About American Jazz Dance Affiliation

The American Jazz Dance Affiliation was founded by Mary Evers who worked in New Zealand and America studying and tutoring in Jazz Dance. Originally the organisation was known as the Dupree Syllabus as at that time Mary was working in affiliation with Roland Dupree from Los Angeles. Roland owned top professional studios and a dance convention in Hollywood and he and Mary had a long time working relationship.

The syllabus was launched in New Zealand for Examinations and became a huge success due to the style and technical base it provided to students and teachers alike.

Mary passed away and left the business to Sharyn Underwood and Sharon Stevens-Cottle both of whom had been teaching the work in their own studios since its introduction and both of whom were technical examiners. The AJDA has since changed hands and the new Co-Directors Louise ten Hove and Nikki Wilkinson have also trained in the syllabus and whom are both technical examiners themselves.

The Affiliation offers a strong support network to teachers and is constantly monitoring the progress of technique and style within the international industry employing different choreographers where they see fit to update the Combination and Dance content.

AJDA holds a bi-annual Teacher and Student Congress very second year. It is for teachers, their assistants and students from Elementary Level Three to Advanced level Two.

This offers the opportunity to network and share your knowledge and experience in teaching and choreography.

Affiliation Aims

  • To offer the best possible Jazz and Tap Syllabus.
  • To keep the standard of teaching to a high level by offering regular teacher training courses.
  • To offer a caring and supportive network for all the teachers.
  • To be open to ideas to help the AJDA flourish.
  • To encourage performance, style and the sheer enjoyment of dance.
  • To adhere to safe-dance practices throughout the syllabus.

“The small child at dancing class may never become a professional dancer – but the courtesies and disciplines, as well as the joy in movement, will touch her forever.”


Louise ten Hove


Nikki Wilkinson