Jennifer & Tim Podesta
Amy Doughty: Assistant Director
Matthew Lawrence: Ex: Principal Dancer Birmingham Royal Ballet
The Regional Academy of Performing Arts RAPA opened its doors in July 2005 in Albury/Wodonga. Jennifer and Tim Podesta had a vision to change the landscape of dance in regional Australia and to build a reputation for the school that would see students come to train at RAPA from metropolitan and international locations.
Today RAPA has five studios, a variety of dance styles for the recreational dancer, adult classes and an elite training program with graduates working in companies across the globe.
Whether you dance for fun, fitness or dream of dancing professionally RAPA has exactly what you need.
For students looking to move into elite vocational training and full-time programmes our partner school, Projection Dance School, offers the highest level of training and opportunities. Visit their website for further details.
Youth America Grand Prix Finalists- New York
Youth International Ballet Competition Finalsists- Florida
Netherlands Dance Theatre-
Ballet Stars Under The Stars Gala Performance
Australasian Ballet Challenge
Youth American Grand Prix Finalists- New York
Opera Nationala Romana Cluj-Napoca
Queensland Ballet Professional Year
New Zealand School of Dance
Jennifer commenced dance training in Sydney as a young child and was fortunate enough to work with some of Australia's leading teachers at Academy Ballet for her junior training and then for three years of full-time training at the Saille Academy where she studied Classical Ballet, National Character and Jazz.
She commenced her training as a teacher whilst still in Sydney and later returned to her family home in Albury where she has since taught and operated her own school for over 35 years teaching across all ages and levels and in 2004, she started the Regional Academy of Performing Arts (RAPA) with her partner, Tim Podesta. She has an excellent record in preparing students for Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Examinations at both Grade and Vocational level and for eisteddfods as well as successfully coaching students in Year 9/10, HSC and VCE Dance. She holds the RAD Teacher’s Certificate and has completed RAD courses and written examinations in Psychology and Child Development, Anatomy and Dance History. In 2018, she began a new role for the RAD as a Teaching Mentor for students in the Teaching Training Course. She has worked extensively in schools and amateur theatre throughout the region as a choreographer and a dance teacher and has also tutored as guest lecturer at Charles Sturt University Early Childhood Education Unit.
Her interest in the role of dance and music in early childhood development led Jennifer to develop a dance program specifically for 2-5 year olds called "Tot-time" and in 2004 she produced a dance, gross motor development and creative movement program on DVD called "Get Up and Grow" based on this program.
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and in 2017 completed a PhD (Sociology) at the University of Melbourne where she was also employed as a tutor. She has more recently worked as researcher at Australian Institute of Family Studies and has served as the Chair and Public Officer of Projection Dance Company Inc. since its inception in 2006. She is the Administrative Director of Impact Project Group where she also continues in a teaching and creative role.
Tim is a graduate of the Australian Ballet School and has performed globally in works by leading choreographers and directors. It was always Tim's intention to build a school in Wodonga offering the best in training, injury prevention methods and provide networks and resources that rival the metropolitan based schools. Today RAPA stands as a leading national training institute. As a teacher Tim has taught students and professionals from all corners of the globe and in 2016 began Projection Dance School to offer specialised elite vocational training.
In 2006 Tim founded PROJECTion Dance Company. PROJECTion Dance serves as a laboratory for artists, therapists and practitioners to explore developments in dance and the evolution of dance across many borders including professional dance performances, inclusive dance practice, dance education and specific areas of dance medicine.
PROJECTion has toured Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Europe receiving multiple nominations and awards including the ‘Best Foreign Film’ at the Queens International Film Festival in New York.
As an independent choreographer Tim has worked with an array of classical and contemporary companies around the world. In 2014 the Film ADOR that Tim produced, directed and choreographed will have its world wide release. The film is the first of its kind and features dancers from The Queensland Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, The Hong Kong Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Houston Ballet, Australian Dance Theatre, English National Ballet and PROJECTion Dance. In 2014 Tim will be creating a new work for Queensland Ballet Company, Of Mice and Men with Ausdance Victoria Director Andy Howiit, and a new production of Romeo and Juliet.
In 2017 Tim joined with Principal Guest artist of the Royal Ballet, Mara Galeazzi, to create M&T in Motion, producing work in the UK, Europe, Africa, USA and Middle East and here in Australia.
Tim’s work in inclusive dance practice began as one of the founding members of The Dis/assemble Project. The Dis/assemble Project is a contemporary dance company encompassing disabled and able dancers utilizing multi media collaborations. Dis/assemble's work has been documented for television and broadcast nationally. Tim has joined esteemed panel members Rafael Bonachela, Artistic Director Sydney Dance Company, Philip Channells, Artistic Director Restless Dance Theatre, Adelaide, Cathy Murdoch, Director of Ausdance NSW to contribute to a symposium initiated by Accessible Arts. This year Tim has completed a instructional syllabus and qualification program for people with physical and intellectual difficulties so that the dancers hard work is quantifiable with a nationally recognised qualification. Tim has received much recognition for his work in dance and disability including being one of ten artists selected to feature in the book ‘Seeded’ acknowledging great arts initiatives from across the country.
Tim’s strengths as a teacher/coach are enhanced by his experience in treating musculoskeletal injuries and conditions as a qualified Myotherapist and Body conditioning specialist targeting and improving ROM (range of movement), soft tissue integrity and enhancing full body function. As a therapist Tim has worked with principal dancers, marathon runners, national swimmers and high performance gymnasts from around the world.
Tim holds an Adv. Dip Myotherapy, Adv. Dip Aust. Ballet School, A recognised Master Trainer through Federation of International Sports, Aerobics and Fitness (FISAF), Accredited coach Athletics Australia and this year will receive a BA in Screen and Performing Arts through Auckland Unitec.