Teaching Staff


Summer Nelson

Adjudicator – Trainer – Instructor – Choreographer
RAD Registered Teacher
Advanced Diploma Art (Musical Theatre)
TAE40110 Certificate IV in DanceTraining and Assessment

Summer’s continued involvement with the dance industry see’s her an experienced and sort after Dance Teacher, Choreographer, Adjudicator and Performance Consultant. She is a well regarded figure in the dance industry and has made her mark travelling across Australia to share her knowledge with the young dancers of today. Her versatility stretches across all genres of Dance but is grounded by her strong Classical training and knowledge for developing both technique and artistry. Summer works with all ages and also assess in the fulltime sector for students studying dance at a tertiary level.

Summer has been fortunate enough to also work creatively on many projects, choreographing for eisteddfods and productions. She is invited many times throughout the year to workshop and choreograph interstate.

Summer is energetic, dynamic and love s sharing her knowledge. She lives for her passion!




Lisa Mellor is a great KJD past student and is qualified to teacher status. Advance Atod Jazz & Tap; RAD Intermediate ( Advance 1); Atod Intermediate Ballet; Gr 7 Musical Theater ( group) Cert 3 & 4 ln Fitness ( personal trainer); Short course in nutrition n . Lisa excelled at performing in the KJD performance team and solos. Lisa’s performance highlights were First place in the State Atod Scholarships in Junior and Intermediate levels for tap plus Australasian Inter tap level 3rd place. Lisa will be assistant teacher for the KJD performance team and the teacher for our Adult classes.



Dom graduated from the RAW full time program in 2014. Dominic has been able to work with many industry professionals such as: Jack Chambers, Andrew Fee, Jason Duff, Matthew Browning, Carly O’Connor, Nerida Matthaei, Simone Pope, TJ Tauroa, Sammie Williams, Thomas Larkin & Alison Rogers. Dominic started dancing at the age of nine, and participated in multiple local, national and international competitions plus numerous corporate events throughout Australia. His diversity in performance is Hip Hop; Musical theatre & commercial.



Level 2 Registered Cheer Coach


Silvia is extremely versatile in all aspects of performing, including all genres of dance and competitive cheerleading. Silvia is currently studying a dual degree in Dance and Law (Bachelor of Creative Industries (Dance Major)/Bachelor of Law), at Queensland University of Technology and has obtained qualifications in Level 1 and 2 USASF cheerleading coaching credentials. Silvia has been trained by teachers from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia and USA.

Silvia began her dance training in Far North Queensland Cairns, at the age of 4. She has been trained in various genres including (RAD and ISTD) ballet, tap, modern, jazz, hip hop, as well as various cultural dance genres including Latin Dancing, Chinese cultural, Chinese Lion dance and martial arts.

Cheerleading became her passion when she discovered it in 2008, where she became involved with Awesome Cheerleading. Since moving to Brisbane to further her studies, in 2010 she furthered her competitive cheerleading career with Queensland Cheer Elite. Along with her teams Silvia has won many State and National Titles. Currently, Silvia continues to train with her Open 4 team and the QUT University 3/4 team, coached by Queensland Cheer Elite. She is also the newest member of the International All Girl Level 5 team with QCE Diamonds.


Rebecca Blackmore Drama/ Vocal



ATCL, Cert 3 in Fitness, Cert 2 in Makeup & Skincare, Cert 3 in Beauty Services (currently completing), Diploma of Digital Marketing.
Rebecca started her training in dance, singing and acting at the age of 4 and began working immediately in the TV and Film Industry in commercials, television shows and feature films. She trained in both CSTD and RAD dance syllabus and performed in eisteddfods and concerts across Australia, …New Zealand and America. At 8 she began training in both the Trinity College and AMEB Drama syllabus and completed every exam with High Distinction, winning the Exhibition award for her Grade 8 Trinity. At 12, Rebecca discovered her love of Theatre and performed major roles with Brisbane Arts Theatre, Metro Arts Theatre and Queensland Arts Council. Rebecca began refining her ‘triple threat’ skills and joined corporate showband “Lush” while also receiving voice/acting tuition from QUT, NIDA and The Actors Conservatory.

