am in partnership with Julie England in running and owning the Les Griffith Tap Dancing Academy syllabus, the most intricate syllabus on the marker. I am also a tap examiner. I was part of the West Leagues Ballet for over 8 years and I also danced in Greece and Portugal.

FAVOURITE STYLE: Tap!

SHORT MESSAGE: I commenced teaching tap for MJDS last year 2017 and have thoroughly enjoyed my teaching experience at the studio, training some delightful intermediate and senior students. I am certainly looking forward to 2018 and sharing my love and passion of tap dancing.

TAYLOR CLIMAS

Junior Assistant Teacher

Miss Taylor has been dancing with Maxi-Jazz for the past 8 years and has loved every single moment.
She is currently completing her HSC this year. She joined the Assistant Training Program in 2017 and is joining the Maxi-Jazz staffing team this year. Over the years of being with Maxi-Jazz, Miss Taylor has trained in the styles of Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Cheerleading and Contemporary.

In 2016, Miss Taylor was a part of the Maxi-Jazz Cruise Performance Troupe on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of The Seas.

FUN FACT: I have danced since the age of 3 and moved to Maxi-Jazz when I was 10. Along with dancing, I have also played water polo and participated in swimming training.

FAVOURITE STYLE: Jazz!

SHORT MESSAGE: I am super excited for what the 2018 dance season holds for us all and I cannot wait to learn so many new skills throughout the year. I am looking forward to meeting all of our amazing students.

KYAH BARNES

Junior Assistant Teacher

Miss Kyah has been dancing since she was 9 and has spent the last 6 years at Maxi-Jazz.
She joined the Assistant Training Program in 2017 and is joining the Maxi-Jazz staffing team this year. Over the years of being with Maxi-Jazz, Miss Kyah has trained in the styles of JFH, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary.

Miss Kyah has represented Maxi-Jazz over the years, participating in many performances such as the Wallsend Winter Fair and Mattara Festival. In 2016, Miss Kyah was part of the Maxi-Jazz Performance Troupe that performed on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas.

FUN FACT: I began dancing when I was 9 at another studio before moving to Maxi-Jazz in 2013. I started at Maxi-Jazz in Miss Miranda’s JFH and Tap class at Edgeworth Public School studio.

FAVOURITE STYLE: Jazz!

SHORT MESSAGE: I am looking forward to the 2018 dance season to start. I can’t wait to meet all the new faces and work with our students new and old. I am also excited to be a part of the Maxi-Jazz staffing team!

<span id="ELISE">ELISE SELLICK</span>

ELISE SELLICK

Admin Team

Miss Elise is our behind the scenes Admin extraordinaire and has been working at MJDS since 2016! She is a 27 year old full-time mum to 3 precious little boys.

Prior to becoming a mum in 2013, Miss Elise worked as an office administrator at a financial planning firm.
Miss Elise is no stranger to dance, dancing for approximately 20 years in the styles of Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary & even a little bit of Ballroom Dancing. She also enjoyed playing Netball for many years.
In 2012, Miss Elise was a part of Maxi Jazz’s first USA Performance Troupe visiting Disneyland, Universal Studios and Broadway.

FUN FACT: I have been dancing in various locations since I was 3 years old & have been dancing with Maxi Jazz since I was 17. My favourite colour is green & my favourite food is chocolate.

FAVOURITE STYLE: Hip Hop

SHORT MESSAGE: I am so excited to be on staff again at Maxi Jazz this year & look forward to being a part of celebrating all that MJDS represents. Although I might be behind-the-scenes a lot, I am looking forward to seeing our students continue to develop a love of dance in 2018!

ANNA FORSYTH

Admin Team

Anna is new to the Admin Team at MJDS. She is new to the dance world and is hoping to try Hip Hop and Contemporary this year.

She is originally from New Zealand and enjoys playing music and writing poetry in her spare time. She also loves swimming and rowing.

FUN FACT: I have two sets of twins in my family.

FAVOURITE STYLE: Hip Hop

SHORT MESSAGE: My 2018 resolution is to get dancing. I‘m so excited about pushing myself to try new things and gain confidence, just like our students! I’ve always been a bit shy, but I‘m looking forward to putting my dancing shoes on. I’m also looking forward to working as a new admin person with MJDS and meeting all our cool dance families and dancers!

It is a safe, positive environment with emphasis on developing confidence, being a team player and acceptance of each individual child and their abilities and a positive influence on body image and encouraging our girls to be strong, confident and happy. And this is only made possible because of Ylanda, Maxine and all their staff. I stay because I know my daughter is in a positive, healthy environment surrounded by excellent role models in her teachers and the principals.

– Carla, Dance Parent at Maxi-Jazz