UPDATE: October 2021 – The Sacred Dance Guild is in the process of transforming the Sacred Dance Facilitator Program. Details will be updated as available. In the interim. you can still apply to be a SDG approved facilitator by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the requirements and the application form. All applications are reviewed for approval by the SDG Board of Directors.
Are you looking for someone to facilitate a workshop, give a lecture or presentation, dance at an event? The Sacred Dance Guild provides a global membership community of professional dancers, from diverse backgrounds and experience who can meet your needs. This fellowship of spiritually diverse sacred dance presenters are passionate movement artists who embody the universal language of the soul, while furthering one’s connection to body, mind, spirit and heart. These facilitators provide an inclusive and rich sacred dance tapestry for promoting peace, harmony and justice through movement. This artistic kaleidoscope nurtures the synergy of dynamic exchange furthering the Sacred Dance Guild’s motto of “Dancing the Sacred, Moving the World”. It would be our pleasure to have one of our Sacred Dance Guild presenters work with you in whatever way we can.
The Sacred Dance Guild Board of Directors has approved the following members to be listed as Sacred Dance Guild Facilitators.
Click on the member name to find out more information about their background and what they can offer related to dance as an expression of the sacred. If you would like additional information, have questions about this program or would like to connect with any of these facilitators, please contact email@example.com.
Note: In addition to the SDG approved facilitators listed below, there are members who are willing to volunteer their time to assist with various sacred dance activities (i.e. starting s dance choir, providing sacred dance awareness sessions/activities, dance at a community or worship event, etc.). This information is available on the SDG Members Only section of the website.
Sylvia Buck Bryant (Virginia, USA) – dance workshops, book readings, lectures, demonstrations
Helena Froehlich (Massachusetts, USA) – prayer, meditation, energy awareness, choreography, ballet, modern, Pilates, yoga, EMF Balancing Technique, iPhoenix
Cherie Hill (California, USA) – modern dance, African dance, movement, meditation, mindpower, dance in nature, yoga
Marylee Hardenbergh (Minneapolis, USA) – dance therapy, site-specific/environment dance, community based performance, movement choir
Mary Francis Hoffman (Missouri, USA) – creative dance, authentic movement, self-care, connecting with nature, healing
Mary Kamp (Ohio, USA) – establishing a dance ministry at your church, beginning choreography in a worship setting, intermediate/advanced choreography, costuming for a worship setting
JoyBeth Lufty (Texas, USA) – body prayers, dancing from the soul
Stella Matsuda (California, USA) – technique or choreography for beginner, intermediate and advanced dancers, choreography related to a theme, performance
Melissa Michaels (Colorado, USA) – embodying life’s rhythms, the dance of birth, dancing on sacred soils of body and heart
Kathryn Milhelick (Ohio, USA) – body/mind/spirit connection, self-discovery, health and healing, relationships, peace and understanding, movement improvisation, principles of choreography, dance for liturgy
Emmalyn Moreno (California, USA) – liturgical dance, choreography, music, drumming, programming for all ages and abilities
David Taylor (Colorado, USA) – transcendent dance rituals from around the world, Gurdjieff sacred movements, Sufi whirling dervishes
These are just some of the workshop possibilities that these facilitators can present. If you would like to develop a workshop around another topic, discuss it with your facilitator or contact the SDG for suggestions.
Sylvia is an accomplished dancer, teacher, and choreographer specializing in sacred and contemporary dance. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee University and a master of science degree from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Bryant attended the American Dance Festival at the Connecticut College of Dance in New London, Connecticut, where she introduced to and studied with Martha Graham, Rod Rogers, Jose’ Limon’, and Charles Weidman, all pioneers of contemporary dance. Bryant studied at the Alvin Ailey American Theater and Margaret Fisk Taylor-Doane a pioneer in the area of sacred dance, and put Sacred Dance on the map. In addition to choreographing, teaching, and performing Liturgical dance in churches ministered by her husband, the late Revered Fletcher Juan Bryant, for over 30 years. Mrs. Bryant directed the dance program at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas. She has performed exhibitions in New York, Baltimore, and London. One of the highlights of her dance career took place at Wesley’s Chapel in London. Presenter at numerous Festivals sponsored by the Sacred Dance Guild and presenter at a number of Fellowship of Music and the other Arts sponsored by the United Methodist Church. Bryant’s first’s published book on sacred dance, Dancing Through The Christian Calendar (Cokesbury, 1996), established her as a preeminent liturgical choreographer. In 2013, she was invited to participate in a community piece choreographed by Ronald K. Brown, of Evidence, A Dance Company, at BRIC House in Brooklyn, That same year, she traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, where she was featured in a tribute performance for Dr. Maya Angelou at the Paa Ya Paa Arts Centre, founded by Phillida and Elimo Njau.
