World success for Luton's Mini Junkeys

Luton dance teacher Jazmin Buckley, 24, is over the moon after two of her young pupils qualified for international competitions.

Jazmin Buckley , founder of Luton's Phoenix Starr Academy
Jazmin Buckley , founder of Luton's Phoenix Starr Academy

Six-year-old Taesha Thomas has made it to the International Dance Organisation finals while the Mini Junkeys dance crew – comprising Taesha and Anaiya Lamond – are through to the United Dance Organisation championships.

Jazmin, who started the Phoenix Starr Academy in Rothesay Road two years ago, said: “I love all kinds of dance, full stop. It’s the true expression of the soul.”

She added: “I am the Academy’s founder and only teacher. We cover street dance, jazz, tap and ballet and cater for all ages, from three upwards.

“We currently have 55 students enrolled and hope to introduce singing and acting classes soon.”

Jazmin believes there’s lots of talent in Luton but there aren’t the opportunities for it to develop.

She said: “My ambition is to create a school where all children can gain a qualification in something that interests them, something they enjoy doing and can turn into a future career.”

He role models are Michael and Janet Jackson and the late dancer, singer and actress Aaliyah,

She also holds her older sister Chereen in high regard.

Jazmin said: “She’s appeared in several BBC productions including Law and Order, Litle Miss Jocelyn and Thieves Like Us.

“She’s currently doing a play in the West End called The Maids.”