Cast and Crew



Company Members






















Sarah Lochhead is a dance artist, educator, advocate and arts administrator who is passionate about the role dance plays in both personal development and community building. She is the Founder/Artistic Director of Simcoe Contemporary Dancers, a not-for-profit professional dance company based in Barrie Ontario established in 2009. She has worked with notable choreographers such as Julia Aplin, Trish Armstrong, Maxine Heppner, Andrea Nann, and Holly Small and performed with HNM Dance Company, Dance Nonce, Collective HEAT and Menaka Thakkar Dance Company and in a Nuit Blanche, installation by Dana Sherwood (Brooklyn NY). She has trained the modern styles of Duncan, Humphrey/Weidman and completed teacher trainings in Limón with Donna Krasnow and the Limón Company in NYC. She holds intermediate ballet certificates in RAD and Cecchetti method as well as a BFA honours and MA in Dance Studies from York University. Her artistic and academic work has been acknowledged through a Top Paper Citation award from the National Dance Educators Organization (USA) and grants from the City of Barrie, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She has held administrative positions in with national dance organizations as the former Director of The Dance Current – Canada’s dance magazine and now as the Director of Administration for the Dancer Transition Resource Centre.
Founder, Artistic Director, Class Facilitator, and Choreographer





















Chrissy King grew up in Upstate New York on the shores of Lake Ontario, and has danced for as long as she can remember. She began her serious training at Lisa’s Centre of Dance Artistry where she fostered her love for dance and hard work ethic. Chrissy attended The College at Brockport, State University of New York earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Modern Dance under the direction of Bill Evans and Maura Keefe. Chrissy is thrilled to continue working with and growing Simcoe Contemporary Dancers and looks forward to continuing showcasing amazing work in the greater Simcoe area. 
Executive Director, Performer, Class Facilitator, and Rehearsal Director





















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.  Carly holds her Intermediate Certificate in the Cecchetti Method of ballet. She has performed forE3 Entertainment and as part of Dusk Dances under the direction of Montréal choreographer Roger Sinha.  Carly has had the pleasure of attending workshops taught by Belinda McGuire, Lucy Rupert, and Brittany Duggan. Carly was awarded the 2014 Simcoe Contemporary Dancers Dedication Award for her 5 years with the company.
Founding Company Member, Performer





















Natasha Booth began dancing at the age of 3 right here in Barrie, ON. She has completed exams in C.D.T.A Jazz, R.A.D Ballet, and the Society of Russian Ballet and was dancing competitively by the age of eight.  Natasha continued her education with Laurentian University via Georgian College receiving her BA in English Studies. Natasha is currently an office manager and dance instructor in Barrie teaching both recreational and competitive classes. She continues her training in dance by attending various workshops and teaching seminars. Currently she is working towards her Teacher-In-Training Certification with the Society of Russian Ballet.  Natasha is extremely excited to be a part of the SCD family this season!
Outreach Coordinator, Choreographer, Performer





















Ulana Romanish is originally from Montreal.  She first discovered her affinity for dance performing Ukrainian folk dances. She moved into the world of classical ballet, training with the Academie de Danse Classique and performing with the Ballet Ouest de Montreal professional company. Upon moving to Barrie, Ulana began taking modern dance and classical jazz, with the Huronia Dance Centre and became a member of their studio performance group. She continued her dance training while completing her BSc in Occupational Therapy. When not in the studio, Ulana can be found treating patients at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre as an OT.
Class Facilitator, Performer, Wardrobe Manager, Archivist and Assistant Rehearsal Director
















Shelby Thoms is a dancer and teacher from Bradford ON.  She began training at the age of nine studying ballet, jazz and acro as a competitive dancer. Shelby attended Ryerson University and received her BFA in performance dance. During her time at Ryerson she had the privilege of working with and being trained by artist such as Nadia Potts, Karen Duplisea, Vicki St. Denys, Allen Kaeja and William Yong.  This summer she travelled to Vienna to study at  ImPulsTanz.
Associate Artistic Director, Class Facilitator, Performer, Choreographer

















Jaqueline Brown grew up dancing competitively in Newmarket, Ontario. She graduated from George Brown College earning a Diploma in Performance Dance Studies, and a Certificate in Performing Arts. Jaqueline has trained and performed with a variety of movement artists throughout Ontario and has choreographed for Canadian indie rock band The Elwins. She has studied abroad at the Vienna International Dance Festival, Impulstanz and is also a graduate of York University with a BA Honours double major in Psychology & Spanish. Jaqueline is a dance educator at local studios near her hometown.
Performer, Class Facilitator, Choreographer, Assistant Rehearsal Director





















Bree Booth recently graduated the Acting for Camera and Voice program at Seneca College then joined with Applause-Bickerton Model and Talent. She is only 20 years old and a dancer of 17 years, 10 being competitive, and has been trained in many different types. She started performing on stage in local theatre, then hosted High School Rush on Rogers TV and starred in an informative video that is still shown throughout the Simcoe County District School Board. Since then she has appeared in singing competitions, a female superhero calendar for charity, regular photo shoots, dance themed photo shoots, commercials, and numerous short films as both extra and lead roles. 
Performer

















