I have had the sincere pleasure of working with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks for over a year now, initially as a student intern and later as their social media manager through Social Sesame. DJD is a company that pours their blood, sweat and tears into everything that they do, from their performances, to their events and their deep involvement within the Calgary arts community. It’s their goal to infuse jazz and different aspects of dance into everyday life for everyone, no matter their age, ability or skill level. Life is better with dance – and how can you argue with that!
The Black and White Ball is DJD’s annual fundraiser gala, held this year at the Fairmont Palliser on Saturday, March 5th. Funds raised at the 2016 ball went towards reaching the final fundraising goal for the brand new Decidedly Jazz Dance Centre opening in April!
What I love about this event is that it’s like no other Calgary fundraiser! The ball embraces the eclectic style from the roaring 20’s, bringing out the gentleman and lady within us all. From the minute you walk into the event you are met with a variety of stunning artistic presentations – from Acapella singers, living statues and opera singers, to DJD company performances and the amazing live band, Penguins on Broadway that keeps the dance floor bumping till late in the night. The event is always a spectacle to behold – straight out of the 1920’s jazz era!
This was my second year on the Black and White Ball Committee and I got the opportunity to work with the other committee members and DJD staff to create different promotional and marketing tactics for social media. Here are some of the neat projects we worked on over the past month to help promote the ball:
Two Week Social Media Take-Over: For the two weeks leading up to the ball we decided to post content, such as fashion inspirations, beauty looks and dance moves, all true to the 1920’s theme, to get Calgary hyped and excited for the event. Needless to say this resulted in more than a few hours spent pursuing Pinterest, which I thoroughly enjoyed!
What to Wear Fashion Photo Shoot: We teamed up with Coco and Violet Boutique in Mission to help give partygoers some local wardrobe inspiration. We choose 3 very different, yet classic looks from the boutique for Sabrina Naz, DJD’s Company Understudy, to model, which we then used to create a look book and video to post.
A Gentlemen’s Guide to Prepping for the Black and White Ball: We worked with the Kent of Inglewood, a local men’s boutique specializing in grooming supplies, bow ties and shaving tools, to create a guide for men on how to prepare for the Black and White Ball. Nathan Gareau, the store manager took us step by step through the process of a classic shave, how to tie a bow tie and what is required when styling or conditioning your beard + moustache, staying again in step with 1920’s event theme. See the whole guide here!
The Grand Finale!
Aside from being so much fun to execute, all of this ended up being great research for my own prep for the ball. I ended up choosing a mid-length, silk maxi from Wilfred, accessorizing with a string of my mum’s pearls and a pair of classic pumps. The main inspiration for my outfit was ‘Downton Abby,’ as I absolutely adore the looks they sport on the show, so I decided to use this event as my opportunity to try it out!
DJD has more big and exciting things coming their way this year – be sure to stay in the loop and follow them on social for information on upcoming events and the opening of the new DJD Dance Centre!