Former SCD Members

Former Company Members and Guest Artists

Nadege Blackhall is originally from Calgary, AB. She moved to Ontario in 2008 to pursue her love of dance at York University. In June 2012, Nadege graduated from York with a Bachelors of Fine Arts with Honours specializing in dance. While at York, Nadege participated in student run productions wearing many hats including: front of house, performer, lighting designer, and as a choreographer. In Calgary, Nadege started putting on performances with her sisters in their living room, which later graduated to performances within the community as a participant with Funtastic Danceworks Performance Group. The group often performed in nursing homes, shopping malls, and at Canada Day celebrations. Nadege started participating in dance competitions at the age of fourteen. One of her special awards was titled “Me and my Shadow”, for when she performed her duet as a solo. Her favourite piece she’s performed was a duet to “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”, choreographed by her former teacher and mentor, Amanda Patrick. The foot stompin’, crowd-pleasing piece combined Line Dancing with Pointe. Now living in Barrie, she looks forward to dancing with Simcoe Contemporary Dancers and performing within her new community. 
*company member 2012/2013 season

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.
* founding company member, Summer 2009, company member [May-September 2009]

Jillian Eisener was a student of dance at the Nicole Jacklin School of Dance in Alliston, ON for ten years.  While there she studied various forms of dance and completed several exams with the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association, and the Royal Academy of Dance. Wanting to pursue additional training, she studied with the Quinte Ballet School of Canada, the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and internationally at the ImPulsTanz Dance Festival in Vienna. Jillian continued her education at York University where she completed her Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts degree specializing in Dance. While there she found a love for contemporary and modern dance, and had the opportunity to perform as a member of the York Dance Ensemble, York University’s pre-professional dance company. Throughout her education, she was inspired by artists Julia Sasso, Darcey Callison, Holly Small, John Ottmann, Nancy & Michael Greyeyes, among many others.  As a new graduate, Jillian is currently exploring new choreographic ideas, teaching dance in the studio setting, and looking forward to performance opportunities with the Simcoe Contemporary Dancers. 
*guest artist

Regan McQuoid 
was born, raised, and currently lives in Innisfil, ON and began taking dance lessons at the age of three. Regan enjoys participating in many dance opportunities such as The Give-Back, a workshop with Tre Armstrong in Toronto, ON, Center Stage School of the Arts annual event Dance Driven in Georgetown,ON, and The Rockettes Summer Intensive in New York, NY. She is currently in her first year of York University’s BFA dance program. Regan’s future goals include attending the National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program and the ADAPT Teacher Training School. 
*guest artist 2012/2103 season

Kasha Pinel 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.
* founding company member, apprentice [May 2009-May 2010]

Nicola Russell / Photo by Fred Day

Nicola Russell started her dance career in the UK, where she trained in a variety of dance styles via ISTD and RAD examinations including modern, tap, ballet, greek, national, disco, and jazz. She has performed with the European Ballet and was one of twenty dancers chosen to form the first East Sussex Youth Dance Company, 'HED:Strong'. She went on to complete her BA(Hons) in Contemporary Dance at University of Chichester, where she trained in various Advanced Contemporary styles including Skinner Release and Contact Improvisation. After graduating Nicola went on to complete her (QTS) Secondary School Teachers Degree in Dance. Now, in Canada, Nicola teaches dance and drama in schools and studios in Simcoe County. Nicola is a founding member of Simcoe Contemporary Dancers and has performed various repertoires including ‘Betty’s Bench’‘Sea Anemone’, ‘Peel me a Grape’ and ‘Swim Girl Swim’ around Simcoe County. Her choreography ‘Loss’ marked the company’s Toronto debut, premiering in May 2010 at Dance in Dundas Square. More recently Nicola performed Trish Armstrong’s solo choreography ‘Tainted Love’ as part of SCD’s first full length show ‘Woven’ in May 2011.
* founding company member, choreographer [May 2009-May 2012]

Nancy Pottage graduated from York University with a BFA in Theatre (Performance) and has served as writer, director, dramaturge, choreographer, instructor and company dancer for SCD.  She wrote and directed Woven, the company’s first full-length show. She has participated in dance workshops and master classes with Belinda McGuire, Mairead Filgate, Sarah Chase, Lucy Rupert, Brittany Duggan, Ballet Creole, Randy Glynn and Trish Armstrong.  She is also a graduate of the Artist in Community BEd program at Queen’s.

