Staff & Representatives

our team

As a world leader in dancer transition, we are active participants in international conferences and research initiatives and help drive change within the dance community.

Staff

Joysanne Sidimus

Joysanne Sidimus

DTRC Founder
Megan Andrews

Megan Andrews

Interim Executive Director
Kasia Hannah

Kasia Hannah

Director of Member Services
Neetika Sharma

Neetika Sharma

Director of Operations
Rachel Dupéré

Rachel Dupéré

Membership Administrator
Carola Jaque

Carola Jaque

Development and Fundraising Director
Giulia Tripoli

Giulia Tripoli

Quebec Manager of Operations
Jessica McKeown

Jessica McKeown

Programming Assistant
Paige Wichers

Paige Wichers

Engagement Assistant

Representatives

Paige Wichers

Paige Wichers

Alberta Representative
Eugene “GeNie” Baffoe

Eugene “GeNie” Baffoe

Manitoba Representative
TBA

TBA

Atlantic Canada Representative

A native of New York City, Joysanne Sidimus M.S.M. attended Barnard College where she studied Comparative Religion before joining the New York City Ballet. She subsequently performed as a soloist with London’s Festival Ballet and as a Principal Dancer with the Pennsylvania Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada.

After performing she taught extensively and, for the last 35 years, has been a Balanchine reptetiteur, most notably with the National Ballet of Canada and internationally. In addition to her work as a repetiteur, Ms. Sidimus is the founder of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre and was Executive Director for 20 years. She has written two books, served on numerous advisory committees and was the founding Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the Artists’ Health Centre Foundation (now the Artists’ Health Alliance).

Ms. Sidimus is the recipient of many awards and honours, including the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal for making a significant contribution to the cultural life of Canada in founding the Dancer Transition Resource Centre. As well, Ms. Sidimus was a recipient of the 2006 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Life-time Achievement.

Kristian brings to the DTRC his many years of experience leading not-for-profit arts organizations.  He was the Executive Director of Canadian Artists Representation/le front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC Ontario) for nearly a decade, and previously was its Membership Coordinator. Most recently, he has been working with performing artists as Senior Projects Manager at Canadian Actors’ Equity Association. While there, he took a leading role in creating and developing the Not in OUR Space! anti-harassment campaign for live performance artists working under Equity contracts.  He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from McMaster University, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Leeds, a post-graduate degree in Cultural Management from Humber College and is working part-time on his PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University.

“My career has been focused on helping individual artists improve their circumstances in society and working to convince decision-makers about the vital role that artists play in the world”, noted Mr. Clarke.  “It has been extremely gratifying learning from my respected colleagues at Equity and CARFAC as well as the numerous organizations that I have served and continue to serve as a board member for. I hope to take that accumulated experience and, in partnership with the DTRC Board and staff, build upon the significant foundation that Amanda has laid.”

Born and raised in a Saskatchewan dance family, Kasia is one of many dancers to have been influenced by the late great Doris Sitter. She moved east to Toronto to attend the Commercial Dance Program at George Brown College. Upon graduation, Kasia was active in Toronto’s commercial dance industry and began her training in Ballroom and Latin Dance.  She crossed paths with choreographer/performer Pastel Supernova and joined her company, Love Letters Cabaret. As an original cast member, Kasia’s role grew to include rehearsal mistress, stage manager, and producer titles. The two collaborated over 5 years with an amazing team to create entertainment including, short films, fringe festivals, and international burlesque competitions.

While teaching partner dancing and burlesque, Kasia connected the many emotional needs of her students through music and movement. This prompted a grass roots approach to understanding the therapy behind movement and dance, specifically relating to burlesque and partner dancing. She regularly sought out non-conforming spaces to teach and offered movement to anyone who was interested. “Dancing in the Park” was born in 2012 and offered access to partner dancing and its connective possibilities in public parks across Toronto. “Ballroom to Burlesque” was next and looked at the silent communication we transmit to each other through touch in our partnerships and empowering women to gain more access to their sensuality and self love. Kasia completed a diploma in Community work during her own dance transition with ambitions of being active in the Canadian dance community. During her studies Kasia secured a placement with Toronto’s Dancing with Parkinson’s group. Working closely with Sarah Robichaud (founder) she realized how far dance can reach to change peoples lives.

Basing her approach from an anti-oppressive frame work, Kasia strives to create an open and inclusive space for all members to access the valuable services available to them at the DTRC. She supports all genres of dance and is interested in hearing more voices from the stigmatized dance communities, ensuring all dancers have accessibility to a stable future.

Kasia is excited to join the Dancer Transition Resource Center Team as the new Director of Member Services. She has always believed in “Dancing through life” and she is truly grateful that she gets to live it!

