Meet the Company

Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company-36Jessica Wilcox Heaton

Artistic Director

Jessica grew up in sunny San Diego, California. She received her B.S. in Exercise and Wellness and a minor in Contemporary Dance from Brigham Young University, where she also performed with Kinnect and dancEnsemble and served as Assistant to the Director under Pat Debenham. In March 2010, Jessica founded Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company and has served as its Owner and Artistic Director since its foundation. Jessica has worked diligently to increase professional dance in Utah County, dedicating countless hours to both the administrative and artistic demands of the company: grant applications, fundraising, networking, collaborating with artists of all kinds, and above all, training adult dancers to reach their greatest potential. During her years as company director Jessica has had the privilege of learning from and collaborating with such professionals as Kate Monson, Linda Smith, Kristen Jeppsen-Groves, Carley Conder, Eric Handman, and Charlotte Boye-Christensen. When Jessica isn’t in the studio with WCDC, she likes to enjoy the outdoors with her husband and two children.

Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company-162Rachel Robison

Associate Director

Rachel received her Bachelors of Arts in Dance from Brigham Young University and was awarded the Distinguished Graduating Senior award, as well as the Outstanding Female Performer award. As a freshman, she was fortunate to be chosen as a member of The Dancers’ Company and perform in Caroline Prohosky’s film project, Onward Alone, produced by the LDS Motion Picture Studio. Rachel performed with and choreographed for both dancEnsemble and Contemporary Dance Theatre, enjoyed opportunities to travel and perform throughout Texas, New Mexico, Montana and Wyoming, and has worked with dance professionals such as Leah Cox, Carl Flink, Carley Conder, Bebe Miller, and Andrew Madsen. Upon graduation, Rachel worked as adjunct faculty at BYU teaching beginning and intermediate level contemporary technique classes. Rachel is also a certified Ashtanga Yoga teacher and has been with WCDC since 2012.

DSC_0945Heather Nielsen Norton

Associate Director

Heather graduated with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance from Utah Valley University. While at UVU, she performed and traveled as a member of Synergy Dance Company and Contemporary Dance Ensemble. She was awarded the Outstanding Student of the Year in 2011 from UVU’s School of the Arts Department. Since graduation, Heather’s choreography was showcased in Ririe Woodbury’s Alumni Concert Momentum in 2011. She was awarded the Sugar Space Artist in Residence Grant and choreographed an evening-length show titled, Gaudi in Motion. Along with Wasatch Contemporary, Heather has been fortunate to be a member of Sugar Space’s Professional Cooperative Dance Company, Co.da. Heather loves performing with WCDC and finds great joy in the challenge of teaching and choreographing! She has been with WCDC since the fall of 2012. Heather is also a certified Yoga Instructor at InBalance Yoga and Yoga Vega. Yoga has always been an avenue for Heather to increase her physical and mental strength as a dancer and athlete.

Dance - Jessie-13Jessie McCloskey 

Assistant to the Director

Jessie received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance from Brigham Young University in 2012. While there, she performed with and choreographed for dancEnsemble and was chosen to travel to Prague to perform in a national history conference. During summer breaks from school, she trained and danced with Kim Robard’s Dance in Colorado and Backhausdance in Orange County, California. She has been dancing with WCDC since 2012 and serving as Assistant to the Director since 2015. She has also had the opportunity to dance in the Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert in 2017 and 2018, where she had a leading role. Her most recent choreographic work was performed at BYU Women’s Conference in 2018, with live accompaniment from Jenny Oaks Baker. Dancing is her passion and she hopes to continue doing so for the rest of her life. When she isn’t dancing, she loves to read, watercolor, and go on adventures with her husband and three boys.

Ruby Cabbell

Ruby graduated with a BFA in Ballet Pedagogy from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford in 2019. She began her journey with dance at LA County High School for the Arts in her home town of Los Angeles, CA. During summers she had the opportunity to learn from companies and schools such as Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Jacob Jonas the Company, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and Joffrey Chicago. When she is not dancing, Ruby teaches Pilates and assists/ co-teaches dance classes for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. She is fascinated by how movement can help to heal and bring joy to everyone. She is thrilled to be a part of Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company.

