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Category Archives: Guest Posts

American Week, Pinewoods 2014

by Chuck Abell When I first heard about the Country Dancers of Rochester (CDR) scholarship program for CDSS camps, I developed an immediate interest. As a new caller—and as an experienced musician—I was looking for any opportunities to hone my skills in both areas, and just to collaborate with other callers and musicians. Having never […]

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Spread The Joy—It’s a slogan, it’s a song!

by Jonathan Jensen Musician, songwriter and longtime CDSS member Jonathan Jensen, of Baltimore, sent us this lovely gift of his song in honor of our Centennial in 2015. It debuted on March 24, during Celebration Week. Download a PDF of the sheet music or listen to Jonathan and friends sing the song here. Or hear […]

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Trad Dance & Music Exhibit Opens in New Hampshire

by Lisa Sieverts Interested in the history of contra and square dance? Come to Peterborough, New Hampshire, to view an exhibit opening on January 24, 2015:  “Gents Bow, Ladies Know How: Traditional Dance and Music in the Monadnock Region 1750-2015.” “Gents Bow, Ladies Know How” traces the long history of traditional dance and music in […]

Also posted in American Dance, Arts & Tourism, Arts Advocacy, Ballads, Beginning Dancers, Chorus Songs, Contra Dance, Dance Callers, Display Dance, English Dance, Features & Fun, Folk Dance, History & Archives, Ideas & Resources, Musicians, Old Time Dance, Round Dance, Rounds, Song, Square Dance, Traditional Dance, Traditional Music, Traditional Song, Updates from the Office | + Leave a comment »

Math, Music and Contra Dance

by Lena Erickson I first heard about contra dance at a small math conference in Northfield, Minnesota during the summer of 2013 when a graduate student described the connection between contra dance and permutation groups. Contra dance, a type of partnered folk dance, involves people dancing in two lines facing each other or in groups […]

Also posted in American Dance, Beginning Dancers, Contra Dance, Dance Callers, English Dance, Features & Fun, Folk Dance, Math, Math & Science, Morris Dance, Musicians, Rounds, Song, Square Dance | + Leave a comment »

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, Features & Fun, Folk Dance, Ideas & Resources, Musicians, Old Time Dance, Publications, Round Dance, Square Dance, Store, Traditional Dance, Traditional Music, Updates from the Office | + 1 Comment »

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, Features & Fun, Folk Dance, Musicians, Old Time Dance, Round Dance, Square Dance, Traditional Dance, Traditional Music | + 2 Comments »

The Everyday Things—Remembering Mac

by Carol Compton Shortly after Mac died I had an email from Caroline asking me to write a bit about him for the CDSS blog.  Despite the fact that Mac and his music have been in my life since I was, oh, maybe 3, I could not imagine what I could add to the already […]

Also posted in American Dance, Beginning Dancers, Contra Dance, Dance Callers, Display Dance, English Dance, Features & Fun, Folk Dance, History & Archives, Morris Dance, Musicians, Old Time Dance, Square Dance, Traditional Dance, Traditional Music | + Leave a comment »

Handing on the Tradition

by Zoë Madonna The 2014 Ralph Page Legacy Weekend’s Saturday dance was buried in eight inches of wet, heavy snow that started falling at about ten in the morning and did not stop till late evening. Fortunately, the gym of the Memorial Union Building at the University of New Hampshire was heated enough to keep […]

Also posted in American Dance, Arts & Tourism, Ballads, Beginning Dancers, Chorus Songs, Contra Dance, Dance Callers, Display Dance, English Dance, Features & Fun, Folk Dance, Ideas & Resources, Morris Dance, Musicians, Old Time Dance, Round Dance, Rounds, Song, Square Dance, Traditional Dance, Traditional Music, Traditional Song, Updates from the Office | + Leave a comment »

“Nobody remotely like him…”—Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

Text and photos by Stewart Dean Nobody remotely like him, and a towering example to us all of a life well led, decently, indomitably, with heart, conviction and a burning sense of fairness and compassion. Attached are some pictures I took of him last summer at the Summer Hoot at Ashokan.  He was then so […]

Also posted in American Dance, Arts Advocacy, Ballads, Beginning Dancers, Chorus Songs, Dance Callers, Display Dance, English Dance, Features & Fun, Morris Dance, Musicians, Rounds, Song, Traditional Dance, Traditional Song, Updates from the Office | + 2 Comments »

Youth Traditional Song: The New Kid’s Tale

by Zoë Madonna The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “youth” as “the time of life when someone is young” or “the early period of existence, growth, or development.” Something or someone is “youthful” when it “[has] or [shows] the freshness or energy of someone who is young,” or is “in an early stage of development.” With that […]

Also posted in American Dance, Arts Advocacy, Ballads, Beginning Dancers, Chorus Songs, Dance Callers, Display Dance, English Dance, Features & Fun, Ideas & Resources, Morris Dance, Musicians, Rounds, Song, Traditional Dance, Traditional Song, Updates from the Office | + Leave a comment »