Staff and Board

Staff, Board of Directors & Cultural Support

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

Holly Bright Founder of Crimson Coast Dance
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 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
Vice President Board

Desirée brings to the table over two decades of work experience in the field of Occupational Health and Safety (specializing in Policy and Procedure) as well as Violence Prevention.

She has been a Teacher and Member of the Scottish Dance Teachers’ Alliance since 1999 Desirée was the first to perform Highland Dancing daily for many summers at Nanaimo’s historic cannon firing ceremony at the Bastion downtown. She takes great pride in supporting the Highland Dance community and other unique forms of dance such as modern and contemporary dance right here on Vancouver Island. Desirée feels an overwhelming sense of gratitude to the Crimson Coast Dance Society (CCDS) for continuing to bring this community diverse, high-calibre contemporary dance creations and is thrilled to now sit on the Board of Directors for CCDS.

Photo of 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.

Tania Amaral Dance Instructor Mozambique
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
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
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.

Crimson Coast Logo
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.

Director At Large

As a fitness enthusiast and professional Bhangra dancer, dancing is Sukhi Sangha’s all time favourite workout. Sukhi is a trained bhangra and bollywood dancer, choreographer, and bhangra fitness instructor. She offers training to students of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels.

Sukhi has been dancing since she was five, and teaching dance for 17 years. She started off as a self-taught dancer, later trained and danced competitively in Bhangra.

Sukhi has been a professional Bhangra Dancer for 21 years! Her passion for Bhangra all started with her very first performance she choreographed at age 10 during Multicultural Day at her Elementary school. Her love for Dance has only grown since then. She coached and danced with her highschool Bhangra Team at North Delta Secondary School. She saw the positive impact of being on a dance team and decided to organize the BC High School Bhangra Competition where students across the province could showcase their talents.

During her undergrad at SFU, she was a choreographer and dancer for the Bhangra Queens and Jawani Bhangra. Sukhi competed for the University throughout various competitions in North America.

While training for her professional career in Poland, Sukhi showcased her Bhangra skills at Poland’s Got Talent, where she managed to progress to the 3rd round. Bhangra dance is a fantastic full body workout, hence Sukhi loves teaching Bhangra Fit classes. Sukhi taught Bhangra Aerobics classes to students as an alternative Physical Education program at her University. Sukhi is so excited to be a part of Crimson Coast Dance and to introduce Bhangra to Vancouver Island!

Darcie Davidson
Director at Large

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.

Guest Curators

Photo of 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)]

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


Image from Nanaimo Art Gallery.

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.

Join our Board of Directors

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.

Giron Sami Teahter

The Sámi People’s Theater, Giron Sámi Teáhter