JOCELYN ALLEN – Champion of dance and the DTRC

Jocelyn Terell Allen passed away peacefully on September 11, 2022 at the age of 83 years after a prolonged battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare neurodegenerative disease.

Jocelyn became a dancer with the National Ballet Company in 1956 at the age of sixteen. She danced as a member of the corps de ballet in the Carter-Barron Amphitheatre in Washington, D.C., studied dance in New York and London as a member of the Company, and then became a principal dancer in 1963. After a series of injuries left her unable to continue her career in dance, she completed her undergraduate degree in English and History at York University and, later in life, completed a master’s degree in English from the University of Toronto. Jocelyn never truly left the world of dance, sitting on the boards of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre and Peggy Baker Dance Projects. At the age of 80, Jocelyn fulfilled a long-held dream of writing and publishing Early Days, Early Dancers, a book that captures the spirit of the early years of dance at the National Ballet of Canada. The DTRC proudly hosted a launch event celebrating the publication.

Jocelyn Allen was a rare combination of profound generosity, intelligence and dedication to causes she espoused. The DTRC was most fortunate to have her as a valued Board member and long-time donor.

Joysanne Sidimus  – DTRC Founder

Jocelyn was a loyal friend to the DTRC. As a dancer herself, she truly understood the importance of our work and cared deeply about dancers. We often talked about the difficulties of transition from performance and how best to support dancers through that period. At the same time, she was an advocate for acknowledging the wide range of transferable skills dancers gain throughout their careers. Jocelyn had a quick wit and a very generous heart; she will be deeply missed.

Amanda Hancox – Former DTRC Executive Director