Dramaturge, Choreographer, Performer, Class Facilitator

Susan Kendal is a costume designer, choreographer and textile artist living and working in Simcoe County, Ontario. She works under her company name of Pocket Alchemy. As an independent choreographer, Susan has presented work in Toronto as part of DanceWorks, Toronto Fringe Festival and at various festivals across Canada. Susan recently costumed dance works for Susie Burpee/Tiger Princess Dance Projects, Throwdown Collective and Simcoe Contemporary Dancers. She also costumes for the Actors Colony Theatre in Bala, Ontario. As a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Professional Training Program, Susan taught for the school’s Young Dancers Program for 11 years. She worked in various editorial and administrative capacities at The Dance Current magazine for 10 years. Her textile art is featured in the Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles by Leanne Prain and released in October 2014.
Movement Education Director, Choreographer, Class Facilitator, Costume Designer

Christie Roberts began her dance training at the Ida Sauve Dance Studios in Sudbury, ON training in tap, jazz, ballet, modern, and lyrical dance styles. She holds a BA in English from Carleton University and a BEd from University of Ottawa. Christie moved to Barrie to teach and became involved with Simcoe Contemporary Dancers while pursuing additional teaching qualifications in dance. She performed with SCD from 2010-2013 in a variety of productions. Christie designed and implemented a Laban-based creative movement workshop series for primary students and taught creative movement classes for the City of Barrie. Currently Christie works as a Kindergarten teacher in Simcoe County.
Blogger, Class Facilitator

Katelyn Collie has been involved in dance for the past 20 years- training ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop and musical theatre. While growing up in Toronto, Katelyn received her dance education at Lorri's Dance Place and completed dance exams through RAD and the BATD. She continues to train in contemporary dance and yoga. 

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

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 and 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

Former Company Apprentices and Choreographic Apprentices

Aliyah Gaines is from the small town of Penetanguishene, ON. She began her training at Let’s Dance in Orillia, ON and continued onto training at Kreative Urban Tribe, Tranter Institute, Cingolani (Now known as The Melody In Me) in Barrie, ON. She is sixteen and has been dancing for seven years. Aliyah has been trained in recent years by Lineen Doung, Marj Midge Malcolm, and Robert DeOliveria. She has been trained in Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Jazz, Ballet, Modern and Contemporary, but above all considers herself a Contemporary Dancer. The highlights of her career so far have been winning So You Think You Can Dance Barrie in 2009, winning the Junior Dance Award at her high school, and having her piece Pressure performed at the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival in June of 2012.  She is currently dancing a Georgian Bay School of Dance in Midland, ONand is being taught by Stephanie Gendron and Sarah Walker.  During the summer of 2011 Aliyah took part in a choreographic intensive program put on by the Simcoe Contemporary Dancers which helped to shape her skills as a choreographer and as a dancer. 
*apprentice, choreographer 2012/2013 season

Taylor Garwood found her niche early on in life when she started dancing at the age of three.  Since then, dancing, music and singing has consumed her daily dreams and activities.  Taylor’s dance portfolio includes ballet, competitive tap, lyrical, hip hop and jazz.  She also studied competitive step-dancing with one of Canada’s top step dancers, Cindy Thompson for 4 years.  In 2008, Taylor was cast in the award winning docudrama Death or Canada which aired on History Television and PBS in Canada, The United States, Ireland, and the U.K.  In the summer of 2011, she joined Drayton Entertainment’s Wizard of Oz at The King’s Warf Theatre in Penetanguishene, ON.  Taylor has attended workshops and competitions across Ontario with professionals such as Blake McGrath, Amy Wallis, Kevin Morris, Victoria Thompson, Carla Tucker, and more.  The Phelpston, ON native has won over 50 awards for her dancing, singing, and music and is currently studying competitive dance at Moving Art in Barrie, ON.   Taylor’s passion for dance and stage is evident as she continues her quest to attain a career in the performing arts. 
*company apprentice [Sept. 2012 -Dec. 2012]

Sheridan (Sher) Martin was born and raised in Barrie, ON. Sher’s love of dance ignited in 2009 when she took a recreational teen dance class through the City of Barrie. Dance gave purpose to her life and she continued to explore many styles. As a student at The Art of Dance in Barrie she credits Nancy Proctor for guiding her through various disciplines such as Jazz, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre and Tap. She concurrently attended several workshops with Simcoe Contemporary Dancers and there she came to realize that her love and strength lies in Contemporary. It was also there that she discovered a passion and raw talent for choreography. Sher is currently an honour students attending Barrie Central Collegiate where her dance teacher, Ms. Alexander, was instrumental in helping develop her skill set. This year she is captain of the high school dance team. Sher’s contemporary style is fresh, energetic, creative and often air born! Incidentally, Sher’s first dance instructor back in 2009 was Sarah Lochhead whose passion for dance instilled in her the drive to pursue dance. 
*apprentice 2012/2013 season

