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 2019-20
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 and the 2018 60th Anniversary Celebration in New London, CT. A project manager by profession, Wendy was an independent management consultant for 25 years before joining the Canadian federal public service for 10 years. She is now retired from the public service and is dedicating much of her time and efforts to the Sacred Dance Guild and dancing madly! 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. Wendy is particularly looking forward to the Sacred Dance Guild’s 2019-20 Legacy Project that will see a collection of material related to “Dance as an Expression of the Sacred” offered as a specially designed program to all who have a desire to share sacred dance with others.
Tricia mary Lee – Co-Vice President
Tricia (Australia) grew up in Yorkshire England but now lives in West Australia. Trained as a teacher in special needs she has always loved dance and creative arts. This will be Tricia’s 5th year as Co-Vice President. Her journey into the Sacred Healing Arts began as a Reflexologist in Australia and has been enriched through her exposure to the indigenous cultural practices, the study of Tai Chi, training in 1999 in Body Centred Movement Therapy and an ongoing quest for the best in Life. It was working in the far north of WA on a DVD of Indigenous song and dance that she first became aware of Sacred Dance…. and searching the internet found the SDG in 2003. In 2008 she was blessed to receive a scholarship to The 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 performance 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 programme for women and carers touched by Cancer. Her dream of sharing the Sacred culture of Bali with other dancing women came true for 3 consecutive years – 2015, 2016 and 2017. She is very excited to be co-ordinating the “final” (well – maybe!) Bali Sacred Dance Journey in May 2020. In 2019 Tricia has a wonderful time training and dancing in New Zealand and finalized her Diploma in Therapeutic Dance with the Dance Therapy Association of Aotearoa. She was also a guest speaker at the on line Sacred Dance Summit in May 2019 sharing her journey through “Sacred Healing Dance”. Additionally she has opened the F/B page “Sacred Dance Community” to respond initially to the needs of Sacred dancers in the Southern Hemisphere and to further support the Sacred Dance Guild She is passionate to see the growth of the SDG across the globe and offers her love and time for this end….. “Barefoot, Blessed and beautiful”. For the 2019/20 year Tricia will be partnering with Co-VP Marylee Hardenbergh on the creation of the SDG legacy Sacred Dance Orientation/Training program.
Marylee Hardenbergh – Co-Vice President
Marylee (Minnesota, USA) is a site-specific choreographer, a director of Movement Choirs, a board-certified Dance/Movement Therapist, and a Certified Laban Movement Analyst studying with Irmgard Bartenieff for many years. She directs Global Site Performance, and was the Artistic and Executive Director of Global Water Dances from 2008-2015, and now continues on the international Steering Committee. She has created site-specific dances over the last 30 years for such places as a sewage treatment plant, on skyscrapers, on a bombed-out Parliament Building in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on a clock tower on the Volga in Russia, on a Mediterranean beach in Israel. Since joining SDG, she has taught and created community performances at the Ottawa Locks in Canada, and at the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne. She has received numerous fellowships and grants for her choreography. Dance Magazine has highlighted her work in two articles (1996 and 2006). Her choreography constitutes a chapter in Site Dance: Choreographers and the Lure of Alternative Spaces.The American Dance Therapy Association often invites her to lead the annual conference Movement Choir and in 2015, she delivered the keynote speech as the conference’s Marian Chace Foundation Awardee. She looks forward to working with the SDG board and specially to working with Co-VP Tricia Lee on the SDG legacy Sacred Dance Orientation/Training program.
Barbara Fahringer – Secretary-Treasurer
Barbara (New York City) has been a member of the Guild since 2005. This will be Barbara’s 5th year as Secretary/Treasurer. She has been the treasurer of the NY-SW 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 also has years of bookkeeping experience in the business world.
Elaine Sisler – Programs Co-Director
Elaine (Boston, Mass) is returning to the Board as Programs Co Director after a 4 year hiatus. She is an experienced dancer, classroom teacher, arts educator and advocate who has developed, coordinated and implemented a variety of integrated arts programs in Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Elaine spearheaded the Sacred Dance Global Outreach program for the Sacred Dance Guild and organized both CultureFest 2009 and 2012 held in Concord. Mass. Elaine performs with Encore Dance Ensemble and is a member of Skyloom Sacred Dance Group. Elaine was Co-Director of the “Dance A World of Hope” Sacred Dance Festival, held at Hope College in Holland, Michigan and in “Dancing on Waves of Grace”, held at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA in 2015. Elaine also created and organized the Sacred Dance Guild’s journey to England in 2017 with 22 participants including 14 student dancers from Mercyhurst University.
