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.
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. 

Kasandra Chiaromonte was introduced to the world of dance as a toddler as her mom owned a dance studio at the time, and was early exposed to music, movement, and rhythm. Kasandra instantly fell in love with dance, and at 4 years old, enrolled in her own classes. She practised ballet, tap, acro, and jazz in Brampton, ON and competed intensely all over the region. Kasandra and her family then moved to Barrie in 2002, and she has called our city home ever since. She continued competitive dancing and added lyrical, pointe, and hip hop to her repertoire of disciplines. Ballet and pointe became Kasandra’s favourite discipline as she loved the intricate footwork, grace and softness of each movement. In her high school years, Kasandra was a member of the Eastview Dance Team from 2009-2012. The team performed around the school, helping to create a vibrant artistic culture. Kasandra enjoyed being part of a performing group for her school community. Contemporary dance was heavily practised during these years at Eastview, as Kasandra took multiple dance courses. She learned various movements, timing, techniques, etc. throughout class assignments and performances. Kasandra took a break from dance as she pursued post-secondary education and received a diploma in Early Childhood Education from Georgian College and spent a few years in her field. Kasandra aspires to create again through contemporary dance and movement while being apart of the Simcoe County community. Dance has been, and always will be an integral part of her life. 

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


Eligh Zimmerman discovered his passion for dance during his early years of high school where he attended St Joan Of Arc, this school carried a big dance program and allowed him to learn the basics as well as teach himself more challenging moves at home.His last year of high school he became a mentor and learned the best ways to teach students. Eligh has performed in many styles including African Skirt Dancing, hip hop, Jazz and contemporary. He is currently enrolled in Centennial Colleges Performing Arts Fundaments and is working to become a triple threat as well as enhance his knowledge and the aspects of performing arts. Also hoping to become more versatile when it comes to hip-hop and breaking so he can learn to teach kids in many different styles of dance, his goals are to become a choreographer and be able to teach people how to appreciate all types of performances.
Senior 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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