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John Linden

Creative Director

Linden started his dance training in O’okiep, Namaqualand in 1976 with Alfred Hinkel at the Namakwalandse Dans Geselskap. After this Linden did a stint in Windhoek, Namibia with the Dial Dance Company followed by a few years in Cape Town, Johannesburg and the Wild Coast as a freelance performer before returning to Jazzart Dance Theatre.
In 1986 he became a founder member of the Jazzart Dance Theatre. It was here that he established himself as a performer, teacher and choreographer. In 1996 Linden became the director of Jazzart’s Dance Joint program which offers open dance classes to members of the general public regardless of their levels of experience.

John Linden Teaching Class

Alfred Hinkel


In 1976 Hinkel established his first dance company, the Namakwalandse Dans Geselskap, in Nababeep and O’okiep in the Northern Cape. This was also the start of his working relationship with John Linden.
Hinkel spent a brief period in Windhoek, Namibia creating a second dance company, the Dial Dance Company, in collaboration with a local dance teacher Dianne Sparks. In 1981 he relocated to Cape Town.
In 1986 he bought the Jazzart Dance Studios from Val Stein. The next two decades saw Hinkel transforming this dance studio into one of South Africa’s premiere performing arts, training and performance institutions - the renamed Jazzart Dance Theatre.
Known for his creativity and commitment to pushing the boundaries of dance, Hinkel’s term as artistic director of Jazzart Dance Theatre represents one of the most important creative, educational and socio-political careers in the history of South African dance. 

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Byron Klassen

Founder Member & Artistic Director Designate

Byron is a founder member of the Garage Dance Ensemble since December 2011 and in this time has distinguished himself as a dancer and teacher of note. Byron was born in Vier Kamp in O’okiep, but he grew up in Eerste River in Cape Town, where he attended high school with Dance Studies as a matriculation subject.

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Faroll Coetzee


A native of Vier Kamp in O’okiep, Northern Cape, Faroll studied dance with Dawn Langdown at O’okiep High. While still at school he attended extra mural classes at Garage Dance Ensemble with John Linden and Alfred Hinkel. Faroll made his first appearance in a Garage production on stage at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg at the age of 17. In a very short space of time Faroll earned a reputation as a consummate dancer with a particularly wide stylistic range that includes contemporary, tap, acrobatic, urban street and traditional dance with an exceptional flair for improvisation.

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Esmé Marthinus


Born in 1976 in O’okiep, Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa, Esmé gained initial experience by working with Dawn Langdown at Namjive (a community based dance programme) from 1997 to 2010. During this period she acquired teaching and performance skills, predominantly but not limited to dance.
She joined Garage Dance Ensemble in 2013 as a wardrobe mistress and community dance teacher.

Esme Marthinus During A Live Performance

Al-Jerreau Richards

Finance & Marketing

Born in Nababeep in the Northern Cape, Al-Jerreau graduated from Concordia High School in 2012.


In February 2023 he joined Garage Dance Ensemble as the NAC Help Desk representative. This entailed working alongside Alfred Hinkel, identifying and assisting artists from the Nama-Khoi region to become compliant in order to submit funding applications. This resulted in amongst others a successful application from Nama-Khoi Productions in Sanddrift, Richtersveld.


Georgia Julies


Georgia grew up in Vredendal, a town on the border of the Western and Northern Cape, graduating from high school in 2020.


In 2021 Georgia joined Garage as a trainee in preparation for further study/professional employment. She graduated in December 2023 and Garage immediately contracted her. 


Apart from frequently performing with Garage’s part time students and alongside the company, she has regularly operated the sound for the company’s full length works including Garage’s successful USA Tour hosted by Centerstage.


Jaime-Lee Hine


Jaime-Lee was born in Cape Town-Kuils River, graduating from the Western Cape Sport School in 2015.  Although Jaime did not grow up in the Northern Cape her maternal ancestry is from the region.

Jaime-Lee has been with Garage Dance Ensemble since April 2018 when she joined the company as a trainee. Within three years Jaime garnered nation-wide respect and established herself as a dancer, singer, actress to be reckoned with.

Jaime-Lee resigned from Garage December 2023. In the foreseeable future she will be engaged as a freelance performer where necessary.

Jaime-Lee Hine During A Dance Lesson

Bertram Isak


Bertram was born in O’okiep in 1985 and attended primary and high school in the region. While still at O’okiep High he started his dance and theatre training with Dawn Langdown.

2023 saw Bertram travelling with Garage Dance Ensemble on their month long USA tour hosted by Centerstage, as repetiteur and traditional dance workshop presenter. Not only is Bertram a soloist in a local male choir ( O’okiep Male Voices ) he is a skilled teacher of Namastap, a Namaqualand First Nation dance vernacular.

Bertram has left the company.

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