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Under the Artistic Direction of Sasha Ivanochko, we explore the body and the questions of our time that impact and inform it. We are committed to supporting the diversity of contemporary dance practices in the province of Alberta, with programming designed to increase artist’s capacity to learn new skills, research, experiment, innovate, create, and to develop their career. We are community driven, and we strive to be accessible and to remain responsive to the ongoing developments in the field of dance.


Elaine Bowman and Peter Hoff established Dancers’ Studio West (DSW) in 1980 in order to better steward the budding dance community in Calgary. As the founding artistic director, Bowman taught extensively and established the memorable dance festival known as Alberta Dance Explosions as well as the Young Artist in Residence Program


Bowman and Hoff were not only instrumental to the development of contemporary dance in Calgary, but across Canada too, as they were founding members of the CanDance Network of Dance Presenters. 


The Alberta dance community is forever grateful for their service (from 1980 – 2000), as well as for artistic director Michèle Moss and executive director Damon Johnston (2000 – 2005), programmer Bobby Todd (2005 – 2006), and artistic director Brian Hansen (2007 – 2008), who through tremendous effort, nurtured and sustained DSW and its celebrated programming.


For over 25 years, DSW served as a presenter for Calgary audiences, hosting reputable artists from across Canada. For much of that time, DSW was the only contemporary dance presenter in Calgary and one of a very few in Alberta.


In 2008, Davida Monk accepted the position of artistic director. At that time, the dance scene in Alberta had begun to diversify and expand greatly and other companies and presenters emerged across the province. So, DSW decided to re-focus its energies and resources to offer a unique, holistic, and diverse range of opportunities instead of focusing predominantly on presenting. Between 2012-2018, Monk established many professional development practices, apprenticeship, and choreographic residency programs which implemented the organization’s new vision. 


In 2018, Sasha Ivanochko took over the role of artistic director and focused on increasing artists’ technical competency, deepening their understanding about the theoretical aspects of art-making, and guiding them through the creation of new works. In April of 2019, DSW found their home office at cSPACE King Edward, a hub and space for innovation, that deeply aligns with our values of collaboration, creativity and community.


Now, the current artistic director Rufi Oswaldo (2021 – ) seeks to maintain the momentum of previous leadership and further deepen a sense of community, nuance creative exchange, and make space for a wider diversity of perspectives.




We are only able to do what we do with the support and generosity of a great many people. We want to acknowledge our funders and donors for their belief in us:

Megan Ballard
J. Dudelzak
Anne Flynn
Diane Lee
Jenna Lewycky
Marinna McDougall
Suzanne Mott
Robin Tufts
Transcend Management Advisors
Sasha Ivanochko

Proud CADA member