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”
– Dance Parent of Maxi-Jazz

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

YLANDA ROBINSON

Director, Owner and Senior Teacher

Miss Ylanda, Principal and Owner of Maxi-Jazz Dance Studio has been dancing for over 30 years. Styles that she has studied over these years include Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Pom, Acro Dance, Contemporary, Pointe, Hip Hop, Funk, Cheerleading, Musical Theatre, Ballroom, Latin and New Vogue.
Ylanda has been teaching for the studio for over 20 years now, with taking the final step in 2007 as becoming the Principal of Maxi-Jazz Dance Studio alongside Maxine. As well as 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. In December 2016, she performed alongside 22 of her students on the Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas. 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.
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 onto the 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 chill out with my boys and watch movies, especially Disney ones!


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

SHORT MESSAGE: This year 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 this year’s dance season absolutely amazing!

Qualifications:
- Discover Dance Trained
- Diploma of Dance Teaching and Management
- Level 1 AASCF Cheer Stunt + Tumbling Accreditation
- Registered Acrobatique Acro Dance Instructor
- First Aid
- CPR
- WWCC
- Dance Cirque Training Certification

<span id="ABBIE">ABBIE McKAY-CLERKE</span>

ABBIE McKAY-CLERKE

Junior Teacher and Enhancement Program Coordinator

Miss Abbie has been dancing at MJDS since she was 8 years old and has been involved in styles such as Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Acro, Pom, Circus and Tap. Alongside working and teaching at MJDS, she is also currently completing her Bachelor of Education (Primary) at the University of Newcastle!

Miss Abbie loves being involved in all of our MJDS events. She’s performed and assisted at community performances such as the Wallsend Winter Fair and Mattara Festival. In 2016 she was a part of the Cruise Dance Troupe! Miss Abbie also started competition dancing in 2018 and has loved every second of it!

FUN FACT: I have an obsession with funky socks! I HAVE SOOO MANY. You will never see me with a matching pair at the studio.

FAVOURITE STYLE: Lyrical!

SHORT MESSAGE: This dance season is going to be a big one and I am certain our students are going to have so much fun!! I can’t wait to meet even more beautiful faces and to share my love of dance with everyone. Bring on the new dance season!!!

QUALIFICATIONS:
- First Aid and CPR
- WWCC
- Dance Cirque and Little Monkeys Trained
- Tumble Town Trained
- FlexAbility Trained
- IASF Level 1 Cheer Credentialing
- Acrobatic Arts Qualified
- Discover Dance Training
- Concussion Training

<span id="ABBY">ABBY ROBERTS</span>

ABBY ROBERTS

Junior Team Member

Miss Abby has danced with MJDS for 11 years and is in her 3rd year as a student leader. Miss Abby has joined the MJDS team in 2023 as a Junior Team Member whilst still progressing with her DanceStep levels. Miss Abby has been part of our EP Dance Teams since the beginning and has loved every part of it! Miss Abby has also trained in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Pom, Lyrical, Contemporary and Acro over the years.

<span id="ALYSHA">ALYSHA BEACH</span>

ALYSHA BEACH

Junior Teacher

Miss Alysha has been dancing at MJDS for 7 years. Although she first started only taking Acro, Alysha have now taken a range of styles including Jazz, Pom, HipHop, Contemporary and Lyrical and also been a member of the EP program for the since 2021. Miss Alysha has also progressed through the Acrobatic Arts syllabus herself.

FUN FACT: I was a competitive gymnast before joining dance

FAVOURITE STYLE: Acro and Jazz!

SHORT MESSAGE: I have loved my time in the Acro program as a student and I am very excited to now have the opportunity to support others to advance and develop confidence in their own Acro skills.

QUALIFICATIONS:
- First Aid and CPR
- WWCC

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

ANNIE STEWART

Team Mentor

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

FUN FACT: I started dancing with Miss Maxine at Maxi-Jazz at the age of 4. I have a daughter, Alexia who absolutely loves dancing with MJDS, and a son called Zander.

FAVOURITE STYLE: Jazz

SHORT MESSAGE:Hi everyone! I absolutely love Maxi-Jazz and am so excited about continuing my role behind the scenes 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.

