Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD)

Rooted in the history of jazz dance and music, DJD is constantly innovating and evolving this art form. DJD, a registered charity, is a professional dance company that creates original performances, at least one per year with live music. DJD also offers professional training to those wishing to specialize in jazz dance, outreach programs that educate the community about the history and importance of jazz in North American culture. Is Calgary’s largest recreational dance school and operates the DJD Dance Centre.

Thanks to our supporters and government funders, DJD has:

Created more than 60 original full-length works and performed for over 400,000 people locally, nationally and internationally.

Enriched educational experiences for over 350,000 children and adults through our DJD School and many Arts in Education programs.

Enabled hundreds of kids from low-income families to receive bursaries to participate in a Summer Camp or class at the DJD School since 1997.

Provided intensive training through full and partial scholarships for talented young dancers in our Professional Training Program.

“I am a 56 year old man who has seen it all. I’ve seen Broadway performances, live concerts of the world’s best musicians (The Who, Stones, Pavarati, etc.). Until the night I saw you guys do Wow and Flutter, the highest experience I had even seen was B.B. King at the Jubilee in Edmonton….I didn’t know that a mere physical experience could be so exhilarating! … It moved me on so many levels, filled my senses and catalytically shocked my consciousness up a notch.” – Performance attendee

“Welcoming [our kids] to DJD’s show “Pulse” is more than getting them off the street or away from the television. It’s their first experience of losing themselves in a world of rhythm and dance, of sharing the energy of an audience, of seeing that creativity is limitless and valuable. AND – not only was it a great show, but the dancers were so strong and healthy and vibrant, demonstrating the beauty of every body type and not deifying some weird, anorexic shape.”       – Spectrum Youth & Family Service AssociationDJD Professional Dance Company:

DJD has a one-of-a-kind international concert jazz dance company—a national treasure here in Calgary! Our company is respected for its pioneering work in regenerating and evolving the art of jazz dance. Known for innovative original choreography and musical creations, with over 60 full-length works in our repertoire including the groundbreaking international collaboration ¡BULLA! A Loud Cuban Jazz Experiment. Our Professional Dance Company performs locally, nationally, and internationally.

DJD Professional Training Program:

The Professional Training Program is a unique program for emerging dance artists seeking immersion in intensive training in the jazz idiom. Each year, DJD accepts 10 – 15 of Canada’s most promising jazz dancers into the eight-month program. Through this program we ensure participants have professional training in a variety of dance forms. This program is recognized as credit toward a University of Calgary Dance Degree and offers performance opportunities in addition to training.

A vital part of sustaining jazz dance and our company of professional dancers is training. DJD offers select, talented dancers a Professional Training Program that develops the next generation of dancers and leaders in the art form. Dancers audition to attend the program. A major barrier to training is the financial means to attend. We aim to provide bursaries to these emerging professionals.

DJD Arts in Education Outreach Programs:

School Residencies & PerformancesDJD reaches children K to 17 in schools, including schools serving low-income families, with art-enriched educational experiences, including bringing our kids show to schools, participating as artists in residence, and conducting student and teacher workshops.

Dancing Parkinson’s YYCThis program offers high quality dance instruction to participants. The aim is to offer a service program that is the foundation for an evidence-based research program. The class consists of participants with Parkinson disease and their care-partners, spouses and/or companions.

Children’s Bursaries we offer bursaries to enable young people from low-income families to attend a summer dance camp or class at the DJD Dance Centre. We want to make it possible for children in poverty and youth at risk to gain greater self-confidence and coordination, make new friends and learn creative and constructive ways to express themselves.

Getting Families Jazzed – we provide performance tickets to deserving families that could not otherwise afford to attend. We work with various social service agencies and community organizations to distribute the tickets. Families benefit from the experience as imaginations and conversations are sparked on a wide range of topics, as well as from developing healthy bonds through quality time spent together.

Student Dress Rehearsals – DJD offers students a free or highly discounted chance to look “behind the curtains” while enjoying the spectacle of a fully developed DJD Company show in the theatre.

DJD Dance Centre  The DJD Dance Centre is a dance hub for the community, a place for dancers to train, create, rehearse, and perform, exchange ideas, and a place for all Calgarians to experience dance. We recognize our place of great privilege in the dance community by having our own space and we are committed to fostering growth wherever we can. We are thrilled to provide free or heavily subsidized studio space for our 14 resident companies, as well as over 28 groups & 50 independent artists.

 There are a number of ways to support our work – we are lucky to have a vibrant community of people who support DJD. You can become an important part of our vitality and passion by making a personal tax-deductible donation. Learn more about ways to donate here. 

Arts in Education and Outreach Programs | Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD) is deeply committed to sharing our love of jazz music and dance with students in schools and providing top quality dance instruction in a fun and energetic atmosphere. Dance feeds the soul, nourishes the heart, and puts groove in every step. We are dedicated to reaching into our community and helping to make meaningful connections between all people and the arts. We are looking for support to underwrite the costs of delivering our Arts in Education opportunities, which includes support of our DJD Dance School, Artist in Residency Programs, Getting Families Jazzed and Dancing Parkinson’s YYC Program. Donations of any amount are always welcome to help support these important programs.

Send a Kid to Camp | For $300 you can help to fund a bursary for a child ages 5-17 from a low-income family to attend a summer dance camp or class at our School of Decidedly Jazz.

Donations under $500 | DJD gratefully welcomes and rewards donations of all sizes. Help us bring dance, new artists and dance education to life!

Jazz Roots Club Donors | DJD donors who contribute $500 or more become members of our Jazz Roots Club. Members have direct relationships with our dancers, enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences, and are vital contributors to bringing original jazz works to life and to the lives of others. Learn more about the Jazz Roots Club.

Contribute In Kind – Valuable Items & Professional Services | Are you a retailer or professional seeking to make an impact with what you do? Prizes and auctions are a vital way that DJD fundraises at our events and we welcome donations from flights, to vacation homes, to art through to electronics and jewellery. As a non-profit, we also welcome free expertise from professionals, from lawyers, to HR advisers to PR experts, strategic planners and facilitators.

Donation of Stocks or Securities | Donating stocks and securities is the most tax-efficient way to give and increase the impact of your gift to DJD.

Tribute, Memorial and Planned Gifts | Become part of DJD’s legacy by making a gift by bequest (remembering DJD in your will), through stocks, securities or insurance policies. Mark a special occasion, sympathize with a loss, honour an important individual, or celebrate a great accomplishment with a gift to DJD.

Artistic Development Fund | Looking to make an artistic mark with your donation? Invest in the creation of vibrant, original jazz performances and talented Canadian artists. DJD is one of a mere handful of full-time, professional jazz dance companies in the world.

Endowment Fund | Guarantee the long-term financial stability of DJD and leave a legacy by making a gift to the Endowment Fund. The interest earned by this fund will allow DJD, its dancers and its students, to further create and expand their artistic repertoire many years into the future.

Volunteer | Volunteer with DJD and help share the love of jazz. We are always looking for volunteers as community ambassadors and for our special events committee. Bring a little jazz into your own life, meet new people, see your name in the program at our shows and help enliven our community!


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Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD)

Kathi Sundstrom



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