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MEET THE DJD Dancers:

For information about auditions click here.

ALISHA AHMADI, APPRENTICE DANCER

Born in Vancouver, Canada, Alisha trained at Pro Arte Centre and graduated as a member of the CatchingART Contemporary Ballet Theatre. In 2013, she moved to London, England and graduated with a BA (Hons) at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. While in England, she danced with Rambert Dance Company as well as various and choreographers. In 2017, Alisha moved back to Vancouver as a freelance dancer working on multiple projects in the performing arts and film industry. Alisha is excited to be with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and looks forward to what the future holds.

SCOTT AUGUSTINE, DANCER

Scott is a native of Vancouver B.C and this is his first season with DJD. He has danced extensively with the Vancouver based contemporary company Wen Wei Dance as well with other companies such as The Company 605, Radical System Arts and Move. He was Principle Dancer in Tokyo, Japan for the show Encore! as well as a Principle Tapper for the 2010 Opening Ceremonies for the Vancouver Olympics. Scott has played major roles in musical theatre including Riff In West Side Story for the Vancouver Opera and Rainbow Stage, Tulsa in Gypsy and Neleus in Mary Poppins for the Arts Club Theatre Company.

CASSANDRA BOWERMAN, DANCER

Born in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Cassandra is a dance artist, educator and choreographer with a passion for quirkiness and physicality. After completing her BFA in Performance Dance at Ryerson University, Cassandra’s love of jazz and rhythm took her to Calgary for DJD’s Professional Training Program. Working in Hamilton, Calgary and Toronto, Cassandra has continued to develop a unique style through the exploration of different movement genres, thriving on anything groove based and filled with musicality. This is Cassandra’s first season with the DJD company and she is thrilled to be a part of it.

sabrina comanescu, DANCER

Sabrina “Naz” Comanescu is a dynamic talent and an energetic supporter of the Calgary dance and Caribbean Community through her work as a dance instructor, performer, and choreographer.  Training in urban/funk and Afro-Caribbean dance styles since the age of six, Sabrina dove into her studies of jazz dance at the School of Decidedly Jazz in 2013, in DJD’s Professional Training Program. Sabrina has performed with such companies and artists as Machel Montano, Headly, The Mighty Sparrow, House of Dangerkat, The Bad Girls Club YYC and ILLFX Entertainment. Sabrina is thrilled to be performing for a fifth season in the DJD company!

JARED EBELL, DANCER

Jared is thrilled to continue exploring his groove while in his second season with DJD. Born and raised in Nanoose Bay BC, he began his dance training at Parksville Ballet School where he trained in many different dance styles from ages 6-17. He completed his training at Arts Umbrella and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Professionally, Jared has danced with The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Alberta Ballet, and Dancer’s Studio West. He has also enjoyed experimenting with side projects and taking workshops such as Transformation Danse in Montréal.

MARA KATHERINA LIAO ESNARD, UNDERSTUDY

Cuban native, Mara, has a professional ballet background, she graduated from the National Ballet School in Havana, Cuba. In 2008, she started teaching at the Instructors Arts School in her hometown. Simultaneously she was performing with Sol Dance Company at various resorts in Varadero. In 2015, she started teaching in various studios in Calgary after moving to Canada a year earlier. In December 2018, she finished her second year with DJD’s Professional Training Program and she is thrilled and grateful for this amazing opportunity. Mara is passionate to participate in the Calgary dance community as a teacher, dancer and choreographer.

JASON OWIN F. GALEOS, DANCER

Jason was born in 1986 in Bergen, Hordaland, off the west coast of Norway. He was raised in multiple international countries by two Filipino parents and is an independent dance artist based in Calgary, Alberta. Though he did not train formally, he started at the age of sixteen, and joined a group known as BattLeZone. His studies focused on Hip Hop, House, and Funk Styles. He has a BA at the University of Calgary, majoring in Contemporary Dance and is the founder of J-SIK Movements. Galeos continues to further his career nationally and going into his 3rd season with DJD.

CATHERINE HAYWARD, DANCER

Originally from Winnipeg, Catherine’s studies led her to Toronto’s Ryerson University where she graduated from the dance program, earning her B.F.A. with Honours. Catherine has been with the DJD company since 2007. She was a founding member of Dancers’ Studio West(DSW) Dance Action Group(DAG), a small ensemble of aesthetically diverse performer/choreographers who co-operated to fulfill opportunities for community animation, and invest in new opportunities for artistic development. Catherine and fellow DJD company member Shayne Johnson will debut their first full evening of work Bodied Indivisible at the DJD Dance Centre February 20-22, 2020. Catherine continues to mentor teen dancers training in Jazz at DJD.

kaja irwin, DANCER

Kaja is a Winnipeg born dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. Both in 2017 and 2018, Irwin had the pleasure of creating new choreographic works for the Annual Alberta Dance Festival and working with Alberta Dance Theatre. In fall 2017, Irwin created a solo piece for the Physical Therapy Cabaret for Fluid Festival, which developed further into a piece presented by to the AWE in 2019. In 2015, she was a juried choreographer at the 60X60 FESTIVAL in Toronto, ON and in 2014, her solo performance ‘MAIM’ was exhibited in Ottawa, CA and Amsterdam, NL. Irwin is thrilled to be in her fifth season with DJD.

shayne Johnson, DANCER

Originally from Vancouver, Shayne began his dance training at age 5 and at age 12, launched his professional career as a guest tap dancer on the Super Dave Osborne show.  Since moving to Calgary in 2008, Shayne has been an active member of the arts community.  Shayne was a founding member of Dancers’ Studio West (DSW) Dance Action Group (DAG), a small ensemble committed to community development and organizational support for DSW.  Shayne and fellow DJD member Catherine Hayward will be premiering their first full length show Bodied Indivisible at the DJD Dance Centre February 20-22, 2020. This is Shayne’s eleventh season with the DJD Company.

NATASHA KORNEY, DANCER

Natasha began pursuing dance at the age of 13, specifically in the styles of Hip-Hop, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary and African Dance. As part of her training she spent two years as a pre-professional student at the School of Decidedly Jazz, performing in their show Footprints. In 2010, she commenced a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Dance Program at the University of Calgary performing in Mainstage and other productions. This is Natasha’s 7th season with DJD and she looks forward to performing in many more productions with the company.

KALEB TEKESTE, DANCER

Kaleb is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. In 2006, he was an understudy in DJD’s in Charcoal and Crimson but found himself jumping into a role a few days before opening night, thus marking his debut with DJD. Kaleb has choreographed for Slammenberry Jam, Dance Montage, Alberta Dance Explosions, Calgary Cares and DJD’s dancer-choreographed evenings. He danced in a short film in conjunction with the Vancouver Winter Olympics and has performed with the Black Eyes Peas, Snoop Dogg and Jully Black. Kaleb recently co-starred in the documentary film Made in Vietnam which premiered at the Calgary International film festival. This is Kaleb’s tenth season with DJD.

 

 

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