Regan McQuoid

Regan McQuoid was born, raised, and currently lives in Innisfil, ON and began taking dance lessons at the age of three. Regan enjoys participating in many dance opportunities such as The Give-Back, a workshop with Tre Armstrong in Toronto, ON, and Center Stage School of the Arts annual event Dance Driven in Georgetown,ON, and The Rockettes Summer Intensive in New York, NY. She currently studies ballet, jazz, tap, and lyrical, at Dance Incorporated in Barrie, ON. Regan’s future goals include attending York University’s dance program and becoming a member of the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. 

*company apprentice 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 season

Haley Coulter 
 *company apprentice 2011/2012 season

James Lintag 
*company apprentice 2011/2012 season

Kieren Day / Photo by Fred Day (

Kieren Day’s passion for theatre and dance began at five years old. This interest has led Kieren to participate in competitions and performances nationally. Select performance credits include local productions of: Beauty and the BeastOnce on This IslandDear Edwina and The Wiz. He has also choreographed for Moving Art’s the Junior Triple Threat production of Aladdin and performances at Barrie North Collegiate. 
*company apprentice - Susan Kendal's "Penumbra" and Meaghan Giusti's "Plaid" [June 
2010-June 2011] 

Eliza Pinney resides in Orillia, Ontario. She has trained at several studios including Tap Shoes and Tutu's (Toronto) and Let's Dance (Orillia), Tap's Performing Arts (Orillia) but has found a home at Orillia Dance Academy. She trained at ODA in ballet with Andrea Marcucci and in Modern dance with Sarah Lochhead. Eliza is continuing her dance education at York University.

Hayley Hamlin 

Sarah Kennedy has a passion for dance that started at the age of 4. She is a student and teaching assistant at In Harmony Dance & Wellness in Newmarket. She has competed in acro, jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, and musical theatre with her favourite always being acro. Sarah continues to pursue her passion of dance at Huron Arts Dance Program at Huron Secondary School.

Olivia Lyle was born and raised in Midland, ON. She started recreational dance classes at the age of five and joined Images Dance Company at the age of fourteen; a competitive dance team. She has trained in jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern, contemporary, tap, musical theatre and hip hop. Olivia was one of the lead dancers in her high school production of Jesus Christ Superstar and was the co-choreographer for her high schools production of Godspell. She has attended various dance workshops over the last three years with choreographers such as Nico Archambault, Stacey Tookey and Tyce Diorio. Olivia hopes to study dance at Ryerson University next year and pursue a career as a performing dancer and choreographer. This is her first season working with Simcoe Contemporary Dancers and she is looking forward to it!
*youth choreographic apprentice 2011/2012 season

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.
Former Apprentice

Associated Artists

Trish Armstrong / Photo by Fred Day (

Trish Armstrong was born and raised in Brantford where she had the pleasure of teaching Sunday School to Wayne Gretzky and developed her love for dance at an early age.  She later earned an M.A. at York where she taught Modern Dance. Trish toured with the Danny Grossman Dance Company as a dancer for nineteen years in Canada, the United States, Europe, Central and South America, Mexico, Israel and Cuba.  She staged Grossman's work in the Paris Opera Ballet with Rudolph Nureyev as well as at the National Ballet of Canada and the Theatre Ballet of Canada. Trish taught at the New York Summer School for the Arts for ten years,  Dance East School for twenty years. She now resides in Cookstown ON, where she is the proud grandmother of four-year-old Madalyn who also wishes to be a dancer. 
*choreographic mentor, rehearsal director 2010/2011 season

Katie Lesperance has an extensive background in kinesiology and sport conditioning training. Since an early age, she has been involved in ballet, karate, track and field and various athletic endeavors. She has a university education in physical education and health as well as certification from CANFITPRO, the YMCA and OFSAA athletic coaching qualifications. She is currently working as a freelance personal trainer with KatieFIT professional training services as well as teaching full-time as a special education, physical education and dance teacher in various capacities. In her free time, she trains and competes at the National level with the Canadian Bodybuilding Federation in the Bikini division. Her next competition is April 27th all the way in Winnipeg, Manitoba where she faces off again all of Canada to earn the only Professional Card in our nation. 
*guest conditioning instructor - March Break Intensives 2013