Website: http://www.sylviabbryant.com – Dancing the Spirituals….An Amazing Grace
Emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org – (Sylvia Buck Bryant)
Workshop possibilities: dance workshops, book readings and lecture demonstations.
Helena Froehlich (Massachusetts, USA)
Helena Froehlich is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and energy practitioner. She has lived and danced in France, Germany and the USA. Along the way she has studied dance and movement forms, mostly ballet and modern dance, and received several scholarships and grants for her dance and choreographic endeavors. Since 1978, she has been dancing, teaching or choreographing in many companies and schools including: École municipal de danse Strasbourg, Opera du Rhin, Centre National de Danse Contemporaine, Association & Compagnie CreationDance (France), Stadt Theater Biberach, Tanz! (Germany),and the American Repertory Ballet, Princeton. She is currently teaching at the Boston Ballet School. Helena is the artistic director of CreationDance, in residence at the First Unitarian Society Newton, dancing in churches and performances around the Boston area. She loves dance, spirituality and exploring human nature. She creates dance pieces that help people to enjoy and share more of who they are. She believes that sacred dance is a wonderful way to develop, experience and share wholeness, inviting the spirit, mind and emotions to connect, heal and move our bodies. She believes that human beings are like musical instruments, and that they tune and raise their energy as they dance, resonating with everyone around them and with the planet. Helena encourages her dancers to experience dance as a moving prayer and meditation, as a daily practice indoors or in nature. In performance, she creates and shares dance in many ways so that everyone can participate. She studies several energy modalities and is a certified practitioner of the EMF Balancing Technique.
Workshop possibilities: moving prayer and meditation, energetically aware dancing, meaningful choreography, ballet and modern dance, Pilates, yoga, EMF Balancing Technique energy work, the iPhoenix, any combination of the above
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Cherie Hill (California, USA)
Cherie Hill is a creative artist, dancer, performer, teacher, and scholar, whose art explores human expression and how it is conveyed through the body in collaboration with nature, music and visual imagery. Ms. Hill’s somatic technique, Movement, Meditation, Mindpower (MMM) blends studies of Hatha yoga, Alexander Technique, Movement Ritual, and Dance is Life Process developed by Anna Halprin. A certified Planetary Dance facilitator, Cherie’s research on dance and somatic practices have been presented at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities (2010), and the International Association of Black Dance Conference (2009). An active scholar, Ms. Hill has published in the SDG Journal and Ujamaa. Cherie’s choreography, which includes fusing Western contemporary and African diaspora dance forms with black feminist standpoint theory and somatic principles, has been shown at the Black Choreographer’s Festival and African American Art and Culture Complex in San Francisco, California as well as the Anschultz Theater and Bao Bao Festival in Denver, Colorado. Ms. Hill holds an MFA in Choreography and Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a BA in Dance and Performance Studies/African American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Cherie has recently had the pleasure to perform in the works of Adjei Abankwah, David Dorfman, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Onye Ozuzu, and Helander Dance Theater.
Workshop possibilities: modern dance, African dance, movement, meditation, mindpower, dance in nature, yoga
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Marylee Hardenbergh (Minneapolis, USA)
Marylee is known for her outdoor site-specific choreographies that she has created for over 30 years. She is a Founding member/original Artistic Director of the Global Water Dances and Artistic Director of Global Site Performances. She has received numerous awards and grants, including fellowships for choreography from the National Endowment of the Arts in the USA and the Soros and McKnight Foundations. She has led many movement choirs and also has practiced as a dance movement therapist for over 40 years. She is a Certified Movement Analyst trained under Irmgard Bartenieff and Penny Lewis Berstein, loves to use Space Harmony in her work, and brings in a therapeutic sensitivity to all of her choreography. Marylee says “The space surrounding our body (our kinesphere), which can be mapped out into the space crystals (sacred geometric forms) as taught by Rudolph Laban, can be used as a portal to the sacred. Space Harmony teaches us the importance of spatial intention; we can use the different characteristics of space to deepen our spiritual experience and prayer life. The clearer we are about the space outside our body, the deeper we can tap into our internal roots.”
Workshop possibilities: Learn about overlapping concepts of sacred dance, dance therapy, and site-specific dance; learn about the healing effects on the community, including inclusivity, shared purpose, a reconnection to something larger, and seeing oneself in a new way; learn how to direct a community-based performance or Movement Choir.
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Mary Francis Hoffman (Missouri, USA)
Mary Francis Hoffman has taught at two Sacred Dance Guild festivals and facilitated multiple workshops for the SDG’s local network in Hawaii. She is an Expressive Arts consultant and educator and has her Doctorate in transpersonal psychology. She uses authentic movement for the facilitation of embodied self understanding. She see nature as a key witness when using this form outdoors. She uses authentic movement as her own spiritual moving meditation practice.
