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Youth Training Program

The 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 7-17 years. With over 37 years of 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.

Dancers within the YTP possess a strong desire to learn, grow, and put dedicated effort to the art of dance. Occurring outside of our more recreational Saturday programming, the YTP provides instruction with emphasis on skill mastery, focus and intension, and artistry.

The 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.


YTP IMPORTANT DATES 2021/2022 (subject to change)

September 7-June 2 // YTP session dates
October 11 // No classes for Thanksgiving
December 17-January 2 // No classes for winter break
February 17 & 21 // No classes for teachers convention & Family Day
March 21-24 // No classes for spring break
Early Spring 2022 (date TBA) // Ballet Mock Exams
May 23 // No classes for Victoria Day
Late Spring 2022 (date TBA) // Final Showing
June 6-9 2022 // YTP open house


2021/2022 session CLASS SCHEDULE

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

INTERMEDIATE JAZZ

4:45-5:45 PM

MARA ESNARD

SENIOR 1 BALLET

4:45-5:45 PM

LEANNE KIDD

SENIOR 1 JAZZ

4:45-5:45 PM

INGRID DIAZ

INTERMEDIATE BALLET

4:45-5:45

LEANNE KIDD

JUNIOR ballet

4:45-5:30 PM

JANELLE SCHIFFNER

SENIOR 1 MODERN 

5:45-6:45 PM

MARA ESNARD

INTERMEDIATE BALLET

5:45-6:45 PM

LEANNE KIDD

SENIOR 3 modern

5:30-6:45 PM

CATHERINE HAYWARD

 

SENIOR 3 jazz

5:30-6:45 PM

CATHERINE HAYWARD

INTERMEDIATE MODERN

5:45-6:45 PM

INGRID DIAZ

SENIOR 1 BALLET

5:45-6:45 PM

LEANNE KIDD

JUNIOR jazz

5:30-6:15 PM

JANELLE SCHIFFNER

 

SENIOR 3 BALLET

6:45-8:00 PM

MARA ESNARD

 

SENIOR 3 BALLET

6:45-8:00 PM

MARA ESNARD

 

LEVELS

YTP LEVEL AGE EXPERIENCE & BALLET LEVEL
JUNIOR 7-8 Training at a RAD grade 2-3
INTERMEDIATE 9-11 4-5 years dancing/Training at a RAD grades 4-5
SENIOR 1 12-14 Approx 6 years dancng/Training at a RAD grade 5-7
SENIOR 3 15+ 6+ years dancing/Training at RAD Inter Foundations and above
ONE BALLET CLASS PER WEEK AND ONE MODERN OR JAZZ CLASS PER WEEK CLASS IS MANDATORY FOR ALL GROUPS.

ALL YTP STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE IN AT LEAST ONE BALLET CLASS A WEEK. IF YOU ARE ATTENDING A BALLET CLASS OUTSIDE OF DJD PLEASE INFORM THE DANCE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL.

 


tuition

2 classes/week* $1290
3 classes/week* $1935
4 classes/week* $2580

*Payment plans are available; please contact Salla Carson, Dance Centre Assistant Manager & Volunteer Coordinator, for more information. 

REGisTration

If you have questions about the YTP and/or whether the program is a good fit for your dancer, please email Dance School Principal Joanne Baker.


Class Descriptions

Ballet

Ballet within the YTP 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 RAD syllabus. Please have hair in proper ballet bun (girls) or neatly groomed (boys) for each class.

Dress code:

  • Girls for all levels: ballet slippers, solid dark-coloured bodysuit (navy, maroon, black), ballet tights (convertible is preferred). 
  • Boys for all levels: black ballet slippers, black footless leggings, white socks, white t-shirt

CONDITIONING

Using thoughtful and age appropriate stretching and strengthening techniques, this class is the perfect supplement to all YTP classes – Open to Intermediate and Senior 1 & 3 level dancers. For the 2021/22 season all conditioning classes will be done within a virtual format. Please stay tuned for scheduling.

POINTE

For the 2021/22 season, pointe will not be offered. Plans are being considered for a virtual pre-pointe/preparation class.

Jazz

Keeping a connection to the history of jazz dance, the DJD YTP jazz program places strong emphasis on fundamental jazz concepts/skills (rhythm, grounded execution, musical connection, full body movement, community, improvisation) and social vernacular aesthetics while also guiding students through an understanding of more codified jazz techniques.

Dress code:

  • Girls: jazz shoes (black or beige), dance/jazz pants or shorts, bodysuit of choice.
  • Boys: jazz shoes (black or beige), dance/jazz pants or shorts, snug-fitting t-shirt of choice.

Modern

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 age appropriate partnering skills. We will explore concepts such as weight, energy, breath and space, all while developing solid, grounded technique.

