Sarah Robichaud - Founder
Sarah is a classically trained dancer and choreographer who graduated from The Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. Transitioning from dance Sarah became a North American Fitness expert on CBS Early Morning Show and CBC's Steven and Chris. She is also a published health and fitness author. Sarah's passion for Dancing with Parkinson's ignited in 2007 when working as a personal trainer with Andy Barrie to help him find ways to physically help his body manage his PD through Movement. She was inspired by the Mark Morris Dance Group's innovative PD dance class and immediately trained with them in NYC. Sarah is now the only certified Canadian in the Dance for PD Method and is a founding member of the Dance for PD Network Canada. Driven by her mission to keep seniors with PD out of isolation Sarah grew the DWP program from 1 free class a week to over 15 locations in operation prior to the pandemic. Today the DWP program offers free daily classes on zoom 365 days a year. Sarah was recently awarded a community hero award by the Raptors foundation to recognize her work to keep seniors connected during Covid-19.
Cheryl Roddick - Director of Development
Cheryl is a fundraising professional with over 25 years of experience in the charitable sector as a practitioner, consultant, and volunteer. She has led fundraising teams at a variety of charities and nonprofits, including The Stop Community Food Centre where she was Director of Development and Communications for 8 years. As a consultant, she's worked with clients from across the charitable sector including health care, education, social service and environmental organizations. She attained a CFRE designation in 2015 and holds an M.A. in Public Policy and Administration and a Combined Hon. B.A. in English and Political Science, both from McMaster University.
Lauren Harrison - Communications Director
Lauren joins DWP following almost a decades worth of experience in the communications agency environment, where she supported clients across a wide variety of industries including health, consumer, automotive and QSR. As a public relations and communications professional, she is extremely well-versed in the areas of strategic communications, event planning and management, media relations, client service and project and account management. Lauren has a Bachelor of Business Administration in the Honours Program from Trent University and an Advanced Diploma in Public Relations from Durham College. She is thrilled to join the DWP team and looks forward to invoking meaningful change in this role, making a true impact in the lives of those living with Parkinson's Disease.
Jessica Dargo Caplan - Director of Outreach and Engagement
An arts professional with over 25 years experience in multidisciplinary programming, arts education, public engagement and collaborative partnerships, Jessica has a deep commitment to cultivating community through the arts. In her former roles with the Luminato Festival and Koffler Centre of the Arts, Jessica developed and led innovative projects grounded in social practice, including many in partnership with Dancing With Parkinson’s, most notably, the intergenerational L’Allegro Movement Project. Jessica serves on the Board of Directors with Henna Platform (an online magazine and arts organization led by newcomer and refugee writers, artists and activists), and formerly as board member and chair of CultureLink Settlement and Community Services, and on the advisory committees with the Regent Park Film Festival and WeeFestival. Jessica earned a Masters in Education at OISE/University of Toronto, and B.A. in Art History at McGill University.
Lisa Eddis - Executive Assistant
Lisa is a performer, dancer, actor and graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University, having appeared in film, television and stage production globally. Lisa works with talent agencies as a talent agent herself, and supports local businesses with e-commerce, social media content, customer relations, and video editing as a contributor. Lisa has been a volunteer with Dancing with Parkinson’s since the organization’s launch, and remains a vital part of the DWP team as the charity’s administrator and programs manager. She is continually inspired by the vibrant DWP participants and specializes in communications and engagement within the community.
Akhil Nair - Volunteer Outreach Coordinator
After completing his graduate studies at University of Toronto, Akhil started working at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health exploring aetiologies of complex psychiatric illnesses. He is passionate about science literacy and communication, with emphasis on simplified access to knowledge for everyone. Resources for improving quality of life while living with chronic ailments is a subject matter that is close to his heart and he feels is exemplified by Dancing with Parkinson's. He considers himself a thespian at heart, and enjoys storytelling both on a stage and in front of a camera. As far as hobbies go, he likes amateur skiing, rock climbing and he has recently ventured into the world of scuba diving. As the Volunteer Outreach Coordinator, he is extremely excited about the "DWP Salon: A Slice of Life” segment and apart from all the inspirational life stories, he considers it a privilege to have had the opportunity to interact one on one with the amazing dancers. He is looking forward to extending the Salon to reach many more and expanding the DWP network across Canada. If you have any questions, ideas, or would like share a story at the salon please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org