Workshop possibilities: creative dance, authentic movement, self-care, connecting with nature, healing
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Mary Kamp (Ohio, USA)
A dedicated dance educator known for spotting talent, motivating students and helping them unlock their emotions through dance. While attending the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, she studied under Oleg Sabline, and James Truitte. Always seeking to learn more about dance, Mary has taught and performed across the USA and abroad, currently she is a Lead Teacher at de la Arts Place, a non-profit performing arts center. Ms. Kamp leads Liturgical Dance workshops, directs the Liturgical Dance Ministry at Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church is a member of the Worship Ministry and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. She also serves as Co-Director of Programs on the Board of Directors of the SDG. In the summer of 2012, she was Co-Director of the “Dance A World of Hope” Sacred Dance Festival, held at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. An advocate for all performing arts, Ms. Kamp is an adjudicator for the Overture Awards, has served on the Arts Allocation and Public Art Commissions for the City of Cincinnati and the Kennedy Heights Arts Center Artist-in-Residence selection committee.
Workshop possibilities: establishing a dance ministry at your church, beginning choreography in a worship setting, intermediate/advanced choreography, costuming for a worship setting
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JoyBeth Lufty (Texas, USA)
Rev. Dr. JoyBeth Lufty is an author, dancer, teacher, and interfaith minister. She is the author of four books and has taught internationally on holistic spirituality. She served on SDG’s Board of Directors for many years. JoyBeth specializes in teaching body prayers from many traditions, including how to create your own. She also teaches “Soul Dancing,” or dancing from the soul as a spiritual practice.
Workshop possibilities: body prayers, dancing from the soul
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Stella Matsuda (California, USA)
As Founder and Artistic Director of Alleluia Dance Theater, it has been Stella’s privilege to bring dance as a form of worship to others. She has choreographed, taught and performed throughout the United States and Canada. After studying at West Coast School of Dance and Music and UCLA, Stella joined the Gloria Newman Dance Theatre and became a principal dancer in her company. She developed and taught the dance major at Moorpark College, where she was responsible for the entire program, teaching a full load of various dance styles: modern dance and choreography, ballet, jazz dance and tap dance. Although retired, Stella is still involved with the college, providing a scholarship each year to the outstanding dance student of the year. Since 1978, she has presented sacred dance and women’s retreats at La Casa de Maria, a retreat Center in Santa Barbara, California. In 1995, she was the keynote speaker and one of the main presenters for United Methodist Church Music and Worship in Tacoma, Washington. She was also the keynote speaker for the American Guild of Organists in Memphis, Tennessee in 2002. In addition to dance, she also teaches Tai-Chi. She is a past president of the Sacred Dance Guild and she was the chair of the SDG’s international Sacred Dance Festival in 2003. She has facilitated many workshops for the SDG over the years, both at festivals and at regional workshops.
Workshop possibilities: technique or choreography for beginner, intermediate and advanced dancers, choreography related to a theme, solo or company performances
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Melissa Michaels (Colorado, USA)
Melissa Michaels, EdD, is the founder and director of Surfing the Creative International Rites of Passage Programs, Golden Bride and Wild Life Productions. She is a social artist and dancer dedicated to our collective renewal through the liberation of the creative spirit. She creates dance-based educational opportunities, focusing on consciousness and embodiment for people in all of life’s cycles. Mapping the journey from trauma to dynamic well being, her work utilizes the expressive arts to establish body and heart as resources for living. Her movement-based programs serve individuals and communities around the world navigating their way through major life thresholds.