Rebecca is excited to bring her love of drama and musical theatre to the Dance School and is looking forward to creating inspiring and memorable performances with the students.


Tamarah Gannon ARAD, RAD RTS

Tamarah Gannon

Tamarah has over 18 years’ teaching experience and is a graduate of the RAD Teaching Certificate Programme (with Distinction). She commenced dancing at the age of three and has undertaken examinations in ballet, jazz, tap and gaelic. Her love of dance was fostered by her teachers Lynette Severn, Mary Heath, and Kim Bowkett. Her performance experience includes Warana Festivals, pantomimes (including the Lord Mayors Christmas in Story Land), FREEPS, the Gold Coast Grand Prix, Expo 88, and Celebrate 88. She also has successful competitive experience, including eisteddfod places and championships, and being awarded the Queensland Education in Dance and Theatre Arts (EDTA) classical ballet intermediate scholarship in 1987.




Ms Emma Ortez ARAD ( Dist) CBTS

Ex – professional member of Manilla ballet and Hong Kong Ballet companies. Commenced teaching in 2004 at the prestigious Jean M Wong School Hong Kong. Moved to Sydney in 2012 and taught at a variety of Ballet School. We welcome Emma to Karen Jacobi Dance 2016!



Simone Dawson bw small

Senior Dance and Examiner ATOD

Mrs. Simone Dawson ARAD, Dip. T. B. Ed, Grad. Dip. (Dance Ins.), Adv Lic. Dip. ATOD, Examiner ATOD

Karen and Simone have known each other for thirty plus years. Simone has an expansive amount knowledge and experience. Having had her own dance school and being a Senior Examiner with the ATOD, Simone is a great asset to the school.



Dance and Vocal


Cert. Mus. Theatre Trinity College, Adv Lic ATOD Ballet; Tap; Jazz, Adv 1 Rad, Junior Teachers ATOD, BSc. (Human Mov. Sci.)

Shannon commenced dancing with Karen at the age of three. A wonderful dancer gaining her Elementary ( Honours) ; Intermediate Foundation ( Honours) and Full Intermediate ( Commended); Junior Teacher ATOD ; Cert in Musical Theatre; LIC ATOD in Tap; Jazz and Ballet. As a performer, Shannon was a fantastic competitor in eisteddfods and ATOD Scholarships. Shannon won Junior; Intermediate; Senior Ballet and Jazz at the state and national level.  Shannon is currently performing with the Bronco’s Cheer squad as Dance Captain. As a teacher her qualifications and performance knowledge gives her younger peers great inspiration.

“Thank you Shannon for your ongoing support.” – Karen.




ARAD, Adv Lic ATOD (Ballet, Jazz, Tap) (4rd Year Business Degree; part time)

Catherine has been with Karen as a student from three years of age. A wonderful performer, winning many eisteddfods and championships plus ATOD state and Australasian Scholarships.
Catherine passed her Advance RAD Two in 2007 and her Advance ATOD tap; Jazz and Ballet(Honours). Catherine is now part of the Bronco’s Cheer squad.

“Thank you for your Support Catherine.” – Karen





Assoc Performing Arts Trinity College Drama; Member Teacher ATOD Associate ATOD, ADV LICATOD Tap, Jazz Inter ATOD Ballet, Adv Found Rad; First Aid Certificate; Certificate Three in Community Services.

Jennessa excels at drama, having won many awards at the eisteddfods from ‘Most Promising’ to Championships. Jennessa topped the State in Grade Four 95%; Finalist Quest Newspaper achievement award; In grade Eight, She achieved a Distinction (93%); was asked to demonstrate part of the exam to all South East Queensland Trinity college teachers by the examiner at the Teacher’s seminar. Jennessa is now at University and continues teaching Dance and Drama at the school.


RHONDA COADY T.S.T.C. (Mus.Melb.), G.D.M.E. (Q.U.T.)


Vocal Coach

Rhonda trained as a High School Music Teacher at the Melbourne University Conservatorium, majoring in Voice and Piano. She has taught in Secondary Schools in Victoria and worked as a Primary School Music Specialist in Queensland from 1977 to 1997 after undertaking further study on the Kodaly teaching method with Katalin Forrai and acquiring an extra Diploma from the Queensland University of Technology.