Decidedly Jazz Danceworks History

DJD was founded to re-ignite the traditional values of jazz dance. Despite firm roots and a rich history, jazz dance had lost its connections to jazz music and to the vital spirit of the form by the 80’s. In 1984, Vicki Adams Willis, Michèle Moss, and Hannah Stilwell joined forces to offer a concert dance opportunity to dancers seeking to steward a new era of jazz dance for the world.

DJD is unique. It is one of only a handful of dance organizations globally that is driven by a jazz mandate. Rooted in the history of jazz dance and music, DJD is constantly innovating and evolving the art form.

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 offering a professional training program to those wishing to specialize in jazz dance, facilitating outreach programs that educate the community about the history and importance of jazz in North American culture and is Calgary’s largest recreational dance school. In April 2016, the company moved into the spectacular new DJD Dance Centre, a purpose-built dance facility at 111 12 Avenue, SE Calgary which has already become a dance hub for our city.

“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