Sacred Dance Guild Festival 2010
Simply Soaring - Testimonials
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT FESTIVAL 2010
From first timers to longtimers, Fest 2010 attendees enthusiastically agree: It was good...very, very good. Read what Marie and Josh, two newcomers had to say.
Then check out the feedback below. Get ready for 2012!
Marie Aguirre – Dance Therapist, New York City
First time SDG Festival Attendee
SDG Member, New York/Southwest Connecticut Chapter
"The Simply Soaring 2010 Sacred Dance Festival was Simply Sensational!"
I am ever grateful and appreciative of everyone's dedication to sacred dance. This was my first Sacred Dance Guild Festival and my experience was not only educational, but also truly enlightening and heartfelt. Each person who taught me, and each one I danced with, spoke with, and was embraced by, I will keep with me in that special memory place. You know how you feel when you recall someone you danced with in an improvisation? You looked into a person's eyes, you touched someone's shoulder, or you collaborated with that person in the creative process. You became part of a group, and it felt as if you were in the safest place and truly felt the meaningfulness of the work: The Sacred Dance.
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Each presenter shared their work with so much generosity and each communicated with clarity, expertise, and intention. I was so honored to perform in works by Jane Wellford, Linda Telesco, and Marylee Hardenbergh. In the concerts and sharings I attended, the dancers performed with so much heart and love. Thank you. Throughout the Festival there was an atmosphere of joy. My husband's comment as an observer at some of events was, "Everyone is so happy." Indeed, I felt happy, present and alive. What could be better than to be with people who love Sacred Dance? I so enjoy recalling the sounds, the words, and the movement, which created a special energy that felt unique to this Festival. That energy created a magical space which connected us all.
Thank you! The Simply Soaring 2010 Sacred Dance Festival was Simply Sensational! And I am so grateful to everyone who designed the myriad of experiences. It was truly breathtaking and I will remember it always. I look forward to MORE dancing with the sacred dance community.
With much love and blessings,
Marie Aguirre, BC-DMT, LCAT
Joshua Clabeaux - Massachusetts
First Time Festival Attendee
"It was Like Nothing Else I've Ever Experienced in My Life."
Hello everyone, and greetings from Massachusetts. My name is Joshua Clabeaux, and I attended the Sacred Dance Guild festival this year. I had a wonderful time and it was like nothing else I've ever experienced in my life. What I got out of it far exceeded my expectations. It was overwhelming and words cannot do it justice, but it was a wonderful feeling.
I first learned about the festival from my mother, who has been involved in sacred dance since she was 24 and has attended past festivals. This year, she invited me to come along with her. I accepted the invitation because I wanted to meet Debbie Danbrook; I am a student at Salem State University with a major in music and a special interest in Japanese classical music. I was eager to meet the shakuhachi player whose recordings I frequently listen to. I was certain that this would help nourish my musical studies. However, I was blessed with much more than just this at the festival. Not only did I meet Debbie Danbrook, I also met Kathryn Sparks, Wesley Yarbor, Elaine Sisler, and JoyBeth, just to name a few. I also made many new friends. All of the people I met there were unique and blessed people. (read more/ hide)
Many Things to Enjoy
There were many things I enjoyed there; the music, the dancing, the fellowship, the new-forming friendships, the spiritual growth, and the sharing sessions. I participated in many festival activities, including the flash-mob dance and Kathryn Sparks' dance shop (Flying Lessons), and in many ways. Not only did I learn the dances, I also played improvised tunes on my silver transverse flute, which I brought with me. Everyone was thankful for my music, which we used both for dance and meditation. I even participated in the dance performance with the rest of Kathryn's group in the concert. I am glad to have been gifted enough to both play the flute well and dance well.
There were some amazing and wonderful surprises that happened during festival week. After Wednesday's sharing session, I began to play the piano in the gymnasium. I was playing a waltz that I recently composed myself. The woman who was in charge of the sharing sessions heard it and asked me to play it in the Friday sharing session. I was hesitant at first because it was a sacred dance festival and I composed this waltz as a piece of secular music, but she was so moved by it that she assured me that it could certainly be used to accompany a sacred dance. After all, it wouldn't be the first time a piece of secular classical music was used for sacred dance. I learned from this experience, that for instrumental music, the fact that it is sacred or secular all depends on how it is used. So I agreed to play the waltz. My mother volunteered to lead an improvised dance at the end of Friday's sharing session, danced to my waltz played on the piano. By the end of the piece, nearly everyone in the gymnasium was dancing. This was a great honor for me and I cannot thank you enough for it. Also after hearing my waltz, some of the dancers asked me if I would someday write music for their sacred dance groups as well. This gave me a great feeling of success.
Another surprise for me came at an unexpected time; I participated in the fashion show. My mother had an intuition that it would be a good idea for me to bring my Japanese keiko-gi and hakama along. I wasn't sure why, but we packed it. Upon hearing about the "share-what-you-wear" event, I decided to take part in it with this costume. Even though I only use it for martial arts exercise, I know from studying its history that it is used in many artistic athletics, including some types of traditional Japanese dances, and I explained this during the fashion show. I guess my mother's intuition brought me yet another blessing, as it often does.
What impressed me the most was the faith of the people at the festival, and their integration and balance of body and spirit. Sacred dance helps to keep both of these healthy. I was also pleasantly surprised by the religious affiliation of the people there. See, for some reason I was expecting the religious background of the participants to be mostly Wicca and Neo-Germanic pagan, so I was shocked (in a good way) to learn that they were mostly Christians and Jews. This taught me that sacred dance is still very much alive in the traditions of non-pagan religions which made me, as a Roman Catholic, very happy, for I have always regarded sacred dance as a celebration of God's love and blessings.
Overall, my experience was one of both rest and excitement. It truly was amazing. Every day that I was there I woke up with love in my heart and full of life. The whole experience made me feel all fuzzy inside and so blessed. This experience was something that I cannot put a price on, and I openly look forward to attending one in the future. I encourage the support of this wonderful organization. The work they do is invaluable and I hope that it can continue because I look forward to another experience like this one.
- Joshua David Adrian Clabeaux
We Asked You to Tell Us What You Liked About Fest 2010. Here's what some of you had to say:
It's a chance to dance in a non-threatening environment, to meet and connect with people of so many different backgrounds, ages & abilities, to be inspired to shed old, deep fears & cross new bridges
Meeting so many like-minded, open-hearted fellow dancers
Talking to people about the role of dance in their lives
People, teachers, music, dance.
Seeing all my friends and making new ones
Presenters, Flash Mob, other participants classes (I haven't had dance classes in 15 years so it was great! - all around excellent.
Seeing old friend and making new ones. Lots of choices and levels. Energy & encouragement.
Janes' & L'Ana's classes
Morning class and sharings & concert
Nothing to dislike!