Decidedly Jazz Danceworks History

In 1984, Vicki Adams Willis, Michèle Moss and Hannah Stilwell formed Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in an effort to preserve and promote the rich history of jazz while exploring the diversity of its form.  True to the nature of the art form, which had inspired the inception of the company, Decidedly Jazz has, from the very beginning, highly valued the importance of growth, innovation, and evolution within jazz music and dance.

Today, DJD is not only a major force within Calgary’s arts community, but also remains one of the few dance companies globally with jazz dance and music at the heart of its mandate.

Whenever possible, the company works with live music and currently draws from a large repertoire of diverse jazz styles for performances. DJD has toured extensively throughout Canada as well as to Chicago, Japan, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Cuba.

In addition to performing, DJD has a strong educational mandate.  The company has a large community dance school, providing both recreational and professional training for students of all ages, conducts school tours and residencies, and teaches workshops in jazz, tap, funk and West African dance.

“Fundamental to the success of Decidedly Jazz is the élan of its dancers.  But equally important is the company’s devotion to its cause; furthering jazz music and dance in a manner that is always accessible, consistently entertaining and frequently inspired.”
– Calgary Herald