Crimson Coast Dance operates with the dedicated support
of our Artistic Director, Staff, and volunteer Board of Directors.

Crimson Coast Dance Society brings diverse, high-calibre contemporary dance creations to the Nanaimo area. We deliver performances and educational opportunities at both the grassroots and professional levels. CCDS is seeking Board and Committee members who can draw on their experience and enthusiasm for dance, arts, and culture to govern and support us in the delivery of our mandate. If you have the experience, or a background in finance, human resources, fundraising, special events, marketing, outreach, and guest artist hosting, please consider joining us. We strive to represent the diversity of our the audience, community, and performers and welcome anyone who is interested to contact us at 250.716.3230 or

Crimson Coast Dance Society (CCDS) brings diverse, high-calibre contemporary dance creations to the Nanaimo area. CCDS delivers performances and educational opportunities at both the grassroots and professional levels.

CCDS is seeking Board and Committee members who can draw on their experience and enthusiasm for dance, arts, and culture to govern and support us in the delivery of our mandate. If you have the experience, or a background in finance, human resources, fundraising, special events, marketing, outreach, and guest artist hosting, please consider joining us.

We strive to represent the diversity of our audience, community, and performers and welcome anyone who is interested to contact us.


Holly Bright Founder of Crimson Coast Dance

Holly Bright

Artistic Director & Founder

Holly Bright is a performer and dance educator. She holds a BA in Dance, BSc in Human Physiology, is certified in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis, Gyrokinesis/Gyrotonic movement systems and Thai Massage. Holly founded Crimson Coast Dance Society (Nanaimo, 1998), an organization that supports creation and presentation of professional dance programming.

In 2010, Holly was awarded The City Of Nanaimo’s Honour In Culture Award for her contributions to the cultural fabric of the arts in Nanaimo. Her youth program, Body Talk, was nominated for a 2015 Business Achievement Award for Cultural Vitality. In 2016 Holly was selected for one of two annual John Hobday Awards offered through the Canada Council for the Arts by the Saidye Bronfman Family to acknowledge her work as an arts manager and to support her desire to cultivate cultural knowledge of Indigenous people, protocols, and their arts and artists — especially those of Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Teaching credits include; Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, The University of Akron, Ohio, The University of New Mexico, Las Cruces, and various B.C. dance academies in Nanaimo. Holly has danced with artists including; Susanna Hood, Margie Gillis (Montreal) Judith Adams (U.K), Senta Driver, Hanya Holm, Agnes de Mille, Nina Weiner, Maureen Fleming-Odo, Lynne Taylor Corbett (New York City), Helen Myers (New Mexico), Chick Snipper, Kokoro Dance, Judith Marcuse (film), Lee Eisler, Deborah Dunn, Judith Garay, Jennifer Mascall and Cheryl Prophet (Vancouver).

In her role as artistic director for Crimson Coast Dance Society, Holly has choreographed solo works as well as works for dance professionals, dance students, and community dance projects for which she draws on her experience with Harry Streep and Stephan Koplowitz (NYC).

Musical Theatre choreographic background includes Euphemia (Akron, Ohio), The Spirit of Bleeker Street (NYC), A Good Person? (Malaspina University Theatre), Hot Flashes (Theatre One, Nanaimo), Heidi and South Pacific (Chemainus Theatre), Rocky Horror Picture Show and All Grown Up (Schmooze Productions, Nanaimo). She has performed in Guys and Dolls (Ohio), and created the lead role in an original musical, The Swing of Things (NYC).

Board of Directors

Photo of Lynda Adams

Lynda Adams


Lynda is a freelance theatre/dance artist, educator, keynote speaker, adjudicator and passionate board member (CCDS, Edmonton Arts Council, Alberta Dance Alliance, Theatre Alberta). She has a Masters’ Degree in Choreology from the Laban Centre in London, England and has taught in theatre departments at the U of A, MacEwan University, UBC, Douglas College, Red Deer College and for many adult and youth organizations.

