standing l to r: Tina | Esmarlé | Esther | Tish | Erika
sitting: Rosemarie | Shayna
Tina James Diva-in-Charge | Dance instructor & Trainer: Pretoria, Joburg & Benoni more…
Claudia Risch Administration | Registrations
Esther Briggs Dance instructor & Trainer: Pretoria & Centurion more…
Tish Grindlay Dance & Fitness instructor: Pretoria & Centurion more…
Erika du Toit Dance instructor: Pretoria
Esmarlé Reyneke Dance & Fitness instructor: Pretoria & Centurion
Shayna de Kock Dance instructor: Johannesburg
Rosemarie Payne Dance instructor: Hartbeespoort
Past guest instructors
Joubert Jonker Divas Dance (Showdance) more…
Jacquie du Plessis Ballet Basics more…
Fernanda Gallegos Divas Fitness (Zumba®) more…
Danilla Colares Petit Divas Fitness (Zumba®)
Vikki-Ann Bischoff Divas Dance (Showdance)
Tina James, the founder of Dancing Divas, started ballet at age 5 (and hated it!), followed by years of tap dancing until she dropped all dancing in her early teens. She only really discovered the Diva in her at a very ripe old age. Having always wanted to do Spanish dancing, she joined Helena Montoya’s beginners’ class at the tender age of 38, at a time when most of the other students were children. “It was a daunting experience, but I so badly wanted to learn that I put on a brave face and joined the little kids. Even my mother came to watch my first trial exam class with the other moms!” After eleven years of Spanish dancing and at 49, she moved onto Ballroom and Latin American dancing with Johan Hayes. This was supposed to be the quiet and gentle activity to nudge her into ‘physical’ retirement, so what a surprise to discover how demanding and life-changing it would turn out to be. Add Riaan, a gym instructor who added his flavour by insisting on ‘attitude’ and who believed in her idea enough to let her choreograph a routine for his gym class; Maroula, a sassy young champ who had infinite patience in putting some hip into Tina’s very stiff and plank-like body; throw in a few dancing titles in ballroom and Latin American, and the groundwork was laid for her to pay it forward.
Tina noticed that there are few opportunities for mature women to pursue their often unrealized childhood dreams of dancing. Too shy to join a dance or gym class, women have nowhere to go where they can dance by themselves and with women closer to their own age and level of fitness. After years of hearing comments such as “ You are different to the rest of us, we cannot do that”, “I am too old to start dancing now”, “I have two left feet”, “I am too fat and embarrassed about my body”, “I don’t have anyone to dance with me”, she decided something had to be done about it. Having struggled with many of these feelings herself, and almost giving up her dancing in 2007 because she felt that she was too old and large to be dancing in ‘sequins and slits’, a dream started emerging to create a dancing space for women like herself, a space where women could find themselves, and have some fun, through dance. And that’s how Dancing Divas was born!
Tina drives the business, absolutely loves training new instructors and also teaches a Divas Dance classes to keep her humble and inspired by what women are achieving through joining Dancing Divas.
mobile: +27 (0) 82 460 7915 | email: tina [at] dancingdivas.co.za
Divas Dance Instructor /Training
Esther was the first dance instructor appointed at Dancing Divas, and has assisted in the inception and development of the company thus far. She has responsibility for teaching classes and is increasingly taking over training as Dancing Divas continues to expand to other centres in Gauteng and beyond.
Her passion for music started in her early teens under the instruction of a kind and patient piano teacher who opened the door to a love of music and rhythm. Dance followed shortly thereafter and a new passion was born. She has done various styles of dance: modern, barndance, social ballroom and Latin, street Latin, jazz and linedance. She continues to further her skills in ballroom and Latin American dancing.
Esther believes in a gentle, patient and caring teaching environment where people can “be themselves”. Her classes offer a touch of elegance and style, many laughs in a fun atmosphere where people can develop at their own pace with a gentle nudge if needed.
She thoroughly enjoys the rewarding experience of teaching and the challenges that Dancing Divas has to offer.