QUALIFICATIONS:
- Bachelor of Teaching/ Bachelor of Arts (Hons)
- Graduate Certificate in Education Studies (Creative Arts)
- First Aid
- CPR
- WWCC
- Discover Dance Training

<span id="CRYSTAL">CRYSTAL HATCHARD</span>

CRYSTAL HATCHARD

Senior Teacher

Miss Crystal is an accomplished dance teacher with extensive experience in teaching various dance styles. She has worked at multiple dance studios in Newcastle, including MJDS, where she taught for 15 years from 2001 to 2015. Miss Crystal’s areas of expertise include LGTDA Tap, Jazz, Classical Ballet (BBO syllabus), and Contemporary.

Miss Crystal embarked on her journey in the dance world as a young dancer. She has successfully completed dance examinations and taken part in several eisteddfods and competitions along the east coast of Australia, winning numerous scholarships and accolades over the years. Additionally, Miss Crystal has showcased her talent at various local events and festivals and has choreographed routines for large dance and theatre productions.

Miss Crystal’s dance career has taken her on performance tours across the United States. She has had the privilege of performing at Disney World in Florida and attending workshops with Alvin Ailey in New York City. She also showcased her skills as a featured tap artist in the Sydney Olympic Games opening ceremony.

Miss Crystal is an enthusiastic dance teacher who supports and motivates her students to reach their full potential. We’re excited to welcome her back to the teaching team in 2024.

FUN FACT: I have a strong affinity for sweets, and I am an avid dog lover!

FAVOURITE STYLE: TAP

SHORT MESSAGE: I am excited to be rejoining the teaching team at MJDS this year. I look forward to sharing my skills and knowledge with my students and inspiring the next generation of young tappers.

QUALIFICATIONS:
Qualified LGTDA Tap Syllabus teacher
WWCC
CPR
Compassionate Foundations training
ASIST training
Discover Dance Training

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

ELISE SELLICK

Finance Manager

Miss Elise is our behind the scenes admin extraordinaire and has been working at MJDS since 2016! She is a mum to 4 precious little boys.
Prior to becoming a mum in 2013, Miss Elise worked as an office administrator at a financial planning firm and has recently returned to this role part time.
Miss Elise is no stranger to dance, dancing for approximately 25 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 2008. My favourite colour is aqua & my favourite food is cheesecake.

FAVOURITE STYLE: Hip Hop

SHORT MESSAGE: I am so excited to be a part of the MJDS staff team again this year & leading the administration side of the business. I am looking forward to being a part of celebrating all that MJDS represents for our first full year in our new studio home. I can’t wait to get back in the classroom as a student again this year & get to see more of the wonderful faces in our MJDS dance family!

<span id="EMMA">EMMA HALL</span>

EMMA HALL

Junior Teacher, Mini Program Coordinator and Events/Community Coordinator

Miss Emma has been dancing with Maxi Jazz since 2010 in styles such as Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Musical Theatre and Tap. She has also enjoyed participating in many performances over the years as a performer and Student Assistant at events such as Wallsend Winter Fair and Mattara Festival. Miss Emma joined the staff in 2020, becoming a Junior Teacher in 2021

FUN FACT: I broke my finger 3 days before my practical HSC Dance exams. .

FAVOURITE STYLE: Jazz

SHORT MESSAGE: I am so excited to meet more of our beautiful students this year and share my love for dance with you all!

QUALIFICATIONS:
- First Aid / CPR
- WWCC
- Dance Cirque and Little Monkeys Trained
- Tumble Town Trained
- FlexAbility Trained
- Discover Dance Training

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

GEORGIA SMAILES

Senior Teacher and Program Manager

Miss Georgia has been dancing since 2004 with Maxi-Jazz and has loved each and every year and recently graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing. Miss Georgia works as a Registered Nurse alongside her role at MJDS.

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. Miss Georgia has been working on the MJDS team since 2015. Miss Georgia loves being apart of our Enhancement Program and guiding our team with events and community involvement.

