TRiPLe8FuNk Latin


Aaron Jaikla

"Dancing is like the air I breath, without dancing I can’t be alive."

Nakarin Jaikla, also known as Aaron, was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand. His first dance competition was with Latin American Dancesport, where he was greatly encouraged to enter. He successfully auditioned and qualified. Two years later, Aaron proudly represented Thailand in the 3rd ADSA Singapore Open Dancesport Championships in 2002, and won a gold medal in class D. In 2003, Aaron became the champion of Thailand by winning the Latin American class C division in the Thailand DanceSport Association Championship.

In 2004, Aaron graduated from Chiang Mai University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts receiving second-class honors. Aaron moved to Australia in 2006, taking a course at the Box Hill Institute studying for a diploma in Dance Teaching and Management in order to gain an international Qualification. Aaron received the outstanding first year student scholarship in 2007, and in 2008 graduated to become a dance teacher at the “Victorian Ballet School” in Fitzroy from 2008 to 2010. Aaron also worked with the “Young Dancer Company” as a performer from 2007 to 2010, performing his last production as The Nutcracker Prince in “The Nutcracker”(2010). In 2011, Aaron has become a dance teacher at “Main Street Funk Dance Studio” in Thomas Town, Melbourne.


- ADSA Singapore Open Dancesport Championships, Gold Medal in Class D (2002)
- Thailand DanceSport Association Championship, Winner in Class C (2003)
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (2nd Class Honours), Chiang Mai University (2004)


Gemma Hughes

"Let dance free yourself from the restricting limitations of the mind."

Originally from New Zealand, Gemma began her path in dance at age 8. She had dabbled in a number of things from figure skating to gymnastics, but nothing could exceed her infatuation for dance.

Gemma is known as an all rounder, moulding herself into many styles: jazz, ballet, hip hop, tap, lyrical, contemporary and commercial, and is ever eager to add more to her dance repertoire, such as Latin! She has performed in numerous corporate/commercial dance gigs and gained a lot of experience throughout Melbourne and New Zealand, both on and off camera. Some examples are at the Australian Dance Awards, Channel 9’s “Before the Game”, KPMG Charity Ball at Crown Casino, Melbourne Latin Festival, international rugby matches in New Zealand and many more.

A passionate performer, she believes the raw energy gained from the audience is what brings the dance to life.


- Full Marks, Jazz and Contemporary NZAMD Exams, Judith Fuge Dance School
- Placed Finalist, Jazz, Contemporary and Hip-Hop, NZAMD Nationals (2006-2009)
- Fulltime Course, Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance (2010-2011)


Mark Jayawardena

Artistic Director / Choreographer

"Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another."

Mark has been dancing since 1997 in various genres and has been exposed to the dance world since he was a child. He specializes in Latin American style, though he is trained in jazz, classical and contemporary, with a belief that the foundations of dance is the same regardless of the genre. Being versatile is a must in the dance industry. He has a vast knowledge and hands on experience in commercial and competitive dancing not to mention teaching and choreography both theoretically & practically. He thinks that understanding the human body and its movement and how it is all connected is a crucial aspect of dancing especially when it comes to showing rhythm and musicality through your body.

Mark’s passion is to incorporate Latin based moves into cabaret style performances. He is a fulltime dancer, coach and choreographer.


Matthew Cramer

"No drug or substance can simulate the high you feel when the world melts away and it's just you and the music."

Matthew was born and raised in Melbourne to Sri Lankan parents. At the tender age of 12, Matt's drama teacher encouraged his father to put him into Latin American lessons because he was good at "wiggling his butt" when he danced. After a year of dancing Matt started his competitive career. A change of partner and studios in 2000 catapulted Matt up the competitive ladder and in less than two years he was competing at the top level of the Australian Championships.

In 2002, Matt decided to retire from competitive dancing and become a teacher where he coached students to high standards receiving honours for his teaching over many years.

Matt left Australia in 2008 and lived in Greece until recently. He excited to be part of T8F and bring his flavour to the team.


- Aquinas Championship, Latin American, Winner in Grade D (2000)
- Dance Masters of Australia Championship, Modern Ballroom, Winner in Grade D (2000)
- Southern Cross Championship, Latin American, Winner in Grade C (2001)
- Australian Championships, Latin American, Finalist in Grade B and Open Grade (2001)
- Three D's Award for teaching (2007)