Lynda has directed, choreographed, dramaturged and/or coached over 100 productions across Canada. She has received numerous awards including an Edmonton Theatre Sterling Award for Outstanding Choreography and was selected as one of 25 Most Influential Artists in Alberta by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts in 2016. During the past decade, Lynda has been creating community engagement interdisciplinary works, involving up to 200 people, including The Canola Project, which was selected for NYC’s League of Professional Theatre Women’s “30 Plays for 30 Years”. Since transplanting herself from Alberta to the incredibly arts vibrant city of Nanaimo, Lynda continues to teach, sit on boards, adjudicate, create art and present keynote addresses in both Alberta and BC!

Desirée Pahl


In the heart of Nanaimo, Desirée Pahl ignites cultural fervor and community connection as the visionary Artistic Director of Acclaim Celtic Dancers. With a kaleidoscope of Celtic culture, her troupe captivates audiences through dance and immersive events inviting the community into unconventional performances that blur the lines between spectator and performer, while also nurturing minds and bodies through Highland and Irish dance classes.

Recognized as a beacon of influence, Desirée has been honoured as Nanaimo Women of Influence 2024 “Breathe Fire” awardee and the recipient of the 2024 “Women in Business” Award from the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce however, her true passion lies in fostering inclusivity. In addition to her accolades, Desirée has been a member of the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing since 1999. She is also a member of ScotDance Canada and Cumann Rince Náisiúnta – Dublin, Ireland.

For Desirée, supporting contemporary dance isn’t just about applause; it’s about joining a movement that dares to break boundaries, express the human condition, and shape the future of art. As President of Crimson Coast Dance Society, she champions this ethos, fostering a dynamic landscape where every artistic pulse enriches lives and unites the community in celebration of its diverse spirit. With over 35 years of dance devotion, she believes deeply in the power of movement and melody to weave the fabric of Nanaimo’s diverse heritage.

Darcie Davidson


Darcie has been an active community organizer and social service professional for over 20 years, with the majority of her career being built in the community of Nanaimo. Darcie has been privileged to use her career to support and build programs and initiatives that engage vulnerable people in all aspects of community life. Darcie has an interest in supporting arts-based programming that reaches across populations in our community, and promotes cultural diversity and social inclusion. Darcie is the current CAO of ETHOS Career Management Group, and is eager to use her background in community development, fundraising, and organizational administration to support the work of Crimson Coast.

Patricia Newton


Pat is an artist of relationships and observer and friend of four-legged and feathered creatures. She travels frequently to observe our avian relations in their native habitat and works locally towards protecting and restoring our natural environment to allow them to flourish. She follows a long-standing family tradition of gardening for birds, pollinators and wildlife.

Her passion for cultural history led to several years of graduate research in London focusing on the education of girls and young women in London in the mid- to late-19th century. Her special interest was the intersection of gender and botanical studies.

Pat supported her own interest in arts and culture by working as an accountant for a children’s charity for more than 35 years, together with many other non-profits and professional associations. She has been an active volunteer for more than fifty years with various community organizations supporting youth, seniors, and refugees so they may become more resilient and independent.

Photo of Lori Sorensen

Lori Sorensen


Lori Sorensen has a history of varied work experiences ranging from restaurant management, art gallery attendant, to technical work op position in Ceramics. Lori teaches children’s art classes and practices art making on a daily basis. She has a BA in Theatre and Physical Education from VIU, (2010), a BFA from ECUAD (2010), and a MEDL from VIU (2016). A perennial student, Lori is currently studying Earth Sciences, Creative Writing and Sculpture at VIU. Lori has a keen interest in the environment and the health of the Earth. Involvement in community is very important to her as a means of contributing to society and as an artist. She is nurturing and loves; children, dancing, music, gardening, cooking, theatre and carpentry, among other things. Extremely family oriented she believes that creativity needs to be part of daily routine to encourage well-being. She is passionate about the great outdoors, and when she is not too busy creating, or working, she thrives on spending time peacefully enjoying nature.

