Sean Dill, Board Member
My gratitudes calls me to do whatever I can to make the magic of our Circles as available to as many people as possibleMy name is Sean Dill, and my first Dance in 2004 changed me forever. For a period of time I was involved in helping to organize and caretake the New York Dance for two-plus years as co-Spirit Keeper. I recently stepped back from that role so I can concentrate my energies as a Board Member of NCPC, and to deepen my work as a Ceremonial Leader and Organizer in my homeland of Bermuda.
I was asked recently why I said ‘yes’ to working with NCPC, and was prompted to acknowledge the growth and happiness the Dance has helped me find. My experiences around the Tree have led me to realize the preciousness of our interconnected lives, the sacredness of the worlds we share and the beauty, the diversity and oneness of All That Is. The Dance has taken me to many places in many realities; I have met beautiful beings I would not have met otherwise. I have laughed, cried, and been in heartfelt communion with people I would not otherwise have known. My gratitude calls me to do whatever I can to make the magic of our Circles as available to as many people as possible, and NCPC is a vital part of our Dance Community’s wheel of magic.
What I have learned is that NCPC helps to make our Dances possible. Our local Dance communities in Washington, Tennessee, Utah, Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, and California are financially assisted by your NCPC, allowing Dance Organizers to help cover startup expenses and plan with a degree of financial certainty. Without this assistance and guidance, many of our gatherings would not have the wherewithall to happen.
The diversity and range of NCPC’s other Projects are inspiring. The NCPC-supported Project which is particularly close to my heart is the Cave Rock/De-ek Wadapush Ceremony.
Close To My Heart: The Caves of De-ek WadapushCave Rock— near Lake Tahoe, California— has always been a sacred site for the Washoe people. The caves of De-ek Wadapush (also known as Cave Rock) are frequented by powerful beings— the Metsunge— referred to in English as Waterbabies. For over 10,000 years the Washoe Nations of California & Nevada have lived in the Lake Tahoe region, and honored the Spirits of the Land and Water.
The last century has seen increasing desecration of the area: highways, tourism, and real estate development have taken their toll, and rock climbers on Cave Rock have contributed to the pollution. To traditionally-minded Washoe, the desecration has sorely tried the goodwill of the Spirits who created, and looked after the area, and recently the Washoe Tribe has actively worked to reclaim and protect Cave Rock and restore it as a ceremonial site.
Thanks to their efforts in Court, rock climbing at the sacred site is no longer allowed; the last climbing peg was removed from De-ek Wadapush in 2009. For the past several years, Ceremonies have been held on the site. As it so happens Dance elders Barbara Snyder and Joan Henry will be travelling to Cave Rock and conducting Ceremony during the time of the Santa Cruz Dance For All People in December.
NCPC has been an active contributor from the beginning of this Project, and I am happy and proud that we continue to support it. NCPC is committed to making every dollar contributed be as productive as possible in support of The Dance For All People, and for the lives, work, and traditional cultures of the Great Basin Plateau.
Supporting SundancersEvery Summer hundreds of Native people gather at Bannock Creek on the Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho for Sundance. This ancient ceremony of healing for the Earth and her People takes place over a four-day period. Dancers gather in this high-mountain desert to pray and dance — without food or water, and with minimal shelter — through the dark cold nights and hot dusty summer days.
The Dancers need support from friends and family. Herbs and plants for the Dance are gathered by these supporters, who also provide comfort and encouragement by attending to Dancers during their breaks, and by sitting around the Lodge in a prayerful way during the Dancing. There are groups of workers who drum and sing, who tend the sacred fire, who build the Lodge and gather saplings to be used in the ceremony — the list of tasks carried out over the course of the Dance is long, and requires the efforts of many people. For every Dancer in the Lodge, there are several people in the Camp who are working in support of the Dance.
All these people need to eat, and NCPC supports the Chief’s Camp, where a number of volunteers run an outdoor kitchen and dining area, where anyone can come for meals, drinks and snacks. The kitchen never closes, and over the course of the four-day event, hundreds of meals are served. While the food and the volunteers who work the kitchen come from many places, NCPC’s support of this facility is a major part of its success.