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Artistic Director

Kuo Po

Kuo Po's journey began as a trailblazing figure and solo vocalist in the music industry. Recognizing the importance of setting oneself apart, she chose the saxophone as her instrument, a choice that bestowed her with a unique identity as a performer. Throughout the 90s, she proudly held the title of Asia’s sole singer-saxophonist, a distinction that led to remarkable opportunities. Notably, the Singapore Tourism Board enlisted her to represent Singapore in a series of international performances across enchanting locales like Cairo, Bahrain, and Mumbai. Immersed in these diverse cultures, Kuo Po not only showcased her artistry but also absorbed the essence of global traditions. Transitioning into the business world, Kuo Po pioneered Singapore's inaugural all-English karaoke venue, Java Jive. This innovative endeavor set the stage for similar concepts to emerge, evidencing her role as a trendsetter. Kuo Po's inventive spirit and leadership prowess subsequently propelled her into roles as a producer and director, collaborating with institutions like the Esplanade. She curated memorable shows such as "A Gem Session," spotlighting Singapore's female frontrunners in the music scene. Additionally, her brainchild, the Singapore Wine And Jazz Festival (2010), brought together the nation's preeminent jazz virtuosos at Robertson Quay. Notably, Kuo Po established the pioneering International Kids Performing Festival, offering young talents prestigious platforms like the Esplanade Theatres by the Bay and Yong Siew Toh Concert Hall. A defining moment arrived when Kuo Po introduced the groundbreaking ensemble, JazzKids, a group of young performers harmonizing singing and dancing to big band swing and jazz classics. Their remarkable achievement of clinching four gold medals at the World Championship of Performing Arts in Los Angeles underscored Kuo Po's ability to nurture exceptional talent. Kuo Po's protégés took center stage at pivotal occasions in Singapore's history, captivating audiences at events like the Singapore Evening for World Leaders 2009, Asean Tourism Dinner Gala, and the HOMETEAM 50th Anniversary show. Their performances at National Day Parades and the opening act of the National Day Parade 2023 broadcast showcased their artistry and commitment. Kuo Po also orchestrated international opportunities, enabling her students to captivate audiences in global cities like Hong Kong, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, Sydney, and New York. As a devoted mentor, Kuo Po remains committed to nurturing emerging talents, emphasizing the importance of hands-on experiences and a robust portfolio. Anticipating the demands of the evolving DSA process, she assumed a pioneering role, devising a pedagogical approach that empowers students not only to exhibit their skills but also to articulate their individuality during interviews and auditions. The impressive success rate of over 95% within her DSA program stands as a testament to the effectiveness of her methodology. In a landscape characterized by ever-shifting demands, Kuo Po leads The DSA Specialists with a resolute vision. The organization is dedicated to empowering students to "Stand Out" and ultimately "Be Outstanding." Under Kuo Po's guidance, the team navigates the intricate realm of DSA with a commitment to excellence, equipping students with the tools they need to shine brightly in their academic journey.

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Senior Trainer - Acting

Cordelia Fernandez

  • Master of Counselling – Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

  • BA(Hons) (English Language) – National University of Singapore

  • Associate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (AGSMD) Teachers’ Diploma – London / Singapore

  • RSA Cert TEFLA – Kent, United Kingdom

Cordelia’s training, experience and passion lie in teaching drama and communication skills. She holds a Teachers’ Diploma in Speech & Drama and is an Associate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London.

Cordelia’s teaching experience is extensive, from her role as a speech and drama teacher at the Julia Gabriel Centre, Singapore, to acting coach at TISCH Asia (NYU) and LAMDA instructor at various international schools, principally at North London Collegiate School. Her academic teaching includes a long-term position as a communications lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film and Media Studies. Currently she is much sought after as an English and communication skills teacher and frequently travels under the banner of Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, teaching English to ministry officials in ASEAN countries. Cordelia has an 11-year involvement with Singapore Performing Arts Academy (including all its prior iterations). She trains DSA students in Acting and Improvisation, coaches candidates for external Trinity College and LAMDA examinations, and has conducted numerous Master Classes in Acting, Public Speaking and Professional Preparation. As a teacher, Cordelia creates a safe environment within the classroom for practice, experimentation and for coping with challenges. She strongly believes that clear instruction, consistency and discipline should be combined with fun, some silliness and dynamic learning for a successful outcome.