Jon Drops Reid has worked to mobilize the dance community throughout his professional dance and administrative career. His dance work specializes in Bboy / Breaking battles, theatre, performance, production, education, curation and choreography, but Jon has also been at the frontier of animating connections between a spectrum of dance communities and arts institution’s membership, and services to support much-needed access to resources for dancers.

Jon Drops is a member of the world famous Supernaturalz Crew, Marketing & Communications Manager at the Dancer Transition Resource Centre (DTRC), and co-founder of Making Moves Creative. He has previously worked as Dance Outreach Consultant for Canadian Actors Equity Association (CAEA) for 3 years, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), and as the Dance Director at Manifesto Festival of Arts and Culture for 7 years, Marketing Director of Back to the Underground (B2DU) as well as co-founder and co-Artistic Director of Break It Down Dance Initiatives. Collaboratively he has also produced some of the nation’s biggest urban dance events with international partners such as World of Dance Canada (WOD) as co-producer for two years, Keep on Dancing Canada (KOD) as lead producer, and many other projects that helped to grow the urban and broader dance communities since 2000.

Neetika Sharma is a GTA based Arts Manager, Kathak Dance Artist, culture and diversity advocate and active community member with a deep understanding of Canada’s not-for-profit, charity, grassroots and public funding sector especially within the performing arts industry.

With a passion for the arts, she hopes to bring positive social change and promote inclusivity in the dance industry through arts management.

A graduate of the Business Management program at the University of Toronto, Neetika has had experience working in the Arts Management field for over seven years. In addition to being DTRC’s Director of Operations, she works as General Manager for DanceWorks – Toronto’s leading presenter of Independent dance. Previously, she has worked in a managerial capacity for CaribbeanTales Media Group/CineFAM, Fall For Dance North Festival Inc. and other art organizations serving artists of diverse backgrounds and cultures. In 2019, with the support of ArtReach Toronto she launched a youth empowering choreography facilitation program Katha-Ras Dance Lab for underrepresented women dancers of colour in Toronto. The 2020 digital edition of Katha-Ras Dance Lab was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. Her community-focused work has also been supported by the Laidlaw Foundation in the past.

Creatively, Neetika has a keen interest in exploring the various layers of the traditional Kathak repertoire and presenting them with new and relevant interpretations through research, creation and performance.

Rachel Dupéré is a trained classical pianist who grew up in the Montreal area. Passionate about classical music as well as the human being, she undertook college studies in the humanities and music to finally set her sights on piano practice. Holding a bachelor’s degree as a performer at the University of Sherbrooke, she is now pursuing her studies in piano accompaniment, more particularly ballet accompaniment, an artistic field that fascinates her and that she wishes to integrate into her career as musician. In conjunction with her studies, Rachel joined the DTRC team as a member service administrator in Quebec, while teaching piano and taking amateur ballet lessons.

Carola made her transition into the not-for-profit sector after a solid 15+year career in the Commercial Real Estate industry, in order to further expand and develop her existing passion for community outreach.  She has been an advocate and strong supporter of various organizations across the Greater Toronto Area over several years, mostly focused in Youth Programing, as well as Women and Youth Empowerment movements.

Carola was most recently the Development Manager, and Strategic Partnerships with Theatre Ontario https://www.theatreontario.org/ where she was part of the organization for close to 3 years.  During her time, she became a valuable supporter for the theatre community and artists across the province.  She has also served as a consultant with organizations such as I Can, We Can!, Elizabeth Correia Enterprises, and Think 2wice where she was responsible for partnership acquisitions and program development.

As Development and Fundraising Director, Carola is responsible for all activities surrounding programming partnerships and sponsorships, and overall donor management.

Born and raised in Montreal, Giulia Tripoli has been dancing, choreographing and creating on local, national and international stages since 2008. Building a career based on respect for the discipline and passion for the art, dance has been her vehicle for change both in herself and in those she is fortunate enough to teach. Her unique style has become a trademark for the growth and innovation that can exist in the dance industry.

She is the founder of both Tripoli Studios Inc. and its Agency of artists. She has developed a reputation in the industry for precision, professionalism and polish. Her studio has become a Montreal staple for any dancer looking to train in an open and accepting environment.

She was a judge on panels for iDance, 5678 Showtime, Move with the Beat, RepreZent and JFK’s foundation Dancing With the Stars.

Giulia has recently embarked on a new journey with her friend and professional dancer Sarah Steben. WorkRoom 5584 Inc. is a co-creation space in Montreal that offers new and exciting opportunities for artists to create, network, engage and flourish in their own personal projects.

