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weekday Youth Training Program

DJD’s Youth Training Program (YTP) at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD) has been designed to provide weekly instruction to students in a supportive, professional, and creative environment for dancers ages 8-12 years. With over 30 years experience in professional performance and instruction, DJD is known for providing audiences and students alike with dance experiences that speak to the integrity that the company was founded upon.

ballet-shoesThe Weekday YTP showcases the talents of dedicated instructors who share a passion for dance and believe that a well-rounded dancer is given the opportunity to excel in a variety of dance forms. Ballet, Jazz and Modern dance are the core styles taught within the Youth Training Program and we believe that training outside of the confines of a set syllabus allow for increased exploration, artistry, and inquiry within the traditional dance class setting.

For the 16/17 Season, 3 levels will be offered to dancers at the appropriate age and ability. Beginner (age 8-9 yrs), Intermediate (age 9-11 yrs), and Intermediate 2 (age 10-12 yrs). Classes in ballet, jazz, modern, and hip hop will be offered as per the schedule below, with a selection of supplementary classes offered on Saturday for an additional fee (To see the schedule for Saturday classes CLICK HERE)

Youth Training Program Open House – April 25-27, 2017

Please join us in any of the classes listed below for your chance to experience what DJD’s Youth Training Program (YTP) is all about. The YTP has been designed to provide concentrated and dedicated weekly instruction to students in a supportive, professional, and creative environment.

All YTP Open House participants must sign a waiver with DJD before class – if you are a current student, you have done this for the Winter Session. Dancers who are new to DJD are welcome to attend the YTP Open House.

If you have questions or require more information about the YTP and the upcoming Open House, please email Dance School Principal Joanne Baker at

open house Class Schedule 






Ballet/Modern Beginner
4:15-5:00 PM
Modern Intermediate 2
4:00-5:00 PM
Intermediate 2
4:00-5:00 PM
6/7 Ballet/Creative Dance
4:00-5:00 PM
Ballet Beginner
4:00-5:00 PM
 Jazz Intermediate 2
4:00-5:00 PM
Stretch & Strength
Intermediate 2
5:00-6:00 PM
Jazz Beginner
5:00-6:00 PM
Ballet Intermediate 2
5:00-6:00 PM
Ballet Intermediate 2
5:30-6:30 PM
6:00-6:30 PM


For dancers aged 6/7 yrs All ages/all levels For beginner level dancers aged 8-10 yrs For Intermediate or higher level dancers aged 10-12 yrs


important dates

Tuesday, September 6 – First day of classes
Friday, October 21 – YTP west african workshop
Thursday, December 15 – Last day of classes before holiday break
Tuesday, January 10 – Classes resume
Friday, March 10 – YTP Jazz Class workshop
Monday, March 20- Saturday, March 25 – No classes for March Break
Tuesday, April 25- Thursday, April 27 – Open House classes
Thursday, June 1 – Final day of YTP
Friday, June 2 – YTP year end showing


Tuition includes a year end showing and 2 workshops throughout the year.

Early Bird Pricing

(until August 26)

Regular Pricing


2 classes/week*
 $1250  $1290
3 classes/week*
 $1870 $1935
4 classes/week*
 $2490  $2580
4 classes/week*
 $2490  $2580
5 classes/week*
 $3115  $3225
Weekday 30 minutes class add-on  $312  $322.50
Saturday class add-on Please Contact
Dance Center Manager

*Payment plans are available please contact Kirstin Anderson, Dance Centre Manager, for more information. 403-228-8177

Class Descriptions


Youth Ballet at DJD will provide solid technical training that inspires whole dancers, not just future ballerinas. Quality training with the freedom of teacher and student creativity, classes will be based in R.A.D syllabus. Dress code: ballet slippers, pink tights (footless), navy bodysuit


Keeping a connection to the history of jazz dance, the DJD Youth jazz program places strong emphasis on common dance techniques and skills within the jazz context along with vernacular (social) dance steps from the early days of jazz dance. Emphasis is placed on joy of dance and accuracy of movement in an encouraging and non-threatening atmosphere. Dress code: jazz shoes (black or beige), dance/jazz pants or shorts, body suit of choice.


