Alberta Dance Theatre Presents
Deck The Halls

Online December 2020
Teaser of ADT at cSPACE King Edward!
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Inspiring & Imaginative

Family Entertainment Now Online!

Join Alberta Dance Theatre in celebrating the very best of the season and all that makes life worth living in the long, long run! 

Youth from dance studios across the City of Calgary gather annually to create alongside professional choreographers for 10-12 weeks. The result is a completely original dance and theatre performance. We have our 2019 and 2020 productions available to watch online! Grab that hot chocolate and welcome in some holiday cheer with us!

Alberta Dance Theatre is based in Mohkinstsis located in the Treaty 7 region and traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Tsuut'ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda. The City of Calgary is also home to the Metis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

If the ticket price is a barrier to you attending this show please email to make other arrangements. 

Deck the Halls is Sponsored By
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Meet The Creative Team
Kaja Irwin

Kaja is a Winnipeg born dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. Both in 2017 and 2018, Irwin had the pleasure of

creating new choreographic works for the Annual Alberta Dance Festival and works with Alberta Dance Theatre. In fall 2017, Irwin created a solo piece for the Physical Therapy Cabaret for Fluid Festival, which developed further into a piece presented by to the AWE in 2019. In 2015, she was a juried choreographer at the 60X60 FESTIVAL in Toronto, ON and in

2014, her solo performance ‘MAIM’ was exhibited in Ottawa, CA and Amsterdam, NL. Kaja is currently based in Calgary

and is thrilled to be entering into her sixth season with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.

Iona Boughton

Iona holds a BEd from the University of Calgary (U of C) with majors in Elementary and Physical Education. She discovered her passion for dance, while teaching in Yellowknife NWT as a Grade 3 Classroom Teacher; K-6 Physical Education Specialist; and while performing in a small amateur dance group ‘Dance North of 60’. This inspired her to return to U of C where she pursued Dance Education and Dance Training. Her ties to Children in Dance/ADT are rooted in acquiring the opportunity to teach as a

dance instructor for Gayda Erett the Founder of Children in Dance; choreographing in a couple of it’s productions; and constructing and designing many of the costumes while her daughter performed under artistic director Emily Forest. Iona had also given tribute to the late Shirley Murray (honorary advisor of

CID/ADT) in a performance she participated and collaboratively choreographed with other dancers for U of C‘s Dance Montage (2016).

With a long history of working with children, as well as being involved in the company’s past history, she is honoured and very much looking forward to help celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Krista White

Krista, a native Calgarian, enjoys sharing her love of dance with the young and young at heart as an educator and choreographer. She particularly enjoys working with young artists and has most recently had the pleasure of choreographing for Dancers in Training Company and Alberta Dance Theatre for Young People. As an ADT alumnus, she is so honoured to be welcomed back into the family this year. In addition to her work with young dancers, Krista is currently an instructor with Dancing Parkinson’s YYC and the University Heights Dance and Movement Program for Older Adults, and was a co-creator for Dance Montage’s 50th anniversary show with a piece for dancers aged 50 years and above. Krista regularly hones her craft as an educator by attending the Summer Dance Institute for Teachers at the Creative Dance Center in Seattle, Washington and takes the philosophy of brain-compatible learning and the power of BrainDance with her into the studio. Academically, Krista completed a Master of Arts degree in Sociology with a focus in the Sociology of Dance, Sport, and Health from the University of Calgary and continues to work in the field of health research.

Janelle Schiffner

Janelle has been dancing for over 25 years, training at various schools around Calgary. She holds a Bachelors of Art degree in Contemporary Dance with a Concentration in Choreography and Performance, from the University of Calgary. Janelle has participated in dance travel studies around the world, including New York City, Cuba, and Amsterdam. Janelle studied jazz at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks with their Professional Training Program. She continues to share her love of dance and knowledge by teaching dance and piano in the community. Janelle is an alumni “Children in Dance” and “Alberta Dance Theatre” dancer and is extremely excited to be back collaborating as a choreographer. Alberta Dance Theatre has played an integral role in shaping her as a creative artist.