Dress code:

  • All levels: bare feet, dance/jazz pants or shorts and bodysuit/t-shirt of choice.

faculty Bios

INGRID DIAZ
JAZZ & MODERN INSTRUCTOR

Contemporary, Modern, Afro‐Cuban, Caribbean, Ballet, Jazz and West African dance styles make of Ingrid a versatile dance artist with over fifteen years of professional experience as instructor and performer. Born and raised in Cuba, Ingrid is a graduate of the Cuban National Institute of Art (MA Afro-°©‐Cuban Dance) and National School of Art (BFA). Ingrid is also a graduate of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Professional Training Program and the School of Ballet Creole.Her professional career includes companies such as Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba (Havana 2002–2005), Ballet Creole (Toronto 2005-2009) and Three Left Feet Movement Creations (Calgary 2011‐present). Ingrid also had the pleasure to perform as a guest artist with Nafro Dance (Winnipeg 2007), the South African Musical Umoja in its 2008 Canadian Tour Production, Newton Moraes Dance Theatre (Toronto 2008), COBA (Toronto 2009) and Bach for Tots Performing Arts (Calgary, 2018) among other companies and independent creators. Choreography and dance education has been a vibrant aspect of Ingrid’s career since the early age of seventeen when she began teaching at the National School of Art, the National Musical Theatre School and the National Afrocuban Dance Company in Cuba; continuing to this date with original creations for Calgary based companies, festivals and schools such as Alberta Dance Theatre (2015 /2017), Soulocentric (2015), MADbeatz (2016 / 2017), Central Memorial High School (2018) and Fiestaval (2017–2019) just to name a few. Since 2010 Ingrid has been part of the artistic team of The School of Decidedly Jazz, sharing her passion for movement in a variety of styles and continuously inspiring and being inspired by her students. Ingrid is happily looking forward to many more years of dance explorations as her passion for movement continues to grow and evolve.

Mara Katherina Liao Esnard
Jazz & MODERN Instructor

Cuba native, Mara, began her artistic career with rhythmic gymnastics and modeling at the age of seven. She continued with professional ballet training and graduated from the National Ballet School in Havana, Cuba. In 2008, she started teaching at the Instructors Arts School in her hometown. At the same time she was performing with Sol Dance Company at various resorts in the tourist area of 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.

CATHERINE HAYWARD
JAZZ & Modern INSTRUCTOR

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. In 2005, Catherine moved to Calgary to continue her dance training at DJD, where she fell in love with jazz. Since then Catherine has immersed herself in the Calgary community as a performer, choreographer and teacher. Catherine has been a dancer with the DJD company since the fall of 2007. She was Artistic Director of DJD’s most recent dancer-choreographed shows, Velocity in 2017, and Borderland in 2015. Catherine 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, offer organizational support for DSW and invest in new opportunities for artistic development. With DSW, Catherine has pursued choreography using original musical compositions and the musicians performing live as part of the work. She presented a new piece, form, act, cease, ensue in collaboration with musician Jeremy Gignoux as part of DSW’s Dance Action Lab in July 2017 and Tethered, an original musical composition by Rubim de Toledo in 2016. Catherine and fellow DJD company member Shayne Johnson have been working in collaboration on developing new work. The finale of DJD’s Velocity, entitled end was their first ensemble collaboration, set on the full DJD company. Their most recent duet Polyhedron premiered at the Fluid Festival in 2015. They will debut their first full evening of work Bodied Indivisible next year. Catherine is also developing of a new solo for established artist Davida Monk, it will premiere in 2019. Catherine enjoys her role teaching students, including five seasons as a choreographer with Alberta Dance Theatre for young people (ADT). She continues to mentor teen dancers training in Jazz as part of DJD’s Teen Jazz Advanced program and has joined the faculty of DJD’s Youth Training Program this year. Catherine is thrilled to be dancing in her 12 season with the DJD company.

LEANNE KIDD (nee McIndoe)                                                                                                                                                                                     ballet instructor and YTP ASSISTANT Director

Leanne is a Calgary dance artist, teacher & choreographer. She trained at Calgary’s International School of Ballet, performing many leading roles with their Jeunesse Classique Ballet Company.  Some of Leanne’s extensive dance studies have included: The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The Banff School of Fine Arts & The American Academy of Ballet. In 1997, Leanne was accepted into London England’s Royal Ballet School.  She graduated with distinction, in 2000, earning multiple teaching certifications such as: ARAD, AISTD Cecchetti, AISTD National Folk Dance & Benesh Notation Certification. Since returning to Canada, Leanne has taught in numerous studios & schools across B.C. & Alberta.  She choreographed & staged a full-length production entitled GLORIA for Jeunesse Classique Ballet Co., performed in Dance Montage, Calgary Cares, Three Left Feet Movement Creations & Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ school show, Live And In Sync. Leanne also immersed herself in training at DJD, first as a Scholarship Student & later in the Pre-Professional Program. In 2005, she received two grants to study dance in West Africa, a life-changing experience. Leanne has had a long-standing history with Calgary Arts Academy since its opening in 2002, both as a Resident Artist & Performance Coordinator. Leanne is married with two daughters and is passionate about family and sharing her love of dance with students of all ages.  She is thrilled to be returning to DJD‘s Youth Training Program and is looking forward to working alongside Joanne Baker while transitioning into her new role as YTP Assistant Director.

JANELLE SCHIFFNER
BALLET & JAZZ INSTRUCTOR

Janelle has been dancing for over 20 years, training at various schools around Calgary. She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Contemporary Dance with a Concentration in Choreography and Performance from the University of Calgary. She 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. As an active member of the teaching faculty within the Education Outreach at DJD, Janelle has taught thousands of students at schools in Calgary and at Telus Spark. Janelle also loves to share her knowledge and passion in music by teaching piano.

© 2018 Decidedly Jazz Danceworks