In addition to her work on stage as an actor, Jan Justis has garnered accolades for her work as a professional dancer. In 2020, Jan was recognized as a Legend of Dance.
Jan Justis danced professionally with the Nikolais Dance Theatre and created her own Denver-based company, the Jan Justis Dance Company. Her choreography has been shown at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and International Thespian Conferences.
Jan holds a BA in dance from Barat College and an MA in Humanities, Theatre and History from CU Denver. A teacher at East, Eaglecrest, and Grandview High Schools, Jan taught and choreographed for both dance and theatre productions.
She now lives in Salida where she has served as Artistic Director for the Stage Left Theater Company and produced dance performances at the SteamPlant Theatre. Jan served on the Governor’s Commission on Arts Education, is past president of the Colorado Dance Alliance, and received the Alliance for Colorado Theatre’s Richard L. Knaub award as an outstanding theatre teacher.
Jan Justis has dedicated a large portion of her professional life to advancing the arts in education in Colorado and elsewhere in the United States. In this regard, she truly has pioneered arts programming in public schools. During her 23 years teaching tanch and theatre in the Denver Public School District and the Cherry Creek School District, she is a founding member of the Eaglecrest High School Performing Arts Department. She is also a member of the founding team that created and launched the Grandview High School Performing Arts Department.
Through her role in Mother!, the life story of Mother Jones will be presented to students in middle schools and high schools as part of the arts in education initiatives of the Colorado TINTS Theatre Company. A particular focus of the TINTS arts in education endeavors is bringing educational and entertaining life theatrical performances like Jan Justis in Mother! to public and private schools in rural and under-served areas in Colorado and elsewhere.