Workshop possibilities: embodying life’s rhythms, the dance of birth, dancing on sacred soils of body and heart
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Kathryn Milhelick (Ohio, USA)
Kathryn Mihelick is the founder and director of Leaven Dance Company. She was Assistant Professor and Director of the Dance Division at Kent State University, where she received her MA in Theatre and Dance. She was an adjunct faculty member at John Carroll University and served as a curriculum writing panelist for the Ohio Deartment of Education. She performed professionally with Orchesis Ensemble, the Heidt Touring Company, as solo dancer with Indianapolis Starlight Musicals, and was resident choreographer for Porthouse Theatre at the Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Music Center. Among her choreograqphy credits are the dance sections presented with composer Alexander Peloquin’s performace of his “Lyric Liturgy” with the Canton Civic Opera for the anniversary celebration of Walsh University; John Rutter’s “Requiem/Pie Jesu” for the Presbyterian Church in New York; and “Touch of the Spirit,” commissioned by the Akron Area Association of Churches for the Northern Ohio Ecumenical Pentecost Celebration. A scholar of sacred and liturgical dance, she has lectured, performed and presented sacred dance workshops and retreats throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia, and Hong Kong, where she was one of five dancers chosen to introduce sacred dance at the 1991 International Dance Research Conference. She developed a video series on “Sacred and Ritual Dance History” for the Seminary of the Air telecasts sponsored by the Akron Area Association of Churches. Most recently Kathryn has spearheaded an advocacy effort to get the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to officially affirm dance as a valid form for worship. In 2003, OhioDance named her the recipient of their award for “Outstanding Contribution to the Advancement of the Dance Art Form,” and in 2005 she received the Akron Area Arts Alliance’s “Outstanding Artist in Dance” award. She has served on the boards of OhioDance, the SDG, and is a member of the Advisory Board of Kent State University’s School of Theater and Dance. In 2008, she was awarded the SDG’s “Living Legacy” citation. Leaven Dance company’s work has been recognized and supported by grants from the Ohio Arts Council, Asian Arts Council, as well as several regional Foundations. Her workshops are designed to use movement and the dance art form to address and explore various elements of spirituality, and may be adapted to all age groups, elementary school children through adults. You may select from more than 20 different workshop themes, such as Gift of the Body; Soul to Sole, Exploring God’s Creation, Making Dance Divine, Movement As a Language of Prayer, Moving the Scriptures, Building Community, Pathways to Peace, and Movement Meditation.
Workshop possibilities: body/mind/spirit connection, self-discovery, health and healing, relationships, peace and understanding, movement improvisation, principles of choreography, dance for liturgy
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Emmalyn Moreno (California, USA)
Emmalyn Moreno is a pianist, percussionist, singer and dancer who uses her God-given talents to minister through music and dance. She is deeply involved with several interfaith groups and serves as a liturgical musician for the Military Chaplain Corps and the Military Catholic Archdiocese at Camp Pendleton, California. Emmalyn is a member of Alleluia Dance Theater and director of Movin’ With the Spirit Ensemble. Her original composition and choreography “We are One” (Moving Mysteries) is the Sacred Dance Guild’s official dance and song. She is an ethnomusicologist with experience in several dance styles including modern, lyrical, and liturgical as well as various ethnic dances. She is open to developing workshop topics, taking into consideration the needs of all your community, using her experience with children’s programs, adult choreography and musicality.
Workshop possibilities: liturgical dance, choreography, music, drumming, programming for all ages and abilities
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David Taylor (Colorado, USA)
David Taylor has been professionally involved in the Colorado dance community for the past forty- one years. He began choreographing in 1976 during the course of a twelve-year dance career, and since then has created over one hundred original works. In 1979, he founded the David Taylor Dance Theatre (DTDT), one of the Rocky Mountain Region’s most acclaimed, well known and respected dance organizations, and Denver’s original contemporary ballet company with a reputation of presenting outstanding innovative works. As the principal choreographer for 27 years, Mr. Taylor’s unique creative focal point became a fascination with the ritual of ancient cultures, metaphysical concepts, and multi-media collaborations which served to provide DTDT with a stunning and thought-provoking identity within the world of professional dance. He received the City and County of Denver’s first Individual Artist Fellowship Award for Dance for his critically acclaimed collaborative work, “Anasazi Dream” in 1987, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1997, and the Carson-Brierly Dance Library’s “Living Legends of Dance” award in 2006. A recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts grants, his critically acclaimed productions of “The Nutcracker” and “Rainforest” have been presented throughout the United States and he has also been commissioned to stage ballets for the Dayton Ballet in Ohio, the Lone Star Ballet in Amarillo, Texas, the Canyon Concert Ballet in Fort Collins, Colorado and the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Mr. Taylor currently serves as a faculty member at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, teaching dance history, and as a guest faculty member teaching intermediate and advanced ballet technique, pointe, pas de deux, men’s class and variations for various ballet schools and companies along the Front Range and continues to be in demand as a summer intensive guest teacher for ballet programs throughout Colorado.
He also conducts workshops on sacred dance for various statewide organizations, and has appeared twice as a major presenter at the SDG’s Sacred Dance Festival. Besides still serving as the Artistic Director Emeritus for the David Taylor Dance Theatre, Mr. Taylor founded a new company, the Zikr Dance Ensemble, in the summer of 2009. The Zikr Dance Ensemble offers a spectrum of works that are based on transcendent dance rituals from many different ancient world cultures along with original and contemporary dance/theatre realizations. The company’s roster includes some of the finest ballet-trained dancers from various companies along the Front Range and Zikr has already presented successful performances in Denver, Fort Collins, Boulder, Aspen, Carbondale, Grand Junction, St. Paul, Minnesota and Long Beach, California to critical acclaim.
Workshop possibilities: transcendent dance rituals from around the world, Gurdjieff sacred movements, Sufi whirling dervishes
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