Natasha O’Hara, Chrissy Baxter, Katelyn Collie, Sarah Lochhead, and Shelby Thoms of Simcoe Contemporary Dancers. (Photo by Mar Lewis).
Meet the Crew
Executive Director of Simcoe Contemporary Dancers
Chrissy King earned a BFA in Modern Dance from The College at Brockport and State University of New York under the direction of Bill Evans and Maura Keefe, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2012. She has worked with notable choreographers such as Mariah Maloney, Maxine Heppner, Mairead Filgate, Sarah Lochead and Susan Kendal, and has performed with Limitless Productions as well as Simcoe Contemporary Dancers. She has trained in the modern styles of Trisha Brown, Bartenieff Fundamentals, and David Dorfman. Growing up in Upstate New York on the shores of Lake Ontario, Chrissy 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 appreciation of a hard work ethic. Since joining Simcoe Contemporary Dancers in 2014, Chrissy has choreographed multiple works for the company, learned and performed numerous pieces from SCDs repertoire, been elected dancer representative to the Board of Directors and won our annual dedication award. Chrissy continues to dedicate her time and passion to SCD and looks forward to continuing to present amazing work in the greater Simcoe area.
Artistic Director of Simcoe Contemporary Dancers
Shelby 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.
Performer, Choreographer, & Rehearsal Director
Jaqui is a dancer and dance teacher from Newmarket, Ontario. She is a graduate of George Brown College where she earned a Diploma in Performance Dance Studies, and a Certificate in the Performing Arts. Her formal training includes modern dance (Limón; contact improvisation), ballet (RAD; Cecchetti), jazz (BATD; theatre), vocal, and acting. Additionally, Jaqui has her degree in Psychology and Spanish from York University. Her passion for dance extends through to her love of other artistic forms such as singing, and photography. Jaqui joined SCD in 2014.
Outreach Coordinator, Choreographer, & Performer
Natasha 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. Since joining the SCD family, Natasha has become our Outreach Coordinator, helping to foster stronger relationships with our Simcoe County community.
Performer & Volunteer Coordinator
Bree 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.
Kas 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 a part of the Simcoe County community. Dance has been, and always will be an integral part of her life.
Eligh started as a self-trained dancer and continued his training with Simcoe Contemporary Dancers. He has choreographed several choreographies for local Arts Showcases and has performed a variety of different styles of dance such as Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Tap and African skirt dancing. Eligh has also worked alongside and learned from many local artists at during his time at St. Joan of Arc High School in Barrie and throughout the community. He recently graduated from Centennial College with a certificate in Dance Performance.
Casey began her journey with dance at age four. She became a competitive dancer at Kreative Dance Company at seven 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 assistance teacher and enjoys working with children. She has completed CDTA exams in tap, jazz and well as jazz exams in ADAPT.
Sydney joined SCD as a junior Apprentice in 2017 after participating in our inaugural Dusk Dances Barrie Festival. Since joining SCD, Sydney has learned a variety of pieces from the company repertoire and performed in a variety of performance venues.
Morgan joined SCD as a junior apprentice in August of 2021. She has been a key member of SCD ever since learning a variety of repertoire and participating in the creation of new works that premiered in 2022 and more to come in 2023!
Paul Moen joined SCD in 2021 and immediately became an important member of the team. He learned new repertoire and performed at community events and made his theatrical debut with SCD at their theatre run at the Five Points Theatre called Unravelled.
Founder & Artistic Consultant
Sarah Lochhead holds a BFA honours and MA in Dance Studies from York University. 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. Last fall, as part of Nuit Blanche, she performed in an installation by Dana Sherwood (Brooklyn NY) sparking her newfound interest in long duration performance art. She has trained the modern styles of Duncan, Humphrey/Weidman and completed a teacher training with the Limón Company in NYC. She holds intermediate ballet certificates in RAD and Cecchetti method. Her work has been acknowledged through a Top Citation award from the National Dance Educators Organization (USA) and the receipt of grants from the City of Barrie, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Social Sciences and Human Research Council of Canada. Sarah previously worked as the Assistant Director at The Dance Current – Canada’s dance magazine. She is currently with the Dancer Transition Resource Centre in Toronto.