29315221_10211860606847506_1146873679122102824_nLyndi Coles

Lyndi is a graduate from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance. While attending UVU, Lyndi had many opportunities to represent the dance program while working with various artists such as Andy Noble, Bradley Michaud, Daniel Charon, Natasha Washington, Stephen Koester, Sarah Donohue, Daniel Higgins, LashaMartin, and many more throughout the northwestern region. A few highlights of her years at the university were performing in the American College Dance Association National Festival (ACDA) held in Washington DC at the Kennedy Center in 2015, and the Research Forum Ireland Conference titled UpRising in New York City of that same year. Being a growing artist, Lyndi is constantly striving to learn more while pushing the envelope and creating new perspectives. She loves working in her community through the use of dance to further these explorations and is thrilled to be performing as a member of Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company.

29572209_10156235813146591_7463388163720176112_nChristi Harris

During her studies at Brigham Young University-Idaho, Christi represented the dance program in performances across Costa Rica, Panama, Canada, New England, and the Mid-West in a variety of styles from contemporary and ballet to tap and Russian. She taught in the foot works classes during her time in school.  Upon Graduation, Christi worked as an apprentice for Navdhara Indian Dance Theatre in Mumbai, India. She performed their work “Amaara” by Ashley Lobo with the company and had the opportunity to teach technique classes throughout the city during her time in India. Since returning to America, she has been performing as a freelance acrobat for various events in Salt Lake City and is a company member for WCDC.

Sawyer McKinley Newsome

Sawyer was born and raised in Charlotte North Carolina where he has been dancing for 7 years and choreographing for 5. Sawyer’s training includes the Magnet School in Monroe, NC, Central Academy of Technology and Arts while simultaneously training at Carolina Dance Capital. Sawyer is a recipient of many awards and scholarships such as the Mary Doctor Performing Arts Scholarship, the James Dickerson Carr Scholarship and Henry Rutgers Trustee Scholarship. In addition, Sawyer has trained with and performed work by Shannon Gillen, Martha Graham, Randy James, Doug Elkins, Christian Von Howard and Pam Tanowitz. He auditioned for Season 14 of So You Think You Can Dance and made it to the top 75. Not long after, he went to work with Terry Schulke’s POV (Points of View) Contemporary Dance Company where he performed all around the West Coast. In the fall Sawyer will be entering his senior year at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts as a BFA dance major. At Mason Gross, Sawyer has been able to present his own choreography work all around New Jersey and New York.

Alysia Paskett

Alysia started her training as a young girl at Hi-light Dance Academy in Alpine, Utah. At age 16 she began teaching her first dance classes and at 17 years old she found a love for yoga and received her 200 hr yoga teaching certification. After high school, she had the opportunity to dance with the Salt Lake based dance company, Divinity, under the direction of Krissie Edwards. Alysia loves the outdoors and all the fun activities with it. She particularly enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and camping. However, dance is her true passion. Alysia is so grateful and excited to be dancing with WCDC this year!

snow photos-1Alyssa Richardson

Alyssa graduated from Utah Valley University in 2012 with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance. She then completed an internship at Dance Place in Washington, D.C. Since returning from a full time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Alyssa continues to dance and choreograph.

Cainan Spellman-Sak

Cainan is graduate from Wichita State University with a BFA in Dance. While attending WSU Cainan performed and toured with Wichita Contemporary Dance Theater and Alethia Mime Theater. Additionally he has attended Salt lake Dance Festival and the American Dance Festival in North Carolina, working with choreographers and teachers such as Charllotte Boyd Christensen, Darrell Grand Moultrie, and Charles Anderson. This is Cainan’s first season with Wasatch Contemporary.

Adrienne Whitworth

Adrienne went to BYU where she studied Dance Education. During her time at BYU she was able to dance with BYU Ballroom Dance Company, BYU DancEnsemble, BYU foot poetry, and finished her BYU career performing with BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre. She loved her time dancing and learning at BYU. Now that she has graduated she is teaching dance at Timpanogos High School as well as at Lifehouse. When she isn’t dancing you can find her at a gym teaching High Fitness. Adrienne is so excited to be dancing with Wasatch.

Apprentices:

Rachel Calabrese

Ken Nukaya

Alicia Ross

Wasatch II:

Kenzie Gannaway

Lauren Halversen

Mary Beth Johnson

Samantha Ashton Norr

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