In 2016, Miss Georgia was a part of the Maxi-Jazz Cruise Performance Troupe performing on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of The Seas.
In recent years Miss Georgia has attained her AASCF Cheer Accreditation, and passed a number of Tap Exams with LGTDA and is one of our trained Dance Cirque teachers.

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!). I can balance objects on my head for a very long time!

FAVOURITE STYLE: TAP TAP TAP

SHORT MESSAGE: I love to meet each and every MJDS student and their family!

QUALIFICATIONS:
- Bachelor of Nursing
- IASF Level 1 Cheer Credentialing
- Dance Cirque and Little Cirque Trained
- Tumble Town Trained
- FlexAbility Trained
- First Aid/CPR
- WWCC
- Concussion Training
- LGTDS Tap Exams
- Discover Dance Training

<span id="JASMINE">JASMINE DAVEY</span>

JASMINE DAVEY

Junior Team Memeber

Miss Jasmine has been dancing since 2012 with Maxi-Jazz and has loved each and every year. Jasmine has trained in Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Ballet, Pom and Acro and is also a part of our EP Dance Teams. Miss Jasmine is part of our DanceStep Leadership Program and is currently completing level 4 of this program.

<span id="KAYLIN">KAYLIN ROBERTS</span>

KAYLIN ROBERTS

Junior Team Memeber

Miss Kaylin has been dancing since 2009 with MJDS and has trained in a wide range of styles of the years. Kaylin has trained in Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Ballet, Pom and Acro and is also a part of our EP Dance Teams. Miss Kaylin was recently awarded Most Consistent Mighty Dancer of the Year. Miss Kaylin is also part of our DanceStep Leadership Program and is currently completing level 4 of this program alongside being a Junior Team Member

<span id="LILY">LILY CRIBB</span>

LILY CRIBB

Junior Teacher and Studio Coordinator

Miss Lily has been dancing at MJDS since 2011 and I have been an assistant teacher in the classroom since 2018 and in 2021 I started being a Junior teacher at maxi jazz. At Maxi-Jazz Miss Lily has studied the styles Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Tap, Acro, Pom and Cheer.
In 2016 she was a part of the MJDS Cruise Performance Troupe, in 2017, she joined the MJDS Senior Competition Dance Team and in 2018 she became a Student Assistant. Since 2020 I have been the assistant coach for the cheer comp teams.

FUN FACT: When I was 7 I broke my arm going down a hill on a scooter and from that point I have avoided steep hill and scooters.

FAVOURITE STYLE: I can’t decide just one so it’s between Hip Hop and Contemporary.

SHORT MESSAGE: I can’t wait to start another amazing year at Maxi-Jazz and welcoming everyone into our family to learn and discover their passion for dance.

QUALIFICATIONS:
- Working with Children Check
- First Aid + CPR
- Child Safety Course Module 1
- HSC Certificate
- Dance Cirque & Little Monkeys Training Certification
- Discover Dance Training

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

MIRANDA HYLAND

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 Primary 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: This year, I’m most excited about my new role into parenthood. You will still see me around the studio throughout the year mostly at our major events - Miss Ylanda can’t get rid of me just yet! The friendships I have made here at MJDS I still hold so dear to me I love that I see the same thing happening within our studio.

QUALIFICATIONS:
- Bachelor of Primary Teaching/Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies
- First Aid
- CPR
- Anaphylaxis
- WWCC
- Discover Dance Training

<span id="MYKALA">MYKALA STEPHENSON</span>

MYKALA STEPHENSON

Junior Teacher

Miss Mykala begain her journey in dance when I was 2, inspired by her mother and sister‘s love for dance. Although her school didn’t offer dance as an HSC subject, She did drama and costume design, showcasing her diverse artistic talents.

Throughout her dance journey, she’s been dedicated to the RAD ballet syllabus, studying grade work, vocational levels, and Discovering Repertoire. Additionally, Mykala briefly studied the Comdance Modern Jazz Syllabus and the PDA Unique Technique Syllabus, highlighting her passion for mastering various dance forms.

Mykala started with Jazz, Ballet, and Cheer and later added on Contemporary/Lyrical, Tap and Hip Hop. In 2013, she cheered at Newcastle Number 1 Sports Ground at the AFL. Within her previous studio, her efforts were recognised, earning her the Most Improved Award in 2016. Building on this, she achieved the highest point score for Cheerleading in 2017 and for Contemporary in 2019.

