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Category Archives: Features & Fun

CDSS Midwest Camp Task Group Survey

The CDSS Midwest Camp Task Group (MCTG) was established by the CDSS Board at its annual meeting in April 2012 to explore the feasibility of establishing a summer camp focusing on traditional dance, music and song in the center of the continent.  We want to reach out to new audiences and offer a program, in […]

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How to Photograph a Contra Dance

by Doug Plummer Doug Plummer is well known in the dance community nationwide as that guy who takes all the dance photos and videos and puts them all over Facebook and in a calendar. Since 2012 he has self-published the Contradance Calendar, a premium wall calendar that captures the best contra dance moments from around […]

Also posted in American Dance, Arts & Tourism, Beginning Dancers, Contra Dance, Dance Callers, Display Dance, English Dance, Folk Dance, Guest Posts, Ideas & Resources, Musicians, Old Time Dance, Publications, Round Dance, Square Dance, Store, Traditional Dance, Traditional Music, Updates from the Office | + 1 Comment »

Southwest Organizers Conference—important deadlines!

by Linda Henry, CDSS Outreach Manager, on behalf of the SWROC Steering Committee Dear Dance Organizers, In case you haven’t heard the news, CDSS is co-sponsoring the Southwest Regional Organizers Conference (SWROC) that’s coming right up on Sept 19-21, 2014 in Albuquerque, NM. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to gather with dance organizers from across […]

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To dance, to sing, perhaps to play music

Can you make difficult class choices? Say, from an enticing menu of contras, squares and waltz? Are you up for a strong program of Appalachian, American Southern and Irish traditions? Can you take contras morning, noon and night? If your answer is “Just try me!” then CDSS’s American Dance and Music Week, August 9-16, 2014, […]

Also posted in American Dance, Arts Advocacy, Ballads, Beginning Dancers, Camps & Programs, Chorus Songs, Contra Dance, Dance Callers, Folk Dance, Old Time Dance, Round Dance, Rounds, Song, Square Dance, Traditional Dance, Traditional Music, Traditional Song | + Leave a comment »

Lifetime Contribution Award for 2014 goes to…

  Jim Morrison of Charlottesville, VA, will be this year’s recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award. Jim brought youthful enthusiasm and strong connections to emerging contra, morris and sword dance movements when he started work for CDSS in late 1970. Serving as National Director from 1975 to 1977, he then continued as part time […]

Also posted in American Dance, Arts Advocacy, Ballads, Beginning Dancers, Contra Dance, Dance Callers, Display Dance, English Dance, Folk Dance, History & Archives, Morris Dance, Musicians, Old Time Dance, Round Dance, Song, Square Dance, Traditional Dance, Traditional Music, Traditional Song, Updates from the Office | + 1 Comment »

Are You Committed to Dance Organizing?

Then our special Dance Organizers Course is for you. Led by Gaye Fifer and held during CDSS’s English & American Dance Week at Pinewoods (EAP), August 23-30, 2014, the course is designed for people involved in organizing their home dance community—contra, square, English, adult or family. Two one-hour sessions will be held each afternoon to discuss […]

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“Come be part of the magic!”—English & American Dance Week, August 23-30, 2014

There’s lots of sublime English country dancing and exhilarating contra dancing at CDSS’s English & American Dance Week at Pinewoods, near Plymouth, MA. This year a Dance Organizers Course will run concurrently (separate registration). E&A Week is our classic core program, mixing together two much-loved traditions for a fine dose of exhilaration, against a background […]

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Techno, Gender-free, and Bluesy Contras: Evolving Tradition?

by Abigail Hobart What is tradition? This question is relevant to all contra dancers, whether we realize it or not. The past several decades have witnessed somewhat of a contra revival, especially among youth and students. College dances have sprung up across the US, typically at smaller liberal arts schools, such as Oberlin (Oberlin, OH) […]

Also posted in American Dance, Beginning Dancers, Contra Dance, Dance Callers, English Dance, Folk Dance, Guest Posts, Musicians, Old Time Dance, Round Dance, Square Dance, Traditional Dance, Traditional Music | + 2 Comments »

“Notes from the May Day Train,” Cambridge, MA

by Jane Winans, from Notes from the Train (used by permission) I was photographing Newtowne Morris this morning. (Muddy River and Red Herring were also there but I didn’t see them dance.) It was pouring rain and in this one dance by the Charles River you can see the Maypole falling, it actually started to […]

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Advice for beginning young callers, by a beginning young caller

by Zoë Madonna https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0j_LAWp8uU&list=UUTjRQGME9buLgs2P-OioG9w (Above link: the author calling in Oberlin this past February.) CDSS recently published the results of their contra dance caller’s survey, which they solicited submissions for in May 2013. I remember submitting my entry on one of the final days; I had seen the survey link earlier in the month but […]

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