STATE OF THE GUILD ADDRESS August 16, 2014 – Ottawa, Canada Wendy Morrell, President

August 16, 2014 – Ottawa, Canada
Wendy Morrell, President


Last August at our annual meeting in Gales Ferry, Connecticut I put forward my first “State of the Guild” message as your President indicating that given the financial challenges the organization was facing at that time, it could also be the last one. Well – here we are one year later and I am most happy to be giving my 2nd State of the Guild address to you today!! While our financial state is still somewhat precarious, we are HERE and we are DANCING! That is to be celebrated!

I’d like to dedicate this “State of the Guild” address to JoAn Huff, a beloved long time member and supporter of the Sacred Dance Guild who passed away in December 2013. JoAn remembered our organization in her bequests giving the Sacred Dance Guild a much appreciated $10,000 “boost”! We are so grateful for people like JoAn who give back and leave an important legacy such that others can experience what they experienced.

Where are we Now? Our membership is slowly growing – we have new dancers from the US, Canada and other countries joining the SDG “tribe“ via our website and through other introductions. Most recently our first member from Sweden “discovered” us on Facebook! Our members supported us heartily in our 56th anniversary donor campaign in February 2014. We also continue to receive much appreciated contributions from those who want to see our mission continue. The cards, emails and letters I receive are encouraging and inspirational and always seem to come just when they are most needed!

While the challenges continue, the Board of Directors is also committed and excited to continue to explore opportunities on behalf of our members. Since its beginning in 1958 the Sacred Dance Guild’s has continued to evolve and expand from its original recorded purpose “to stimulate interest in dance and to provide training for dance choirs” to what it is today – an international, inter-spiritual, non-profit organization with a commitment to be an advocate for dance as a sacred art, to promote dance as a means of spiritual growth and integration of mind, body and spirit, to raise awareness of dance as a unifying, healing, transforming force and to support, encourage and provide a network for dancers everywhere who are actively living out and exploring these principles.

Last year we reported that our “savings” (in the form of the Memorial Endowment Fund) allowed us to continue operations despite overall financial “losses” in most of the years since 2006 when we made the necessary decision to contract an administration/management company. Since this time last year we have managed to slow the pace by implementing changes that resulted in decreased expenses overall, reduced the number of lapsing members, increased the number of new members, increased regular donations and implemented a moderate increase in membership dues to be in line with current trends. With those changes, and with the infusion of the generous bequest from JoAn Huff, we anticipate that our 2014 fiscal year will see a PLUS sign at the end of December – minimal but real!

We also have a full slate of Board members for the 2nd year in a row! As mentioned last year, those of us on the Board still consider this to be a “sustaining” board. All of the existing board, except one, are staying on for another year. The one board member completing her term is Co VP Cherie Hill and we have one Noelle Partusch joining the Board as Co VP. This year we will be actively casting our gaze to new members to join the Board for future years – we’d like to share the fun we have with others!

This year – 2014 – would have been a major Festival year (following the biannual process instituted in 2008) but we were unable to make that commitment last year given the financial situation at that time. We did; however, implement new programs:

• two collaborative events in New York City – the amazing “Doors” performances in October 2013 with over 40 dancers from over 25 cities/towns in North America and a wonderful somewhat “accidental” happening in May 2014 when the planned workshop with Carla DeSola was cancelled due to her physical challenges and the SDG New Yorkers came together to create an experience despite the cancellation.
• the “Sacred Sundays” sacred dance video experience now running monthly – the first Sunday of each month with members from all over contributing videos
• AND – here we are now! In the midst of our summer “event” – not a full Festival but certainly a happening!! We have participants from all over North America – Hawaii, Las Vegas, California, Colorado, Boston, Cincinnati, Ohio, Connecticut, New York City – and those closer to home – Ottawa, Kingston, Westport…

This morning as I was preparing for our workshop today and our Annual General gathering I checked my email and noted a link to Day 6 of the Deepak Choprah meditation series “Expanding Happiness” which I generally listen to first thing in the morning. I made a mental note to remember to check this tonight but for some reason was called to click on the link just to read the “intro”. The text below perfectly applies to how I feel personally about where the Sacred Dance Guild is going and I am grateful to Deepak for writing this so beautifully so I can quote him today!

“ Day 6 — Feeling Hope – Today’s meditation activates the power of hope in our hearts. Hope is a key spiritual component of our joyful self. Spiritual hope is not a feeble, anxious wish for things to be better . . . it is the active engagement of our aspiration to the almighty force of evolution. True hope ties our individuality to the cosmos, giving us the guidance and support to move toward out hopes and dreams. This expansion and fulfillment of our aspirations is an essential joy of life. We feel happy when our love grows and our territory of influence expands, and hope is the leading edge of this expansion. Our meditation today takes us to the source of hope, the source of our evolutionary expansion of consciousness. From this still center of being, we illuminate the light of hope in our life. Our centering thought for today is: Hope lights my path.”

So where ARE we Going? We are optimistic but realistic. We know that we are still walking the tightrope (good thing most of us have fairly good balance!!) We are open to thoughts, ideas, suggestions, inspirations…. the organization does NOT belong to the Board – it belongs to all of our members and we want to find ways to engage you in whatever our future might be.

We are dancing forward! We are:
• in the process of renovating our website
• planning for a possible full five day Festival next summer at our Board Meetings this week,
• implementing a new program called an “Hour with an Expert” this fall,
• working with our Australian members who are organizing a Sacred Dance Journey to Bali in May
• participating with the Global Water Dance project in June and
• considering other collaborative events and activities for the future.

We will, at the same time, continue to monitor the bottom line and, if it becomes necessary, will be ready to take whatever action is required to transition the organization into a “dormant” state. We will keep the membership updated with our monthly enews and we will continue to ask each and every one to consider your role as an ambassador for the Sacred Dance Guild and for Sacred Dance in general. Movement and Dance is the only language I know that is spoken in some way by every human being on the planet! No matter how small the gesture, how quick the look – the language of the body is universal – and I believe is a method of communication that can help to create a world of compassion and peace for all.

As always – my door (email, phone and home) are open! Please dance on through!

Wendy Morrell
Sacred Dance Guild


Posted in Sacred Dance Trends
One comment on “STATE OF THE GUILD ADDRESS August 16, 2014 – Ottawa, Canada Wendy Morrell, President
  1. Pulelehua says:

    Reblogged this on Pulelehua Fluttering Travels and commented:

    a great part of my trip

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