Tânia Amaral

Director at Large

Born and raised in Mozambique (South East Africa), Tânia is a dancer, teacher, researcher for dances & culture from Africa, cultural activist, curious, traveler and enthusiastic person. She was also for a decade a Pharmacist, which she gave up to become a full-time dancer and researcher for dances from Africa. She has already lived in Portugal, Cape Verde (West Africa) and now Canada.

She works full time in this dance concept/ style called Afro Fusion Sharqi Dance that she created in 2015 when she was still living in Mozambique. A fusion dance style between different elements of the dance culture of Africa (from folklore to traditional and urban). This dance brings together the dance elements of Africa (from North to South, East to West and Central). This is about creating bridges that connect Africa’s diversity. It is about unification. Since she moved to Canada, she has been teaching and performing Afro Fusion Sharqi Dance in many different places around British Columbia (Vancouver, Nelson, Nanaimo, Kelowna, and Lillooet) but also outside of BC, as in Montreal and even USA (Portland, Las Vegas, Seattle).

She completed her studies at Datura Dance School in Portland (USA) and become the first Mozambican and African to become a Certified Datura Dance Style Teacher by Rachel Brice. She also completed with success an Introduction to Laban Movement Studies with Helen Walkley. She also started her studies to become a Dance Certify Teacher by IDTS (International Dance Teaching Standard’s Program). In 2021, she became a member of the International Dance Council CID by UNESCO.

In April 2019 the dance concept Afro Fusion Sharqi Dance was officially patented pending and in 2020 become a Trade Marketing. She is now finishing AFSD Manual in English so students around the world can embrace this new dance style. All the details regarding what this dance form is entails, the mission, vision & aspirations and values & principles are possible to be found on her website

Photo of Dorothy Dittrich

Dorothy Dittrich

Director at Large

Dorothy Dittrich is a playwright, musical director, sound designer and composer. She has been working and playing in the Vancouver Theatre community for a number of years now. Dorothy has won Jessie Richardson Awards for her plays and musicals as well as nominations for her sound design. She is a recipient of the Sydney J. Risk award for emerging writer and her most recent play “The Piano Teacher” was an Arts Club Silver Commission as well as the recipient of the Outstanding Original Script Award. It has been published by Talon books and will be released this spring. Ms Dittrich’s love of theatre and music has found her involved with dance as both a musician and composer. In fact, Dorothy’s first job as a musician, was playing for ballet classes every Saturday – and she loved it. Becoming a board member for Crimson Dance is exciting and holds a feeling of returning to dance in a very new way. What a wonderful opportunity to learn and to be part of the community and this company. A lover of nature and good long walks, Dorothy is already absolutely smitten with this beautiful city. Ms Dittrich is a graduate of SFU’s Masters of Liberal Arts Program.
Photo of Lindsey Hoetzel

Lindsey Hoetzel

Director at Large

Lindsay grew up on a small family farm in a rural town outside of Victoria, BC caring for animals and running a chicken egg business. Lindsay taught herself to play the guitar at a young age, and started writing environmental activist songs at the age of 10, with her first performance at a youth environmental conference in Victoria. Stemming from this experience, she developed a life-long passion for composing music. After working with a music producer in Victoria, she has now moved on to produce her own music under the stage name of Zylah. Lindsay has a biology degree from UVic where she played for their soccer team for 5 years. She has spent time in various jobs such as tree planting, fire fighting for BC Wildfire, piloting drones for disaster management efforts, and currently is working as a registered nurse, at Nanaimo General Hospital, after completing a nursing degree at UBC. Lindsay has a varied appreciation for dance and has even taught herself to pole dance where she can express herself through acrobatic dance movements. Lindsay lives on an acreage in Cedar where she spends her spare time gardening, exploring with her dog, and enjoying the peaceful forest.