Jesse McRogers holds a BFA in contemporary dance and choreography from Concordia University in Montreal. In her final year of university, she studied abroad in Singapore learning traditional Balinese dance. In 2017 she was selected as an intern for OYO Dance Company in Namibia, Africa and toured with the company for a month. Jesse currently volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada as a Go Girls leader, leading workshops on body positivity for young women. Jesse hopes to continue on to do her master’s degree in dance and movement therapy.  
Performer
























Billie Ansley started her dance training at the age of 12, on the Dance Academy of Barrie's competitive team training in contemporary, jazz, musical theatre, open, lyrical and ballet. She competed for 5 years working with teachers/choreographers Jeannine Clayton and Natasha Booth. Billie furthered her dance training at Etobicoke School of the Arts, training in ballet and modern. While attending ESA, she worked with the school's dance company "DancESAtion" in the production of 'Alice' where she danced the role of the Cheshire Cat and the production of 'Gravitas'. Billie has trained under teachers and choreographers from across Canada, including; Shari Wolfson, Gabby and Ben Kamino, Allen Kaeja, Bonny Kim, Alisa Martin, Ryan Lee, Ballet Bob, Yanis Marshall, Julliard students, and many more. Currently on a gap year, she aspires to get her BFA in dance, travel the world, and to become more involved with feminist activism! 
Performer, Dancer Representative


Guest Artists






















Aliyah Beckles-Gaines is from the small town of Penetanguishene, Ontario. She began her training in competitive dance studios and trained for three years in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance Program at York University with a focus in choreography and performance. In most recent years she has trained with Carol Anderson, Helen Jones, Megan Andrews, Tracey Norman, and Susan Lee. In 2011, Aliyah began a choreographic apprenticeship with Simcoe Contemporary Dancers where she developed her first pre-professional contemporary piece which would be performed in 2012 and kept in the company’s repertoire. The highlights of her career so far have been having her first pre-professional piece Pressure performed at the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival in June of 2012, choreographing Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat for St. Theresa’s High school in Midland, performing in Dance Innovations and York Dances in the 2015/2016 school year.
Guest Artist, Former Apprentice





















Jewell Cormier discovered her love for dance when she was eight years old and is now a competitive dancer. She trains in contemporary, ballet, musical theater, hip hop, acro, lyrical and jazz at In Harmony Dance in Newmarket, ON. Jewell has completed vocational R.A.D. ballet exams receiving Distinction, and Intermediate P.A.E.C. acrobatics exams receiving Honours. Jewell is beyond excited to be joining Simcoe Contemporary Dancers as an apprentice this season.
Guest Artist, Former Apprentice














Karolyn Owens has a BFA honours in  dance from York University. During her studies she performed in both York Dances and Dance Innovations, where she was inspired to begin choreographing. Karolyn is enthralled with the idea of inspiring students to fuel their inner dancer by using their own movement. In September 2012, Karolyn earned a BEd and has taught at local dance studios and Rosedale School for the Arts.
Guest Artist


Apprentices






















Nicole Becher discovered her passion for dance at the age of 3. She became a competitive dancer at Peter Stanton School of Dance in Newmarket, ON when she was 8 years old. Then she joined the competitive team at In Harmony Dance and Wellness when she was 11 years old. Nicole trains in jazz, hip hop, ballet, musical theatre, lyrical and contemporary. She has completed multiple R.A.D ballet exams. Nicole is currently attending the ARTS HURON dance program at Huron Heights Secondary School in Newmarket, ON to expand her dance training.
Senior Apprentice

Eligh Zimmerman has been self training for the last five years. He has choreographed several pieces during local Arts Showcases and has performed many different styles of dance such as Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Tap and African skirt dancing. Eligh has also worked along side and learned from many local artists during his high school career at St. Joan of Arc High School in Barrie and throughout the community. He recently began attending Centennial College studying Dance Performance.
Senior Apprentice
























Karen Mateus began her dance training at the age of four with LaRonde Dance Academy. She then competed and trained with The Dance Academy of Barrie’s team for 6 consecutive years. Throughout the years, she also trained at workshops and conventions in a variety of styles including jazz, ballet, pointe, hip hop, musical theatre, lyrical, improv and modern/contemporary.
Junior Apprentice

Ruby Wessenger
Junior Apprentice

Sydney Whittaker joined SCD as a junior Apprentice in 2017 after participating in our inaugural Dusk Dances Barrie Festival. She trains and competes with Extreme Dance Connection in Barrie. Since joining SCD, Sydney has learned a variety of pieces from the company repertoire and performed in a variety of performance venues.
Junior Apprentice





















Casey-Lee Cooper began her journey with dance at the age of four. She became a competitive dancer at Kreative Dance Company at the age of 7 and then joined the competitive at the Barrie Dance Conservatory in September 2016. Casey has competed in all genres of dance. She also acts as an assistant teacher and enjoys working with children at her studio. She has completed CDTA exams in tap and jazz, as well as jazz exams in ADAPT. Highlights so far include performing self choreographed contemporary duet, receiving 2nd overall and honors recognition in her CDTA tap exam. Casey is looking forward to working with SCD and the Barrie Community.
Junior Apprentice



Board of Directors
Wendy Hutchinson – Chair
Amy Lewis - Secretary/Treasurer
Derek Breedon - Board Member
April Balunda - Board Member



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