Dawn Harris – Programs Co-Director
A dancer since the age of 4, Dawn has been involved in the Sacred Dance Guild (SDG) for over 25 years. Living in and around Ottawa, Canada for the past 30 years, she has participated in countless SDG workshops, six festivals (having been on the committee for two of those) and was coordinator of a liturgical dance choir for 10 years. Dawn’s passion is social justice, with an emphasis on women’s equality, and to that end, the elimination of violence against women. Dawn served as Executive Director of a second stage shelter for women fleeing violence in the early 2000’s, and then returned to school to graduate (at a mature age) with an Honours BA in Psychology and Women’s Studies. She has been working at Women and Gender Equality Canada for the past nine years. Now, having received much through her involvement in the Sacred Dance Guild, along with her ever expanding sacred and movement interests, Dawn is inspired to give back, fully embracing the movement of the Guild – toward increased universality, justice, globalization, connectivity, and diversity. This is Dawn’s 3rd year as Programs Co-Director.
Jennifer Payne – Public Relations Co-Director
Jennifer is relatively new to dance but enjoys the challenge of using artistic modalities such as dance, song, spoken word and other art forms to communicate important messages particularly around social justice issues. She enjoys dancing and has been involved in the liturgical dance choir at her church in Ottawa for about 10 years. Jennifer has also been a member of the Sacred Dance Guild for a number of years and participated in SDG Festivals and other community sacred dance offerings. She enjoys exploring other forms of movement and danc
John West – Public Relations Co-Director
John West as a child studied dance at the Lester Horton School of Dance, and as a teen studied tap under Willie Covan. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in dance and theatre from Macalester College, he returned to Los Angeles and began a career of teaching and administrating at his alma mater, Mount Carmel High School. Continuing his professional education, Mr. West earned a M.Ed. from Loyola-Marymount University and a M.A. degree in Folklore and Mythology from UCLA with an emphasis in biblical literature and dance. Later, he began a long and varied career in the independent schools of Los Angeles, starting at Harvard/Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City. Throughout his teaching career he has taught not only in academic areas but also directed plays, taught dance and choreographed musicals. He has been a dancer and choreographer in the field of sacred and liturgical dance since 1967, when he assisted in the creation of an experimental liturgy in a parish church in St. Paul, Minnesota. At the administrative level Mr. West has served as Asst. Head of Harvard-Westlake’s Upper School, Headmaster of Mirman School for the Gifted, and President of Nardin Academy in Buffalo, NY. At the state level he served as the Vice President and Chair of the Elementary Board of Standards on the Board of Directors for the California Association of Independent Schools. Nationally, he was a member of the NAIS Call To Action for the National Association of Independent Schools V. P. of Equity and Justice Initiatives from 2000-2015. His work as Artistic Director of the Valyermo Dancers continues to be complemented by his roles as Sacred & Liturgical Dance Workshop Leader and Clinician and as Independent Educational Consultant on Equity and Social Justice. In 2003, John served on the faculty of the Sacred Dance Guild Festival “Paths of Radiance”, which was a continuation of his work and membership with the Guild since the 70’s. The Company’s “Dancing Festival of Lesson and Carols” has received rich praise and has been performed in multiple venues since 2013. His most current work has included “Sacred Space, Body and Movement”, a webinar presentation for the Association of Consultants for Liturgical space (ACLS) (May, 2019). In 2013 he received the honor of “Man of Valor” from the NAACP. He lends his expertise to schools and organizational boards in Southern California. John says” “So much of what we practitioners of sacred dance face nests in the misperception that what we do has no roots in one country or tradition or the other; that the sacred/divine have no comity or intersection with one another. The Guild controverts that; it provides ongoing proof that “We are!” It provides our art a level sustainability for all those who have come before and for all who will follow. I am proud to contribute to that end.” This is John’s 3rd year as Public Relations Co-Director.
Mary Kamp – Resources Co-Director
Mary Kamp is a teaching Artist in Ballet, Character, Tap and Jazz; a Dancer, Choreographer, Movement Specialist, Liturgical & Sacred Dance Workshop Leader. Her professional career spans nearly six decades performing throughout the United States and in Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Egypt and Japan. She brings a maturity and wisdom to her presentations of dance in worship services, sacred celebrations, concerts and workshops. She has been the director of the Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church’s Daughter of Miriam, a Liturgical Dance Ministry since 1999. They have offered dance at churches and events of many denominations in Ohio and Kentucky. Currently she is a Lead Teacher at de la Arts Dance Center, a non-profit performing arts center and a class instructor in the Dance for PD program, originally founded as a collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, and now fully administered by the Mark Morris Dance Group. A Sacred Dance Guild member since 1999, she has served as Co-Director of Programs on the Board of Directors of the SDG. In the summer of 2010 she was Co-Director of “Simply Soaring” at Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut, in 2012, she was Co-Director of the “Dance A World of Hope” Sacred Dance Festival, held at Hope College in Holland, Michigan and again in 2015 she served as Co-Director of “Dancing on Waves of Grace”, held at Mercyhurst University in Erie , PA . Mary was also one of the 22 participants in the Sacred Dance Guild journey to England in 2017. Mary believes that we all are designed to see, create, express and experience beauty. The very nature of the arts can and will touch the very soul of each of us.
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.