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Meet our current company of professional jazz dancers who perform the original choreographic works of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks locally and tour nationally.

Our skilled dancers, many of whom have trained since they were younger than 5 years old, master a style that is distinct and eclectic mixing groove, African roots, rhythm, improvisation, interplay with musicians, and deeply human soul.

Our dancers are handpicked from as far away as Cuba and Africa – and as nearby as our own province – live in Calgary and work as a team five days a week, more than 30 weeks per year. Learn more about auditions.


Axel started exploring the world of dance and entertainment at the age of 16. He has trained/taught/performed in many cities of the world such as Paris, Sharjah (UAE), Chengdu (China), New York City and more. Axel is fluent in funk styles and contemporary but trained in all styles of dance and some martial arts. With all his varied dance experience to pull from, his improvisational skills are his strength. You can see him in recent music videos with the artists Feist and Arkelles, as well as a popular artist in Israel, Gad Elbaz.

sabrina comanescu, DANCER

Sabrina “Naz” Comanescu is a dynamic emerging 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 is also the current major force behind The Diversity Performing Arts Club of Calgary and created Casa De Naz in 2012, a collective with a mission to “excite and educate art hubs across Canada about the thriving Caribbean community in Calgary and the arts of the Caribbean as a whole through film, fashion and dance.” Sabrina has performed in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Halifax, Trinidad and Tobago, Finland and New York City with such companies as House of Dangerkat, The Bad Girls Club YYC and ILLFX Entertainment. Sabrina is thrilled to be performing for a third season in the DJD company!

julia cosentino, DANCER

Originally from Toronto, Julia received her BFA Honors Degree in Dance from
York University in 2012. Since graduating, Julia has had the pleasure of training, collaborating, and performing with companies including Jasmyn Fyffe Dance, Rock Bottom Movement, Frog In Hand, Newton Moraes Dance Theatre, ProArteDanza, Hit and Run Dance Productions, Lady Luck Productions, and emiMOTION. Julia is a founding member of The Garage, a Toronto dance collective established in 2013 to provide emerging artists with the opportunity to share, learn, research and develop different skills and ideas. Additionally, she teaches locally at Danza Academy and Elements Dance Company, and is a dance educator, workshop leader and choreographer throughout Canada. This is Julia’s third season with DJD, and she is grateful for the space to deepen her practice and explore new avenues. DJD is a unique style that marries all the things Julia loves most about dance; music, rhythm, physical challenge, artistry and expression.


Born in Norway, Jason Owin F. Galeos is a dance artist based in Calgary. His dance studies are based on Hip Hop, House, Funk styles and Contemporary dance. He has danced for Tara Wilson, Saxon Fraser, Melissa Monteros, Deanne Walsh, Wojciech Mochniej, Michèle Moss, Pamela Tzeng, Zahra Shahab, Sylvie Moquin, Dancing Monkey Laboratories, 49th Parallel Dance Co and Corps Bara Dance Theatre. Since 2007, he’s been recognized in the community for his unique movement and cross genre approach. In 2012, He earned his BA at the U of C, majoring in Contemporary Dance. In 2015, Galeos started J-SIK Movements: the spontaneity and immersion in hip-hop culture and the choreographic maturity of contemporary dance. He runs classes/ workshops/intensives and has presented work at Soulocentric, MovementwithAMessage, NexFest, DSW, and Springboard Performance. In 2017, he co-produced his first production in collaboration with Purposely Soulful “Fall of the Leaf | Høsten Bladet.” Galeos started a new chapter as an apprentice dancer with DJD in 2018. He will also be presenting an expansion of “Münzwurf. Münzetropfen in NextFest Edmonton this upcoming June and will be heading back to Europe for the Henny Jurriëns Amsterdam Intensive (Netherlands) and ImPulsTanz Festival (Austria) for the summer.


Born and raised in Nanoose Bay BC, Jared 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, then danced professionally 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 Montreal. This is Jared’s first season with DJD and he is thrilled to be one step closer to his initial goal in dance, becoming Gene Kelly.


Catherine Hayward has been a dancer with the DJD company since 2007. She was Artistic Director of DJD’s dancer-choreographed shows Velocity (2017) and Borderland (2015). Originally from Winnipeg, Catherine studied at Ryerson. Since moving to Calgary, she has immersed herself in the community as a performer, choreographer and teacher. She is a member of Dancers’ Studio West (DSW) Dance Action Group (DAG), a small ensemble of aesthetically diverse performer/choreographers who co-operate to fulfill opportunities for community animation, offer organizational support for DSW and invest in new opportunities for artistic development. Recently, Catherine has pursued choreography with original musical compositions and musicians including a new piece in collaboration with musician Jeremy Gignoux as part of DSW’s Dance Action Lab (2017) and Tethered, an original musical composition by Rubim de Toledo (2016). Catherine and fellow DJD company member Shayne Johnson have been working in collaboration on developing new work. The finale of DJD’s Velocity was their first ensemble collaboration, set on the full company. Their most recent duet, Polyhedron premiered at Fluid Festival in 2015. Catherine enjoys teaching, including five seasons as a choreographer with Alberta Dance Theatre for young people (ADT) and mentoring teen dancers as part of DJD’s Teen Jazz Advanced program. Catherine is thrilled to complete her 11th season with the DJD company.

kaja irwin, DANCER

Winnipeg-born Kaja Irwin is a performing artist, choreographer and dance educator. Kaja has worked with respected Calgary choreographers Michèle Moss, Deanne Walsh, Alison (Bryan) Stone and Jennifer Mahood as well as Toronto choreographers, Sharon Harvey and Jenn Goodwin. In Fall 2017 Irwin premiered new choreographic works for the Annual Alberta Dance Festival and the Physical Cabaret for Fluid Festival as well as working with Alberta Dance Theatre. In 2015, she was a juried choreographer at the 60X60 FESTIVAL in Toronto and in 2014 her solo performance MAIM was exhibited in Ottawa and Amsterdam. Kaja has enjoyed collaborating with the Winnipeg-based band Royal Canoe, choreographing music videos for them including, Somersault, Walk Out on the Water and the recently released video Living A Lie. Kaja is thrilled to be back for her third season with the DJD Company.

shayne Johnson, DANCER

Shayne began his dance training at age five 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. He is 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 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 fifth season with DJD and she looks forward to performing in many more productions with the company.

kaleb tekeste, DANCER

Kaleb is a Calgary-based dancer, choreographer and teacher. In 2004, he joined DJD’s Professional Training Program and in 2006 he understudied Kimberley Cooper’s in Charcoal and Crimson. As fate would have it, he 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 several of DJD’s bi-annual dancer-choreographed evenings. In addition to performing with crews the Original Rudes and ILLFX, in 2010 he danced in a short film/commercial in conjunction with the Vancouver Winter Olympics and has performed with artists such as 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 ninth season with the company and he is thrilled to be a part of this incredible show and new experience of exploring the magical world of puppetry.


© 2018 Decidedly Jazz Danceworks