Saturday, July 4, 2009

Meet the dancers

Introducing the Simcoe Contemporary Dancers

Brittany-Brie D’Amico began dancing at a competitive level at the age of five in studio's around Keswick, Newmarket and Aurora. She was one of the first members of Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment's 'Toronto Marlies Dance Team' performing across the GTA. Brittany-Brie has choreographed for community theatre projects at the Stephen Leacock theatre and competitive figure skating summer camps in Georgina. She recently returned from studying abroad at University of Chichester in England, gaining knowledge in contemporary dance and choreography. While there, she was a member of Vortex Dance Company under the direction of Paula Conduit. Brittany-Brie is currently completing her final year at York University toward a BFA in Dance.

Sarah Lochhead + (Artistic Director) is a dance artist originally from Windsor ON. Sarah has performed with HNM Dance Company, Menaka Thakkar Dance Company and at events such as Dance in Dundas Square, the Fringe of Toronto Theatre Festival, the Toronto International Dance Festival, and many cabaret style events. She was a member of the York University Dance Ensemble and worked with choreographers Julia Aplin, Andrea Nann, Holly Small and Susan Cash. She holds a BFA in dance from York University and received the York University Fine Arts Convocation Award. An exchange to University of Chichester in England ignited her interest in dance film, media arts and community based art projects. She has created several dance films including Between Walls (2006), which was screened at the Barrie International Film Festival Short Film and Video Competition (2008). Sarah is currently the Ad Sales a& Marketing Coordinator for The Dance Current magazine, a member of the Toronto based dance company Collective HEAT, and teaches recreational dance programs for the City of Barrie.

Carly Manuel began her dance training at Audrey Meredith’s school in Milton, ON. She went on to train at Canada’s National Ballet School and Quinte Ballet School of Canada. She is a graduate of George Brown College’s Dance Performance Studies Programme. There she was coached by Che Chun and Chan Han Goh for her performance in La Bayadere and received a Dean's Award for excellence. Upon graduation, she continued to pursue her love of dance with Debbie Wilson founder of OMO Dance Company, and Stelio Calagias. Carly holds a Fitness Training Certificate and her Intermediate Certificate in the Cecchetti Method of ballet. She has performed for the E3 Entertainment and as part of Dusk Dances under the direction of MontrĂ©al choreographer Roger Sinha.

Kasha Pinel (Apprentice) is a dancer/choreographer from Toronto, ON who has trained extensively throughout Canada and the United States and is a recent graduate of George Brown College's intensive Commercial Dance Studies program where she trains under some of Toronto's finest teachers/choreographers. Kasha has been televised nationally for her performances in The Nutcracker, most recently as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Kasha teaches and choreographs for the Keeping Time Dancers with whom her routines have received several highest overall awards at numerous competitions throughout the past five years and was recognized as "Young Choreographer" at Broadway Dreams Dance Competition in Niagara Falls, ON in 2008 and 2009.

Nikki Russell trained in Dance in the UK from an early age. She completed ISTD/RAD exams in Modern, Tap, Ballet, Greek, National, Disco, and Jazz. As a teenager, Nikki participated in local pantomimes and touring companies, including the European Ballet and was one of twenty people chosen to form the first East Sussex Youth Dance Company called HED:Strong. She went on to study Contemporary Dance at University of Chichester, and also became a qualified secondary school teacher. Now in Barrie, Nikki works for Moving Art as a dance/drama instructor, teaching students aged 3-17 years old. Nikki is extremely excited to be a part of Simcoe Contemporary Dancers inaugural project ‘Get out and dance’ and cannot wait for her first summer in Canada!

[photos by Raluca Ganea]

+ member of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists (CADA-ON)

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