Senior Trainer - Communication / Acting

Victoria A. Chen

Victoria's passion lies in nurturing life skills such as creative thinking and communication, while also fostering self-esteem and compassion in children. Her enthusiasm for sharing knowledge and constantly challenging the status quo reflects her commitment to education and empowering individuals to unlock their full potential.

Victoria excels in wearing the hat of a drama practitioner, bringing her extensive experience in Early Childhood/Montessori and Special Education to her teaching, acting, and directing roles. Her versatility in pedagogy is evident as she has successfully taught drama and directed plays in multiple schools. Moreover, she has provided valuable coaching to candidates pursuing LAMDA's Introductory Stages, Verse and Prose, Speaking in Public, as well as Trinity College London's Communication Skills, Speech and Drama, and Acting certifications. Apart from education, Victoria wears the drama practitioner hat in teaching, acting, and directing. She has taught drama and directs plays in numerous schools, and coached candidates in LAMDA’s Introductory Stages, Verse and Prose, Speaking in Public, as well as Trinity College London’s Communication Skills, Speech and Drama, and Acting certifications. Victoria has performed in theatre festivals both local and international, such as National Heritage Board’s bus-theatre experience, Buses and Rides, Singapore Heritage Festivals, and Egypt Theatre festival.

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Senior Trainer - Communication and  Acting

Desmond Sim

Desmond has had vast professional experience in playwriting with published works such as Six Plays and student plays ( Epigram Books, 2013), Mistress and other creative take offs amongst other works.
His teaching experiences has included guest lecturing at Temasek Design School ( 2003-2016) & Lasalle College of the Arts (2008-2016).He also had several works produced by KL Performing Arts Centre from 2010- 2013.
He has held more than a dozen art exhibitions and won several national prizes for theatre (such as Play of the year, Best original Script , Autumn Tomyum) and short story and poetry writing.

Trainer- Dance 

Gabrielle Lee

Gabrielle is a dancer with over 20 years of training in ballet, contemporary, tap, andjazz. Having completed the Intermediate Foundation certificate from the RoyalAcademy of Dance, her strong ballet background allows her to impart propertechnique to provide her students with a solid foundation in dance.

Her experience in dancing on both international and national stages has alsoequipped her with high-level performance techniques to improve performancequality and production value. She has worked under renowned local choreographerssuch as Shahbirul Zaki Ahmad and Dan Kwoh, assisting them during training andhelping students improve performance techniques. Additionally, Gabrielle herselfhas choreographed numerous contemporary items, giving her experience ineffectively training dancers in both technique and emoting through movement. Gabrielle has led multiple dance teams in various performances, from internationalcompetitions to national performances, achieving First Prize in the Ethnic andContemporary Dance categories at the Dance Grand Prix Barcelona 2013. Theseexperiences have given her leadership skills and expertise in managing dancetroupes that she can apply in the classroom and during performances

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Voice Trainer

May Jayashanker

May is one of the handful of vocal trainers to have mastered both Indian and Western classical and pop stylings.
Born in a musical family and raised in a multicultural society, May is able to sing and teach in various different languages mainly English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.  
Her techniques have been well received for many years, and led to the accomplishments of many young talents, some of them serial winners of competitions, in this region - American Protege, Muse International Music Competition, Asia Arts Festival to name a few.
She also trains students for DSA (Direct School Admission-Singing), ABRSM, Trinity Musical Theatre, LCM pop vocal.
She is passionate in sharing her expertise and care to groom the next generation of great vocalists.

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