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founders

Vicki Adams Willis, Founder in Residence

Photo of Vicki Adams

Vicki carries on a family tradition that began when her mother, Alice Murdoch Adams opened one of the first dance schools in Calgary in the 1920’s. Vicki’s passion for dance and jazz has taken her literally all over the globe. Besides teaching and choreographing for countless local and international organizations, including the renowned School at Jacob’s Pillow, she founded the Jazz Division in the Faculty of Fine Arts Program of Dance at the University of Calgary in 1978, and co-founded Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in 1984 where she continued her role as Artistic Director for 29 years. She is currently enthusiastically embracing her new role of Founder in Residence in the organization.

Vicki has received U of C’s Superior Teacher Award, Global Television’s Women of Vision Award, The City of Calgary’s Community Achievement Award for the Arts, and an Alberta Centennial Medal. She has also had a U of C Fine Arts Entrance Award named in her honour, has been recognized by U of C’s Women’s Resource Centre, and was named one of the University Of Calgary’s Top 40 Alumni. She has received the Established Artist Award at the 2009 Mayor’s Evening for Business and the Arts as well as the MacLachlan Community Beacon Award at the 2016 Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions and wrote Canada’s 2013 National Dance Week Message for the Canadian Dance Assembly. Vicki was most recently honoured in 2017 with an Alberta Foundation for the Arts 25 Influential Alberta Artists Award.

Michèle Moss, DJD Co-Founder

Photo of Michele MossMichèle is Co-Founder of DJD and continues to create work for the company, most recently for Modern Vaudevillians in 2017. Over the years, she has served as choreographer, School Principal and Associate Artistic Director for DJD. Michèle is presently a faculty member of the B.A. Dance Program at the University of Calgary. Her most significant research areas are the West African roots of jazz and the traditions of the West African Diaspora.

 

Hannah Stilwell, DJD Co-Founder

Photo of Hannah SilwllHannah Stilwell is a performer, teacher and choreographer entranced by the relationship between audible and visual rhythms. Throughout her career, she has dedicated herself to the discovery of many dance forms that have fused over the past century to become jazz dance. Her work has taken her to Africa, Cuba, Jamaica, India and throughout North America. Hannah holds a B.A. from U of C where she has instructed dance since 1982, and is a founder of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.