FUN FACT: One interesting thing about me is that I was born with congenital anosmia, which means I can’t smell and I’ve never been able to smell.

FAVOURITE STYLE: Contemporary/Lyrical

SHORT MESSAGE: I‘m thrilled to join Maxi-Jazz as a junior teacher in 2024. This opportunity means the world to me, and I’m excited to meet lots of new people, as well as inspire and support young dancers on their journey.

QUALIFICATIONS:
- First Aid
- CPR
- WWCC
- Discover Dance Training

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

NIKI HINCKS

Senior Teacher and DanceStep Facilitator

Miss Niki has been dancing teaching since the age of 16, joining our studio in 2013. She has trained in RAD Ballet, Khorabushka Character, Contemporary, Jazz, Musical Theatre and Hip Hop. Miss Niki is also certified as a Pound Fit instructor which is a high energy cardio class stemming from drumming.
Miss Niki completed her Bachelor of Arts, with majors in Psychology and Sociology in 2014. As well as teaching at MJDS, Miss Niki is retraining to become an Allied Health Assistant in Occupational Therapy.

FUN FACT: I have danced for 23 years of my life.

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 for the year ahead and looking forward to welcoming new faces into our dance family. Our team has been reflecting on our past and looking forward to what is to come this year and we cannot wait to share this with you all!

QUALIFICATIONS:
- First Aid
- CPR
- Working With Children Check
- Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Sociology Majors)
- Certified Pound Fit Instructor
- Mental Health First Aid
- DiscoverDance Training

<span id="TAYLOR">TAYLOR CLIMAS</span>

TAYLOR CLIMAS

Junior Teacher and Office Coordinator

Miss Taylor has been dancing with Maxi-Jazz since 2011 and has loved every single moment. Miss Taylor joined the Assistant Training Program in 2017 and joined the Maxi-Jazz staffing team in 2018 as a Junior Teacher.

Over the years at Maxi-Jazz, Miss Taylor has trained in the styles of Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Cheer, Pom, Lyrical and Contemporary. She has also been a member of our Competition Dance teams and is currently part of our Open Cheer Team. In 2016, Miss Taylor was a part of the Maxi-Jazz Cruise Performance Troupe on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of The Seas. Miss Taylor is also heading on our 2025 Dance Tour to America.

FUN FACT: I have no cousins

FAVOURITE STYLE: Pom or Cheer

SHORT MESSAGE:
I am super excited for what this new dance season holds for us and I cannot wait to learn new skills throughout the year. I’m so excited to see all of our students as well as meet all of our new families.

QUALIFICATIONS:
- Cert 3 in Business Admin
- IASF Level 1 Cheer Credentialing
- Acrobatic Arts Qualification
- Dance Cirque/Little Monkeys Trained
- Tumble Town Trained
- Flex Ability Trained
- Discover Dance Training
- First Aid / CPR
- Anaphylaxis Training
- Child Protection Training
- Concussion Training
- WWCC

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

MAXINE JOHNSON

Founder

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!!

Meet our amazing DanceStep Leaders!

<span id="AYLA">AYLA CAVANAGH</span>

AYLA CAVANAGH

DanceStep Leader- Level 1
<span id="GRACE">GRACE PEARSON</span>

GRACE PEARSON

DanceStep Leader- Level 2
<span id="KAYLA">KAYLA FOX</span>

KAYLA FOX

DanceStep Leader- Level 2

<span id="LILI">LILI SARGEANT</span>

LILI SARGEANT

DanceStep Leader- Level 2
<span id="TARYN">TARYN BRYLA</span>

TARYN BRYLA

DanceStep Leader- Level 2
<span id="ZAHLEE">ZAHLEE JOHNSON</span>

ZAHLEE JOHNSON

DanceStep Leader- Level 2
<span id="ZALI">ZALI STRANG</span>

ZALI STRANG

DanceStep Leader- Level 2
<span id="ZOEY">ZOEY HASTINGS</span>

ZOEY HASTINGS

DanceStep Leader- Level 1