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The Studio

The Dance Factory was founded in 1982 and is owned and managed by Studio Director, Katie Sawka.

The Dance Factory has a rich history of teaching, nurturing and challenging dancers of all levels and all ages and is one of Calgary's most accomplished dance studios. Alumni of the Dance Factory currently own or teach at most dance studios in Calgary and the Dance Factory’s reach and influence on Calgary dance training has been extensive.

What makes the Dance Factory unique? Since inception, the Dance Factory has helped dancers achieve their personal best in the forum of dance. Teaching faculty at the Dance Factory address a dancer’s unique attributes and create environments that facilitate personal advancement. Dancers enjoy a collegial environment and are challenged to advance their athletic and artistic talents. Character, perseverance, teamwork, commitment, sacrifice, fun and friendship are some of the traits the Dance Factory helps form.

As the studio enjoys its third decade of dance, the Dance Factory offers dancers and their families many advantages. Some of these include:

Accomplished Faculty

Accomplished faculty who take the time to learn about each dancer, their strengths and their weaknesses. As a dancer's training progresses, faculty are able to work with a dancer’s growth in important ways. Dancers who participate in more than one class, and who return each year, receive the maximum benefit of this approach.

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Competition Program

The Dance Factory has a competition program and a commitment to participate in three Calgary-based competitions and one Dance Factory competition show. These opportunities provide a balance of performance opportunities without unnecessarily stretching the dancer beyond their limits for rehearsal and competition scheduling. The Dance Factory competes in elite dance competitions rather than dance festivals.

RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) ballet program

The Dance Factory offers students outstanding ballet training, an important foundation for other dance disciplines.

Workshops, Conventions and Camps

Dance Factory alumni have staged lyrical and jazz workshops for Dance Factory dancers. Summer camps provide additional opportunities for training and improvement. The Dance Factory is a supporter of high level dance conventions including the Triple Threat Conventions.

Coming Soon

The TDF Parents Association

The Dance Factory’s parents’ association raises funds to offset dance costs and fees. Activities include shoe sales; socials; and other fundraisers. The association is guided by an executive team and a charter. More information can be obtained by contacting the Dance Factory.


The Dance Factory’s Student Teacher Education Program is designed to provide mentoring opportunities for senior level dancers. STEP dancers assist Dance Factory faculty during regular classes for younger students. Learn more.

Exam Program and Auditions

TDF manages a full exam program for dancers seeking designations and certificates for their dance training. The Dance Factory is guided by the ADAPT (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) dance teaching syllabus. The Dance Factory is a founding member of the Wild Rose Dance Arts Association. The Wild Rose hosts an elite dance competition each spring and other activities during the year including teacher training and education and auditions.

Separate Year-end shows

Separate Junior, Intermediate and Senior year-end shows. The Dance Factory year-end shows are enjoyable, high energy events that allow dancers to be their best and are entertaining for family and friends.


The Dance Factory has undertaken many out-of-town trips for dancers and their families. Previous travels have included Spain, Disneyland and Triple Threat Conventions in the United States. The Dance Factory’s 2014 travel agenda included performances at Disney’s Magic Music Days in Disneyland.