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As a service organization, we support the physical, creative, and intellectual development of dance artists in Alberta. We also support the public’s learning, reflection, and appreciation 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 developments, 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 of 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
Allison Burns
J. Dudelzak
Sasha Ivanochko
Jenna Lewycky
Marinna McDougall
Suzanne Mott
Rosanna Terracciano
Robin Tufts
Pamela Tzeng
Transcend Management Advisors
Marie France Forcier
Alisa Mackinnon
Serenella Argueta
Christahh Ahh