Alicia Ward
Co-Artistic Director, Choreographer,
Theatre Artist

Alicia Ward is an enthusiastic human being who loves performing, teaching and promoting a passion for performance art. Throughout the year Alicia finds herself instructing drama and dance to all ages at various studios throughout the city. She also loves large amounts of organizational tasks! Alicia works administratively for a number of education and arts focused companies including co-founding Triple Bill Weekends and the Young Adventurer Society, and working with the International tap dance festival Rhythm, Body, and Soul. Alicia is passionate about growing the artist community in Calgary and fostering opportunities for dancers, no matter how young, to develop a love for movement. She can be found performing throughout Alberta. Her favourite is performing for littles and those who are young at heart. Recent Credits:  Itty Bitty Arts Day (Arts Commons), Colour Me Sad (Music with Mandy), and Nutcracker in a Nutshell (Bach Tots). 

Lauren Acheson
Lighting Designer

Lauren is a scenographer living and working in Mohkinstsis, also known as Calgary. They are so happy to be back working with ADT on this uniquely fun and uniquely challenging show. Previously for ADT: lighting design, The Enchanted Toy Shop. Other credits include: set and lighting design, Bright Lights (Theatre BSMT) - set and costume design, Love and Information (Calgary Young People's Theatre) - set and lighting design, Tape (Ignition Theatre) - associate production design, Premium Content (Major Matt Mason Collective/High Performance Rodeo) - production design, Clarence Darrow (Seadreamer/Calgary Fringe). Lauren also works as a maquette builder, design assistant, props builder, scenic painter, lighting technician and stagehand, and supervises events at the Pumphouse Theatres. They hold a diploma in Theatre and Entertainment Production from Red Deer College and a certificate in Set and Costume Design from The National Theatre School of Canada. You can check out some of their design work at

Robyn Harris

Robyn Harris is Calgary-based dancer and choreographer with over twenty years of

dance experience. An alumni of Alberta Dance Theatre, she is thrilled to be returning

to the company wearing a new hat! Robyn has choreographed for shows including

Alberta Dance Theatre’s League of Monsters, Dance Montage, EDSNA’s Evening of

Hope, and the teen performance group at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. She has

trained extensively in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Chicago, and Sydney,

Australia. Robyn is passionate about teaching the choreographic process to the next

generation of choreographers and dancers, and is so proud of all of ADT’s hard

working dancers!

Jessalyn Britton 
Co-Artistic Director, Choreographer

Jessalyn has had a lifelong passion for dance. She holds a B.A. in Contemporary Dance with distinction from the University of Calgary and danced with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Professional Training Program for three seasons. Upon graduation, Jessalyn danced professionally with dance theatre company kloetzel&co. for several seasons where she performed in Professional Series, Toronto’s Dusk Dances, and in the full length work "The Alice Odyssey.” Jessalyn was also a Corps Bara company member as well as company manager. Independently, she has had the opportunity to perform and choreograph in dance events throughout Alberta and B.C, has self-produced three full length shows CrossCurrents, and co-created the dance company ESIRA.  Jessalyn is currently co-Artistic Director and General manager of Alberta Dance Theatre and teaches in YYC studios and schools. 

Dean Lauderdale

Dean Lauderdale is a Calgary-born musician and has an immense passion for teaching, performing and writing music. With over 10 years of experience, Dean has been teaching privately, ranging in all skill levels at his home studio as well as at Long & McQuade and Forte Music. He is also very involved with the Youth Singers of Calgary and is currently Director with ONCUE, an a cappella ensemble, and Assistant Director for the JUNIOR HI division. Dean holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at Humber College as well as a Music Diploma in Classical Vocal Performance from Mount Royal University. This is Dean’s second year with Alberta Dance Theatre having been brought on as musical composer. He greatly enjoys the creative and collaborative nature of the role and hopes to do more projects like this in the future. 

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