Nicole has been dancing with Twinkle Stars/Star Performers since it started. Dance has been an important activity for her, providing an enriching level to her life.

Dance is her favourite exercise, her social group and friendship base. T

The benefits of dance are numerous and Star Performers and dance provide mental stimulation, help improve memory by having to remember steps, formation, sequencing, listening skills and promotes team work. Tap Class introduced this year is a bonus extending a challenge and fun.

The yearly concert is a highlight on the calendar. Many of my friends who have come over the years comment that they can see the dancers’ growth in skill and confidence.

Nicole has grown into a confident, happy young adult who loves dance classes. Who said this morning she wants to teach dance like her Justyne and Mrs R.

Nicole’s mum

Hi my name is Kirby and I am a 22 year female with Down syndrome, I have been a member of the Star Performers and Twinkle Star Dance Studio for 8 years now. The dance school strives to bring out the best in all of us and I enjoy going to dancing practise every Saturday, We all love the modern music and dance steps we are taught.

If you want to join a dance group, then Star Performers and Twinkle Stars Dance School is the place for you. I have made lots of new friends and now have a better social life, we do things like, going to lunch together on Saturday’s between dance classes, going to each other’s birthday parties, bowling or to see Live theatre shows and movies or just phoning each other or hanging out at each other’s house.

Your parents will also meet other parents and make friendships too.

The best thing about our Dance School is we get to showcase our routines at our big annual dance concert on stage at Sutherland Entertainment centre and also go on trips away to dance. The Dance Studio has taken us to perform our routines at Dream World on the Gold Coast three times and some of us have been lucky enough to be able to travel overseas to Hawaii twice. In Hawaii we danced on centre stage at the biggest shopping mall in Hawaii, we had a big audience watching us and we were all very excited.

On our first overseas trip my mum and another family went on to Disneyland in California where we spent three days going on all the rides and the rest of our time visiting all the famous places in Hollywood. The next time we visited some other Hawaiian Islands and met up with another family again, we all had the best time together.

All these great things we do are because we have beautiful people that make all these things possible for us, like our fabulous dance teacher Justyne Leeke, who creates and teaches us all our great dance routines. Mrs. R who helps us with special dance routines and organises these great trips away and our other dance teacher’s Leanne & Jasmine who commit their time to us every Saturday.

Hope to see & meet many new students soon and many thanks to Justyne, Mrs R, Leanne & Jasmine for their commitment to us and improving all our lives.

Kirby

Alex is 19 and lives in Miranda. He has an intellectual disability and has been attending Twinkle Stars since April 2008, encouraged by Rod and Vanessa Tali’s mum (her brother Jarred is a friend of Alex).

The dance classes have replaced the drama classes he enjoyed at a Sutherland disability-support centre on Tuesday afternoons for four years.

Alex is very sociable, and likes to meet with his friends and dance with them, so he’s not much different from anyone else. Most people enjoy the camaraderie, the laughter and the sheer joy of jumping around in time to the music. Alex has always had a great sense of rhythm, and has always liked to be with his friends and do fun things, so the dance classes are perfect for him. They’ve become his focus on Saturdays, at least in the mornings. He loves them and wouldn’t miss them. He’ll always be late, though — that’s Alex!

Justyne, thanks to you and everyone involved for all your hard work and goodwill.

Deb

Jason 20 yrs from Yarrawarrah has been attending Twinkle Stars for about 7 years and never misses a class. Jason loves performing & seeing his friends & the parents. When we were told Jason had Downs Syndrome not long after his birth, we were only told about all the doom & gloom that lay ahead for us. Little did they know that we would find a wonderful dance school, he’d dance in Disneyland, Hawaii, Gold Coast lots of times & lots of other places. It has dramatically improved Jason’s social life & extended his circle of friends. For us it has given us lots of truly wonderful friends. We are like one big & happy family.

Enormous thanks to Justyne, June & Belinda.