And now, as the newly appointed Manager of Operations for the Quebec office, Giulia is honoured to be a part of the DTRC legacy. As a national charitable organization, the Dancer Transition Resource Centre is the perfect place for Giulia to continue advocating for artists in order to create harmony and great change within the community.

P. Megan Andrews, PhD, is a dance artist and scholar, movement educator and writer/editor, working across theory and practice at various disciplinary intersections. Her artistic research queries the aesthetics of ethics through practices of movement, voice, perception and relationality, and through critical-poetic writing and dialogue. Megan’s passions are movement and communication, which manifest across her project portfolio in diverse ways.
She believes in the simplicity of listening and values emergent process. A versatile performer, Megan has worked with many contemporary/experimental choreographers throughout her career and continues to develop her own movement projects. Also an accomplished writer and journalist, she has contributed essays, reviews and reporting to print/digital platforms in Canada and internationally.
Megan began teaching in the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in 2017 after a long stint in the Dance Department at York University (2004–2017). She was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Performance Studies at Simon Fraser University from 2017–2019 and is grateful to have received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship for 2017/18 for artistic research. Founding editor of Canadian dance magazine The Dance Current, Megan led the not-for-profit organization in various roles for 20 years and maintains an ongoing affiliation with the team. As a Certified Laban Movement Analyst, Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist, and 3D Workout™ Instructor, Megan coaches private clients in somatic awareness and, under the umbrella Embodied Leadership, she works with movement for leadership development in corporate contexts. She holds a PhD in Communication and Cultural Studies.
Megan recognizes and acknowledges the unceded traditional territories of the Qayqayt First Nation and the Coast Salish peoples of the x?m?θkw?y??m (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and S?l?ílw?ta? (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations where she lives with her husband and daughter. pmeganandrews.com

Emily Weaver, a Toronto-based queer dance artist, has been dancing for as long as she can remember. Her love of movement drew her to Toronto in 2019 to study contemporary dance and improvisational practices at York University where she obtained an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts degree specializing in Choreography and Performance cum laude (2023).  During her time at York, Emily performed in York Dances (2020, 2021, 2022), was the Assistant Stage Manager for Dance Innovations (2021) and was the sound technician for the Department of Dance Annual Showcase (2022). Emily also choreographed two original works called Home is where the heart is. (2022) and Climax (2022), awarding her The Spedding Memorial Scholarship in Dance for excellence in choreography. Emily recently started a career in arts administration working on contracts with the City of Waterloo, the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, and The Luminato Festival. Emily is thrilled to have worked with such incredible organizations making a meaningful impact on the Toronto Arts Community and is ecstatic to be continuing her work with the Dancer Transition Resource Centre in her new role as Engagement Assistant! Emily is deeply interested in discussing topics of feminist theory, gender and sexuality in her choreography while advocating for equal opportunities for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists. She aims to create safer spaces for people of all backgrounds to engage with her artistic process and to integrate this into her arts administration work as well!

Jessica McKeown (she/her) is an emerging contemporary dance artist who continues to explore her passion for dance through performance, choreography, and teaching. She has had the privilege of learning and working alongside the DTRC staff to discover a new appreciation for administrative work in the arts sector. Starting at the DTRC as an intern allowed for a seamless transition from student to employee and her involvement has continued to show her the importance of the work that the DTRC offers. Although Jessica immersed herself in the dance world from a young age, she didn’t always feel like she fit into the “standard” image of a dancer. This experience motivated a personal goal to share and encourage all forms of uniqueness in her practice. Through her role as program assistant at DTRC, she looks forward to connecting with dance artists across Canada. Alongside her current professional commitments, Jessica hopes to achieve a diploma in Business Administration and to advance her dance practice through steady training. She is a BFA graduate from Simon Fraser University, and resides on Vancouver Island, BC, with her partner and two cats.

Paige Wichers is originally from Lethbridge Alberta and was a part of the first graduating class of the LCI Dance Arts Academy program. She continued to further her education at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Dance in 2022 and graduated from the Professional Training Program at Decidedly Jazz Dance Centre in 2023. Paige has had the pleasure to work on both live performances as well as film and television. Her skills and knowledge have also put her behind the scenes working as a Stage Manager and Artistic Director. She has fallen in love with Calgary and is excited to see what comes next.

Eugene “GeNie” Baffoe is a hip hop dancer, DJ, educator, and filmmaker from Montreal, Québec, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has been studying hip hop culture for over a decade, teaching, performing and competing all over the world. GeNie is a high energy performer, instructor and educator dedicated to authentically delivering the culture to his community and colleagues.

TBA