Esther teaches Divas Dance classes, runs the Golden Girls dance classes for women over 60, and is an instructor for our new wannabe instructors.
mobile: +27 (0) 82 386 7810 | email: esther [at] dancingdivas.co.za
Divas Dance & Fitness Instructor / In-house Graphic Designer
Tish started gymnastics at the age of four and although, like most little girls, she did ballet, tap and modern dancing, gymnastics was always her passion. “I love the discipline, the self-control and the absolutely in-touch-with-your-own-body feeling gymnastics gives one – in fact I find it very similar to the DD experience!”
Tish was a member of the Elite National Squad and continued with gymnastics at university while studying Art/Graphic Design. Thereafter she did several training courses and coached kids, experience that has been a great help in shaping the DD Moms & Tots classes.
Before relocating to Pretoria two years ago, she had had no exposure to anything like Dancing Divas – “Dancing Divas has brought so much to my life. Not only am I constantly challenging my body, but I can feel myself growing as a person on so many levels. For me, Dancing Divas equals a healthy body, a healthy mind and an INCREDIBLE amount of fun while achieving this.”
mobile: +27 (0) 83 331 6200 | email: tish [at] dancingdivas.co.za
Guest Instructor: Divas Dance (Showdance)
Joubert started his dancing career late in life and only attended his first dance class at the age of 18. Despite this late start, his professional career has seen him featured in numerous productions in South Africa and abroad. Highlights include several productions at Gold Reef City, Sun City, the Emperors Palace and Carousel Casinos, and the Arena Royale in Johannesburg. He danced in the stage productions Grease – the Stadium Spectacular and Sun City’s Odyssey. He danced, and later took over the position of dance captain and company manager in the Sun City International Extravaganza Let there be Rock!
More recently he completed Majestique and Fullblast at the Globe Theatre, Gold Reef City Casino. Joubert spent a number of years as dancer and dance captain on board the Carnival Cruise Lines cruising to Mexico, Grand Cayman Islands, USA and Belize, as well as on the Starlight Cruises’ Rhapsody. He has done several international contracts as dance captain in Taiwan, Tunisia and Turkey.
He is based in Pretoria, South Africa and is passionate about dance, being a dancer and all the glam and glitz that goes with it.
Joubert has offered showdance classes at Dancing Divas.
Guest Instructor: Divas Fitness (Ballet Basics)
Jacquie has a long background in ballet, modern dancing and ballroom dancing dating from her schooldays during which she passed her RAD Elementary and DES exams. After studying BSc (Honours) Physics and working as a scientist at CSIR, she and her husband moved to the Highveld. After purchasing a ballet school, she taught for 10 years in Belfast and Carolina. Her pupils included children (4 to 21yrs) and adults. During this time she studied for and achieved her Dance Teachers’ Certificate (and an HED for high school Maths and Science). She also danced the Major exams of the Dance Academy of South Africa (DASA), achieving Honours with Distinction in all, including Advanced Performance. This was followed by several years of teaching in Nelspruit and Pretoria. Jacquie was elected as an Examiner (and later Major Examiner) for DASA from 1997 – 2007. With the other Examiners, she played a key role in providing direction and operational support for DASA.
Jacquie has enjoyed the chance to see the lovely little dancers in various ballet schools around South Africa, and to pick up tips from numerous teachers. She enjoyed presenting students with new ways of looking at dancing through the workshops she has offered over the years. She finds dance inspiring, and loves sharing that with others.
Jacquie is a guest instructor who offers Ballet Basics and the occasional showdance class.
Guest Instructor: Divas Fitness (Zumba®)
Fernanda is a vivid example of all things Latin American: friendly, sexy, natural, enthusiastic, fun! Her homeland is Ecuador, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, and belly button of the Andes. Rhythm and passion come naturally to Latin people, and they know how to spread it around, so she’s been shaking, spinning, grooving and wiggling since she was born! Her professional background is in organizational communications and journalism; dealing with people and addressing groups is her core area of expertise. Fernanda moved to South Africa in 2009 and now resides in the Netherlands where she continues to offer Zumba classes.