Bob, Sue, Jason & family

Our son has been attending Twinkle Stars for the past year (he started at the age of 5) and has really enjoyed the whole experience. He has developed into quite a good dancer in that time too. Concert day he was really excited and loved the costumes and being on stage. The teachers at Twinkle Stars are not just teachers but really care for all of the children as well and by doing that they bring out the best in each child. Our family recommends Twinkle Stars to all special needs children as we can see the benefits that it brings to those who have been there a short time like us but also the kids who have grown up with Twinkle Stars and what it means to them.

Ante and MandyHurstville

Justyne,
Once again the concert was a credit to your commitment & dedication to your students, you are the consummate professional and the concert was perfect in every detail. My Dad had a tear when Girl’s Group performed The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. Kirby & I can not thank you enough for being such a beautiful soul & providing these wonderful opportunities for us. I didn’t realise how big the dance studio has become and I don’t honestly know how you cope with everything but it is to our good fortune that you do.

Love,

Kirby & Julie

From a parents point of view Star Performers has given a safe, friendly, supportive environment to me with people who actually understand what you are going through. I am thankful to Justyne for starting this terrific dance school.

Ruth

Lara is 15 and loves to dance. Due to her severe autism and profound language disability it sadly wasn’t possible for her to continue to dance at the same dance school as her sister.

Twinkle Stars has been a truly wonderful experience for her as she has been able to perform on stage at the annual concert wearing her costumes, make-up and having her hair curled & up in a dance hairstyle. She gets to do dance like her sister in an accepting environment.

Before Twinkle Stars it was heartbreaking as Lara wanted to go to her sister’s dance school where she was in the ‘babies’ group for just over one year. At Twinkle Stars the dance routines are devised for the special needs of the children who attend.

The truly great thing is if one of the dancers gets upset all the other children and parents understand. The parents really enjoy catching up with the other parents each week and at special performances. Over the last 4 years Twinkle Stars has been a godsend for our family.

A huge thank you to Justyne and June!

Lara

My name is Chloe Angel, I am 6 and half years old and I have down syndrome.

I have been attending twinkle stars dance school for a little over three years. I love dancing and music but best of all I love all my friends that I see at dancing every Saturday morning.

My mum, Kim has met many parents through Twinkle Stars and she really enjoys the Saturday mornings. My nanny Maureen also takes me everywhere and she likes Justyne and June and we all go on holidays together like when we went to Dream World in Queensland and we even got to dance there too, it was so much fun.

I have two aunties named Faye and Beverley and lots of cousins called Nevo, Courtenay, Shallis and Kane who love me very much and love coming to my dancing concerts because they think I am so great.

Chloe Angel

James from JannaIi Sydney is 12 years old and has attended Twinkle Stars since its inception

James has Down Syndrome. He is an original member of Twinkle Stars dance School when it was formed soooo many years ago.

As a child with a disability there weren’t / aren’t many opportunities to join any type of group activities without wondering when you are going to be asked to leave. Be it behaviour, unable to keep up with the other children or perhaps your looks. Twinkle Stars Dance School has turned that around for James, us and so many other families.

Twinkle Stars is not judgemental and accepts you as you are. Since starting Twinkle Stars it is the only activity James has always stuck with.

Dancing allows James to develop his confidence, independence and coordination in a setting of acceptance, fun and without prejudice. He is just one of the kids In the early days of Twinkle Stars we parents had to help our children literally stay on the dance floor It was great therapy for the children and great exercise for us parents.

This no longer happens as all the students dance independently. This helps the new students pick up the routines much quicker and allows them to be less dependant on others. Over the years we have made many friends for our children as well as for us.

We look forward every week to discuss our ups and downs, pass on any information that we have leaned and just enjoy each other’s company while we watch our children dance. We also look forward to our annual concert, though at times this can be nerve-racking for the parents.

The children love dressing up in their costumes and performing for a roaring crowd. l We also like the times when we have gone away to Dream World on the Gold Coast to perform. Its great fun when a big group of families in the same situation can enjoy themselves without fearing what others may think of us – we are one big happy family looking after each other.

Twinkle Stars isn’t just about James and his disability its about all of us. Thank you to our wonderful teachers Justyne, June and Belinda, because of you and your determination our kids have a chance to shine.

Rosemary