The Sacred Dance Guild is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors with administrative support provided by organization management firm Next Wave Group.
Board of Directors 2014-2015
Wendy Morrell – President
Wendy (Ontario, Canada) has been president of the SDG since 2013. She has held many positions within the SDG, including as a founding member of the Canadian National Chapter (1997), Public Relations Director (2001-2004), and Co-Director of Programs (2007-2013). She has been intimately involved with several SDG Festivals, including as Co-Chair of the 2000, 2010 and 2012 festivals, and as Chair of the 50th Anniversary Festival in 2008. A project manager by profession, Wendy was an independent management consultant for 15 years before joining the Canadian federal public service. She has been dancing since birth as a form of creative expression and spiritual understanding, and has studied most dance forms. She is the artistic director of two youth and adult dance choirs, and regularly leads sacred dance offerings and workshops in her community.
Tricia mary Lee – Co-Vice President
Tricia (Australia) grew up in Yorkshire, England but now lives in West Australia. Trained as a special needs teacher, she has always loved dance and creative arts. Her journey into the sacred healing arts began as a Reflexologist and has been enriched through her exposure to Indigenous cultural practices, the study of Tai Chi, training in Body Centered Movement Therapy and an ongoing quest for the best in life. It was working in the far north of West Australia on a DVD of Indigenous song and dance that she first became aware of sacred dance. In 2008 she was blessed to receive a scholarship to the SDG’s festival in Connecticut and knew she had found her calling. From this wonderful exposure to many dancing inspirations she has since developed choreographies and practices of her own and shared performances and personal workshops in sacred dance. Her passion is for women to recover their own sacred path through dance and the healing arts. She is currently creating a program for women and carers touched by cancer. Her dream of sharing the sacred culture of Bali with other dancing women came true in 2015 and she is looking forward to a second Bali sacred dance retreat in 2016. She is excited to see the growth of the SDG across the globe and offers her love and time for this end.
C. Noelle Partusch – Co-Vice President
Noelle (Pennsylvania) is Associate Professor of Dance at Mercyhurst University (2003-present). She formally joined the SDG’s board as co-Vice President in 2014, but has been active with the board since 2013 as the Coordinator of Development of Sacred Dance in Higher Education. She has been a member of the SDG since 1996, and was the Alaska Regional Director. She has danced in worship settings for 20 years and is the faculty advisor for the Liturgical Dance Ensemble at Mercyhurst University. With this student ensemble, she has traveled to New York City, Atlanta, Jerusalem and Sydney, Australia. She recently developed created a new course called “Liturgical Dance: Concepts & Perceptions” to be offered at Mercyhurst beginning in fall 2015. Noelle holds a BFA, an MFA and a Labanotation Teacher’s Certification. She was the Associate Artistic Director for Alaska Dance Theatre (1994-2003) and has danced professionally with Atlanta Ballet II, Buffalo Ballet Theatre, Buffalo Inner- City Ballet, Alaska Dance Theatre and the Anchorage Opera.
Barbara Fahringer – Secretary-Treasurer
Barbara (New York) has been a member of the Guild since 2005. She has been the treasurer of the New York-South West Connecticut Chapter since 2008. Barbara has a BA from Penn State University in Journalism and an MA in Dance Education from New York University. She is also a licensed massage therapist and has completed studies in many healing modalities including Polarity Therapy and Huna bodywork. Barbara is also an experienced bookkeeper.
Teresa Preer – Programs Co-Director
Teresa (Virginia) is an eclectic individual who integrates the sacredness of movement and creative expression throughout her personal and professional life. On the East and West Coasts, she studied dance genres and multicultural programs in community, private, and university settings. In 1999, she discovered sacred/liturgical dance and her love for the sacred expression of movement began. In 2002, she founded a dance ministry, which she directed for 10 years. She is inspired by all choreographers of sacred and liturgical dance. She is a licensed counselor, registered yoga teacher, fitness instructor, and the founder/artistic director of Holy Ground Dance Ensemble.
Margaret Elaine Plaza – Resources Co-Director
Margaret (New York) is a dancer, choreographer and educator passionate about performing/choreographing for secular and sacred venues, cultural development and dance education. Margaret earned her Master’s in Dance Education from Columbia University, a BFA in Dance from Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, graduated from LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, and will pursue her second Master’s in Educational Leadership beginning Fall 2016. Her Master’s thesis research teaching dance to the deaf was published by the National Dance Association in Spotlight on Dance Journal. She is a certified dance educator with 20 years of experience teaching for the New York City Department of Education and serves as ARTS Teacher Leader, facilitating professional development workshops for NYCDOE Dance Education Specialists. Margaret is Guest Speaker and Facilitator in Curriculum and Instruction in the Arts for Queens College’s Family, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences Graduate Program, and Mentor Teacher for NYU Steinhardt Music and Performing Arts Professions Program. She serves on the Board of Directors for the National Dance Education Organization, Dance Standards Arts Writing Committee for the New York State Education Department, as a MCA Benchmarker for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, and as a Dance Assessment Specialist for the NYCDOE. Margaret is a 2016 Big Apple Awards District Finalist for Teacher Excellence, and 2014 National Artist Teacher Fellow studying dance in Nice, France and Havana, Cuba. She has performed Haitian, Afro-Cuban and modern dance nationally and internationally, and has presented her choreography at Harvard University, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, 92Y, The Clemente Soto Veléz Cultural and Educational Center, St. Ignatius Loyola, The Church of the Village, and The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture. Margaret spearheaded and produced the 2015 National Arts Education Collaborative Concert in collaboration with Dr. Isidore Rudnick, which featured the performances of professional and student visual and performing artists from schools across the country. Margaret has been a principal dancer with Omega Dance Company since 2000, and serves as its Co-Director, working collaboratively with the leadership team as artist, choreographer, and workshop leader to advance the company’s mission. She is a member of The Riverside Church in New York City where she loves studying the Bible, engaging in fellowship with her faith community, and serves on the Social Justice Ministry.
Marilyn Green – Resources Co-Director
Marilyn (New York) is Director of the Trinity Movement Choir, as well as a choreographer and interdisciplinary artist. Her work in dance, music, and visual arts/film animation have earned her extensive recognition, from a Millay Colony Award to a Ford Foundation Fellowship and grants in the arts and humanities for projects in several disciplines. Her technical work in dance centers on Rudolf Laban, both in terms of movement analysis and his philosophy of creating set choreography with room for personal expression. Her content draws on Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and her own spiritual experience.
Administrative support is provided by Next Wave Group (Maryland), a full-service organization management firm.