Layla Robbie

Director at Large

Layla Robbie is a writer and editor living in Nanaimo, BC. She has a masters degree from the University of Victoria in Leadership with a focus on how communities educate for and enact social change, particularly through the use of the arts. She has worked over the last decade for various non-profits in educational and human resources capacities, with a passion for creating effective systems and programs that foster flourishing work and community cultures. She has always had a love for dance and movement, and spent her formative years dancing with a troupe in Canada, until more recently becoming involved in yoga. She loves to spend time working in the yard, exploring the wild with her husband and daughter, and enjoying culinary adventures.

Sukhi Sangha

Director at Large

Sukhi Sangha won the 2024 Honor in Culture Award for her contributions to Nanaimo’s cultural community. Sukhi is the proud founder of Vancouver Island Bhangra. She’s a strong leader, with great enthusiasm and charisma that engages all audiences. She came from a small community in North Delta and travelled the globe, spreading her passion for Bhangra, before coming to Nanaimo. She has been inspiring communities throughout BC for 20 years, through dance and free community engagement events. Sukhi excels in fostering cultural collaboration within the community, showcasing her ability to bring people together from diverse backgrounds.

Settling in Nanaimo in 2021, she became an established figure for South Asian Arts and Bhangra fitness. Sukhi’s community contributions have enriched Nanaimo’s cultural tapestry, introducing South Asian Arts to Vancouver Island at large. The Bhangra fitness classes she offers through the City of Nanaimo inspire young and mature participants alike, further demonstrating her commitment to Nanaimo’s health and wellness. She believes your mind is the strongest muscle in your body.

Sukhi graduated as a Doctor of Dental Surgery, whilst competing on the national stage as a participant on Poland’s Got Talent. Sukhi’s positive outlook and commitment to spreading joy through dance have made her a beloved member of the community.

Being a strong community member and fostering unity, inclusivity, and happiness, are evident in her work. Her impact on the community is profound, making her an inspiring cultural figure. Sukhi loves being a part of Crimson Coast Dance and introducing South Asian Arts to Vancouver Island!

Guest Curators

Tsatassaya White

Guest Curator

Tsatassaya White, B.A.(Anthropology, UBC) is a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation (Coast Salish) and Earthquake House in Hupacasath, (Nuu-chah-nulth). Carrying knowledge from both of her territories she is a community mobilizer. She is an event planner who has a keen interest in all aspects of protocol. Tsatassaya conceived and annually curates a day of dance, “Qwuyulush u’ tl Swy a lana” featuring Indigenous artists for our InFrinGinG Dance Festival and Sumsháthut Sun Festival – a Feast of Indigenous Dance, Culture, Fashion and Cuisine and a celebration of the Solstice.

[Photo Credit: Tsatassaya White (right), her daughter, Isabella (left)]

Photo of Tania Amaral in a red dress.

Tania Amaral

Guest Curator

In 2020 Tania conceived and curated the first annual African Connections – a celebration of artistic talents of individuals from the African Diaspora and presentations to shine the light on the vast continent of Africa and it’s unique cultural diversity. African Connections is scheduled every February. Annually on May 25, Tania curates and co-produces with Crimson Coast Dance, Africa Day. a holiday that commemorates that the May 25, 1963 signing by 32 African countries of the Charter of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). This later evolved into the African Union (AU). which called for greater unity among African countries. It is significant because it marks the end of over three hundred years of colonialism, segregation and white minority rule and the establishment of a new democratic government led by Nelson Mandela and a new state subject to a new constitution.


Xulsimalt | Elder Gary Manson


Gary was born on the mouth of the Snuneymuxw River in 1948. He now lives 100 feet from where he was born. Married to Donna Manson, they have six children and eight grandchildren. Gary is a survivor of Residential School and deeply connected to culture and land. Gary retired from commercial fishing. He has worked as an elder for the past five years in healing circles, is a regular canoe journey participant and is glad to sit as an elder at Vancouver Island University.

Image from the Nanaimo Art Gallery

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