Modern dance class will explore elements from Limon, Horton and Graham techniques, as well as current contemporary and release forms. This class will challenge the dancers range of dynamics and self-expression, and students will learn improvisation, floor work, inversions and partnering skills. We will explore concepts such as weight, energy, breath and space, all while developing solid, grounded technique. Dress code: bare feet, dance/jazz pants or shorts and body suit of choice.

faculty Bios

Joanne Baker
DJD Dance School Principal

Joanne is a Calgary based dance artist who, after graduating with an Honours BA from the University of Waterloo’s Dance Program in 1992, danced and toured nationally and internationally with Calgary’s DJD until 1999. In 2001 she moved behind the scenes with DJD and became Dance School Principal and Arts in Education Coordinator, two roles she has maintained to this day. Teaching has been a passion since 1993. Inspired by her DJD mentors, Joanne’s skills as a dance educator has taken her across Canada conducting workshops and intensives at Halifax Dance (Halifax), Ryerson University and Metro Movement (Toronto), Harbour Dance Centre (Vancouver), Dance Manitoba (Winnipeg), World Dance Alliance – America’s (Vancouver Conference), and at home with DJD’s Jazz Immersions, June Jazz Intensives, and Professional Training Program. Joanne is currently a Sessional instructor for the University of Calgary’s Dance Department. In addition to studio /festival instruction, Joanne has lead several artist in residence programs to students in Calgary and Lethbridge for Grades K – 12.

Jessalyn Britton
Modern Instructor

Jessalyn is a contemporary and jazz dancer/choreographer/teacher involved in both independent and collaborative performance and creation. She is co-artistic director and producer of CrossCurrents, and has produced two shows since its inception. Jessalyn has worked with dance theatre company kloetzel&co. for several seasons where she performed in Professional Series 2014, Toronto’s Dusk Dances, and in the full length work “The Alice Odyssey.” This past year, Jessalyn was a company member in Corps Bara Dance Theatre, which produced the collaborative show “Absence” alongside Fire Exit Theatre. Independently, she has had the opportunity to perform and choreograph in: Alberta Dance Festival, Feats Festival, Fluid Festival’s Physical Therapy Cabaret and ContainR, Ignite! Festival, Soulocentric Fesitval, Shoes Off Cabaret, and Vancouver’s Tangents. Jessalyn holds a B.A. in Contemporary Dance with distinction from the University of Calgary. Post graduation, Britton was drawn into the jazz world and danced with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ Professional Training Program for three seasons.  Jessalyn loves sharing her passion for dance with children and adults. She has been teaching dance for 11 years and is currently a teacher at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and Counterpoint Dance Academy Marda Loop. Jessalyn specializes in teaching jazz and contemporary/modern , but has also studied in ballet, contact improvisation, musical theatre, tap and West African.  She studied ballet up to ISTD Adv 1 and also has her Junior Cecchetti Teachers Certification.  Jessalyn will be attending the Acrobatic Arts Level 1-5 Certification course the summer of 2015.

Kate Kaupas
Ballet Instructor

Kate Kaupas began dancing at the age of three in Calgary, Alberta. She began her training at International School of Ballet under Umran Sumen, and was accepted into the full year program at the National Ballet School of Canada at age 12. After three years, Kate returned to Calgary to train at International School of Ballet where she received distinction in her R.A.D Advanced 1 examination. Kate was later accepted into the professional graduate program at the School of Alberta Ballet, where she had to the opportunity to perform with the Alberta Ballet Company. Upon graduation, Kate received a contract to dance professionally with Ballet Tucson. She danced in Tucson for 3 years where she performed many corps de ballet and soloist roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Cinderella. She then returned to Calgary and began as rehearsal mistress at Jeunesse Classique Ballet Company and most recently started teaching at Infinite Creations.

Janelle Schiffner
Jazz Instructor

Janelle has been dancing for over 16 years, training at various schools around Calgary. A recent graduate from the University of Calgary, receiving a Bachelor’s of Art in Contemporary Dance with a Concentration in Choreography and Performance. Janelle has participated in dance travel studies around the world, including New York City, Cuba, and Amsterdam. Janelle studied jazz at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks with their Professional Training Program and continues to share her love of jazz dance with students at DJD and around the city. Janelle also loves sharing her knowledge by teaching dance and piano.