T E A M
Jemma Powys (Nicoll) // Creative Director
Jemma is an entrepreneur, teacher, writer and speaker. She has trained in the areas of Classical Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical and Contemporary dance, and holds a Certificate IV in Dance Teaching & Business Management. Jemma has had extensive performance experience throughout her training, and is a passionate choreographer. Her Contemporary work “Tsunami” received 100% in the 2008 HSC as well as a grand finalist position in the NSW choreography contest, Fast and Fresh. Jemma began Inspire at the age of 16, and has since interacted with thousands of young people across Australia and New Zealand through creative education. She is the founding board member of KidsPace Code, an organisation dedicated to combating the sexualisation of children in the performing arts industry, and promoting positive, safer dance communities. She has worked alongside other pivotal voices in this field including Melinda Tankard Reist and Steve Biddulph. Jemma is cited in Biddulph’s latest book: ’10 things Girls Need Most’, was a 2016 Australian of the Year nominee for her work with KidsPace, and presents regularly in schools and conferences. With a degree in Journalism, Jemma’s main writing topics of interest are youth culture and wellbeing, and issues affecting girls and women. In 2017 Jemma wrote and produced the 'Inspired' program, a mentoring and leadership development initiative for girls aged 12-14 years. She loves sharing her passion and knowledge with young artists, and encouraging Inspire students in their talent, creativity and love for the Creative Arts.
Sarah Furnari // Program Director: Musical Theatre and Drama
With over 10 years of teaching experience across Sydney and the USA, Sarah is excited to be back for her fourth year with Inspire Creative Arts. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Wollongong's Bachelor of Creative Arts (Performance/Acting) course where she was awarded the UOW Creative Arts Scholarship. As an actor, Sarah has worked in theatre, film, television and musical theatre. She also has extensive singing and dance experience. In 2019 you will catch Sarah onstage performing in a Sydney Shakespeare season, as well as appearing in a brand new TV show on Channel 10. Our Musical Theatre and Drama Program has thrived under her guidance, with students now taking on the auditioning and casting world under Sarah's care and expertise. Sarah says: "My vision for my students is that they grow into courageous, authentic storytellers with open hearts, empathy for others, and a tonne of creative flair. I want them to know that by taking ownership of their own story, young people can make their voices hear - little by little, creative arts have the power to shape their future and change our world."
Monique Constantine // Program Director: Inspire Performance Collective, RAD Classical Ballet
Monique has lived and breathed dance since the age of 6 years old, and has had a rich dance journey of experiences, classes and scholarships. From a young age, Monique has studied all styles of dance but developed particular potential in Classical Ballet. At the age of 12, Monique transitioned to full-time Ballet with Academy Ballet and the Australian Ballet School. She completed all Royal Academy of Dance exams with results in the high distinction band. At age 16, Monique was 1 of 10 students out of 5,000 candidates accepted in to the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Monique has also competed in many dance competitions; her biggest achievement being the prestigious Gold medal at City of Wollongong Eisteddfod in the Open Age Classical section. Monique studied HSC Dance at school where she achieved 97.6% and 8th in NSW. Following school, Monique attained a Certificate IV in Dance and a Certificate IV in Dance Teaching & Business Management (through Ev&Bow Full Time Dance Training Centre), and is midway through a Bachelor of Nutrition. Since retiring from dance, Monique has developed a love and passion for teaching Classical Ballet, and so is currently studying a Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies with the Royal Academy of Dance, in order to become a registered teacher with the association. Monique directs the Inspire Performance Collective and Inspire's RAD Ballet program. Inspire students are thriving under her rich and knowledgeable teaching & guidance; achieving highly in exams and competition results, with students successfully gaining places and scholarships for Classical training opportunities with companies such as The McDonald College, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet School and the Australian Ballet School. We are also proud to host the Aspire Classical Conditioning program written and directed by Monique; an extension training program for aspiring Classical and Contemporary dancers.