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Category Archives: Features & Fun

Valley Gives—The Need for Teacher Support

by Nils Fredland, CDSS Education Specialist The Education team at CDSS is working on the creation of resources for school teachers who are interested in including participatory American folk dance in their classrooms. To that end, Pat MacPherson, CDSS Director of Education, and I are talking to teachers about what they need, and we are […]

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Valley Gives—Engaging Families in Dance

by Pat MacPherson, CDSS Education Director CDSS’s Valley Gives fundraising, on 12.12.13, will be dedicated to creating toolkits to support dancing in schools. Here is a local story about someone successfully introducing dancing to his students and families, told to me by CDSS Outreach Manager, Linda Henry. The person who initiated it is a music […]

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All In Good Time

guest blog by Chloe Levine At precisely 4:07 p.m., the clouds seemed as dark as a B flat piano key, the wind seemed as fierce as a grasslands predator mid-pounce, and my prospects seemed as dim as a fluorescent light bulb just turned on. But I got brighter, carried in the arms of the vigorous […]

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25th Anniversary of Calling and Dancing

Recently, CDSS sent a Certificate of Appreciation to recognize the Vissenbjerg Country Dancers as they reached their 25th Anniversary of Calling and Dancing. We received the following note and we picked out a couple of pictures to share. “Hello David and Anna Rima Dael, Thank you so much for The Certificate of Appreciation that Erik […]

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DART is coming to Amherst, MA, this weekend!

Inspired by the Dancing England Rapper Tournament (DERT), the Dancing America Rapper Tournament (DART) is a weekend-long opportunity for rapper teams to compete, show off, and learn from each other. Judges, stationed in pubs, award ranks, prizes, and constructive critiques based on teams’ performances. We are very excited to have this tournament in our area…check […]

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Keith Blackmon Memorial Dance Weekend and Book Release Party

I am excited to share that I will be attending the 2nd Annual Keith Blackmon Memorial Dance Weekend and Book Release Party this Saturday, Oct. 25th, in Pennsylvania. Click on the flyer on the right to download a PDF version. For information on New River Train visit: and see Nils Fredland’s blog on documenting […]

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Legislative Testimony

by Rima Dael, CDSS Executive Director This past Friday, Pat McPherson, Director of the CDSS Education Department, and I provided testimony to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. State Representative Cory Atkins (D-Concord) and Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D-Newburyport), Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee, are traveling around the state with fellow […]

Also posted in American Dance, Arts & Tourism, Arts Advocacy, Dance Callers, English Dance, Ideas & Resources, Morris Dance, Musicians, Traditional Dance, Updates from the Office | + Leave a comment »

BVD Tour—The Last Week

BVD—Barbara Seppeler, Val Medve and Dan Seppeler, accompanied by Tom Medve (and in part, Tom Grande)—toured New England this summer. Val and Barb shared the daily diary writing; see their earlier blogs, Intro, The First Week, The Second Week and The Third Week. Barb’s post, from the pianist’s point of view!, Sunday, July 21 The […]

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Memories to Last a Lifetime

by Lily Kruskal Leahy The year was 1988 and I was very excited to be at CDSS’s Family Week at Pinewoods in Massschusetts, especially excited to be in the 8-9 year old longsword class, taught by Andy Horton. I had watched these “big kids” perform longsword for four years and finally it was my turn! […]

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Walking Into My Past

by Lily Kruskal Leahy Morris dancing is something I grew up with. To me, it was as normal as fireworks on the 4th of July—it just came to me, like walking. I was, of course, “formally” taught by my dad, Tom Kruskal, who started a children’s morris team when I was 12 because I wanted […]

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