by Pat MacPherson, CDSS Education Department Director
Wednesday night some of the CDSS staff visited the vibrant Downtown Amherst, MA contra dance. Executive Director, Rima Dael and her daughter, Karana, Pat MacPherson, Mary Wesley (the evening’s caller), Nils Fredland and Linda Henry — clad in our new CDSS t-shirts – danced a lot, laughed a lot, and represented CDSS.
At the break, Rima took the microphone and talked about CDSS, our work as a national supporter of participatory traditional arts, and the Valley Gives e-philanthropy day on 12.12.12. Money raised during Valley Gives will jumpstart our work on online courses in traditional dance and music for teachers. We hope to involve Amherst schools in our work, and this announcement got a cheer from the dancers on the floor.
As an aside, the Amherst dance was a recipient of a CDSS grant, and Will Loving, the Downtown Amherst organizer, spoke spontaneously and eloquently about the importance of the grant to getting his series off the ground. What a great way to end our visit to the dance!
WATCH videos of the dance: