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Thys Armstrong, apprentice

Thys Armstrong was born and raised in North Vancouver and began dancing at RNB Dance & Theatre Arts at a very young age. There, he trained in a variety of styles with teachers Charmaine Nobes, Haley Walker, and Vicki View, among others. Upon graduating, Thys left Vancouver to study at the University of Ottawa. During his studies he coached and choreographed for the UOttawa Dance Company. Thys was also a performing member of the Ottawa Rhythm Initiative – this community of tap dancers and musicians collaborate with national and international artists to re-introduce tap dance as a musical art form. In 2015 Thys moved back to Vancouver to join Coastal City Ballet, under the direction of Li Yaming and Katie Bois. There, he had the opportunity to rehearse and perform works by Ben Stevenson, Irene Schnieder, Joshua Beamish, Wen Wei Wang, Erica Trivett, among others. Professionally, Thys has been featured in the film “Centre Stage: On Pointe,” and has worked closely on many independent dance projects with choreographer and teacher, Monica Proença. In 2019 Thys moved to Amsterdam to train with the Henny Jurriens Foundation and perform works by Jort Faber with 3120Dance Collective.


Scott is a native of Vancouver B.C and this is his second 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.


A dance artist, educator and choreographer formally trained at Ryerson University (BFA) in Toronto, Cassandra’s love of jazz and rhythm brought her across the country to participate in Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ Professional Training Program. She graduated from the program in 2016 and is thrilled to now be dancing in her second season with the company. Prior to joining DJD, Cassandra danced and choreographed performances throughout the Greater Toronto Area, honing her unique style of dance. In 2019, she choreographed Instinct A for Dusk Dances Hamilton before relocating to Alberta. Cassandra is excited to continue exploring the history and art of jazz.

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 sixth season in the DJD company.


Jason Owin F. Galeos was born in 1986 in Bergen, Hordaland, of 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. He started dancing at the age of sixteen and joined a dance group known as BattLeZone. His dance studies are based on Hip Hop, House, and Funk Styles. He earned a BA at the University of Calgary (2012), majoring in Contemporary Dance and is the founder of J-SIK Movements (2015). Galeos has trained at ImPuls Tanz (Austria), Urban Dance Camp (Germany) and RUBBERBANDance (Montreal). He has also worked for Movement with a Message, 49th Parallel Dance, Corps Bara Dance Theatre & Dancing Monkey Laboratories. Galeos is recognized by the Alberta dance community for his unique movement voice and cross-genre approach. Galeos’ major influences are Niels Robitzky, Bruno Caverna, David Zambrano, & Art-Move-Concept. He has presented work at the University of Calgary, Springboard Performance, Dancers’ Studio West, NextFest, co-produced with Purposely Soulful (Chelsea Josue) and most recently with To THE AWE. Galeos will be entering his 3rd season with DJD.


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 Artistic Director of DJD’s most recent dancer-choreographed shows, Velocity in 2017, and Borderland in 2015. 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 former DJD dancer Shayne Johnson presented their first full evening of work Bodied Indivisible at the DJD Dance Centre in February 2020. Catherine continues to mentor teen dancers training in Jazz as part of DJD’s Teen Jazz Advanced program and is once again on the faculty of DJD’s Youth Training Program this year.

kaja irwin, DANCER

Kaja is a Winnipeg born dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. After deciding to pursue a career in dance after completing her B.A. in Political Science, Irwin studied in the Professional Training Program offered at DJD, developing her love of both jazz and the Calgary dance community. Kaja has been fortunate to share her choreography across Canada as well as Amsterdam. Irwin is passionate about jazz and loves to explore movement and collaborations across art forms. Her latest collaboration was with jewellery designer Corey Moranis in a short art film released in Spring 2020. Irwin is excited and dedicated to continue learning and exploring the jazz art form and is thrilled to be back for her sixth season performing with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.


Shayne began his dance training at age 5 and at the age of 12, launched his professional career as a guest tap dancer on the “Super Dave Osborne” TV show.  Shayne went on to join the Canadian National Tap Team, became a member of the Grizzlies Extreme Dance Team for the NBA and was hired as a dancer and choreographer for Norwegian Cruise Lines. Since moving to Calgary in 2008, Shayne has been an active member of the Arts community.  Shayne was a member of Dancers’ Studio West’s (DSW) Dance Action Group (DAG), a small ensemble who co-operate to fulfill opportunities for community development and offer organizational support for DSW. Shayne presented a new work in DSW’s Dance Action Lab in July 2016 and a solo in their Alberta Dance Festival in September 2017. In addition to focusing on choreography, Shayne is an established tap teacher in the community. Shayne has been with the DJD Company since the spring of 2009.


Natasha began pursuing dance at the age of 13, specifically in the styles of Hip-Hop, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, African and Caribbean Dance. As part of her training she spent two years in DJD’s Professional Training Program where she choreographed and performed in the programs 1st annual show, Footprints in 2006 and again in 2007. In 2010, she commenced a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Contemporary Dance Program at the University of Calgary performing in the annual show Mainstage, Why Dance 3D and other productions. While deepening her understanding and experience in Jazz dance and performance, she also continued to train and perform with Electra Dance Company, ILLFX Entertainment, Groove Academy, and as a contracted solo artist. She has appeared in many shows and productions such as, Slammin Berry Jam 2008/ 2009; St. Kitts 2009; Sun and Salsa Festival 2013; Sunfest 2012; and Unganisha 2019. In the spring of 2019, Natasha was offered the role of narrator for DJD’s remounted production of Juliet & Romeo. To prepare for this she received one on one coaching from One Yellow Rabbits, Denise Clarke, and was given a steppingstone to broaden her artistic abilities as actor and dancer. This is Natasha’s 8th season with DJD, and she looks forward to performing in many more productions with the company.



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