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Jacqueline Carniato

Artistic Director

Our Artistic Director and Education Ambassador, Jacqueline Carniato "Miss Jacq" has been dancing and performing in one form or another for over four decades. And like so many of the pre-schoolers she now teaches, at 3 years of age she was taken to structured dance classes at her local suburban dancing school to curb her endless precocious performances at home for family and friends.


It was by chance that she was introduced to the world of musical theatre, when asked to teach a dance class for troubled youth at a local musical theatre group. Soon she was utilizing her skills as a dancer to both choreograph and perform in numerous productions; such as Hello Dolly, AnnieGrease and Carousel just to name a few. These numerous productions exposed her to all aspects of musical theatre life: onstage, side stage, backstage, front of house and everywhere inbetween. This "hands on" approach to musical theatre opened up a whole new world for her; singing, dancing and acting, igniting in her a passion for the performing arts. This in turn helped her to make the decision that teaching and mentoring young students in dance and performance was were she needed to be.


Her initial training was in Sydney's inner west and this strong technically based RAD (British) training readied Jacqueline as a young teenager to audition and be accepted as a full time ballet student of the NSW College of Dance, founded by one of Australia's top male dancers Kelvin Coe OBE and ex-Australian Ballet principal ballerina Kim Traynor.


These years were an eye opener for this naive young dancer; she benefited greatly from their quality training in the syllabus method of the Vaganova (Russian); gaining invaluable experience while being taught by an extensive list exceptional teachers and surrounded daily by industry professionals from the Sydney dance community. During her time with the college she accumulated a wealth of knowledge about dance traditions such as repertoire, stage design, stage make-up, pas de deux, anatomy and about the dancer as a whole.  It was during rehabilitation after numerous injuries that she experienced the benefits of cross training; as she was introduced to yoga, pilates and strength training; forming a deeper understanding of a dancer as a whole - body, mind and spirit.


While continuing to dance professionally, she began teaching a wide range of classes in many different Sydney schools: ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, national character, drama, musical theatre, performance skills and confidence classes for youth. She decided to broaden her experiences and travelled to Europe where she was an Entertainment Coordinator for PGL Adventure Tours, in England. After returning to Australia she married and raised a young family while continuing to teach, studying the ATOD syllabus to lay the foundations for her next focus, teaching pre-school and primary school aged children ATOD's innovative multi-genre training systems.



She is now a registered ATOD teacher (Australian Teachers of Dancing) and now with over 30 years teaching experience, she has relocated to the beautiful mid-north coast of Australia and has launched Cārnivalé Dance Co. Petit Performance School ... her next step ... to fulfil her dream of uniting Coffs Harbour’s finest industry professionals and teach a new generation of performers!


Jacqueline Carniato is also available for and loves the challenge of 1-2-1 tuition; specialising in technical coaching and performance training for solo and troupe competitions; as well as student and teacher mentoring ... that special attention to details can make all the difference to your performance.


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