Country Dance & Song Society

Individuals nourished and communities strengthened by dancing, singing, and making music together

We connect and support people in building and sustaining vibrant communities through participatory dance, music, and song. We steward the living traditions of English country dance, contra and square dance, morris and sword dance, and the music that is an integral part of these traditions. Learn more

What’s New

  • An adult seal nuzzles a baby seal on the beach October 2023 Song of the Month

    Our song for October is “Seal Lullaby,” with lyrics from a poem by Rudyard Kipling and music by Cindy Mangsen.

  • Younger dancers with arms around each other Generational Transition Survey

    Are you 18-44 years old? Do you participate in folk music or dance? Take our survey!

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  • Dancers under a rainbow at CDSS's Family Week at Agassiz Village. Photo by Hamish Swanson. Fall 2023 CDSS News

    The Fall 2023 CDSS News is now available! Hear how Hoggetowne Fancy keeps ECD music fresh in Florida; play a tune in remembrance of Rosemary Lach; dance online with Symmetry ECD; learn how the CDSS Educators Task Group is bringing dance, music, and song to the next generation; and much more.

  • John Dexter John Dexter Leaves a Legacy of Joy

    John Dexter—morris dancer, musician, teacher, fearless leader and guiding light of New York City’s Bouwerie Boys—passed quietly from this world in May 2023, leaving behind a 50-year legacy of incalculable breadth. Thank you, John! Thank you for the legacy of your years of dancing, playing, and teaching, and for your generous legacy gift, which will help CDSS to flourish this year and well into the future. Read more about John and his gift to CDSS.

  • From the Mic with Catherine Burns From the Mic Episode 16: Catherine Burns

    In this episode of From the Mic, Mary speaks with Catherine Burns, who has been at the heart of the Ottawa contra dance scene for decades. In the early 1980s, Catherine worked alongside her husband, Gord Peeling, who helped form the Old Sod Folk Music Society with musician Ian Robb. In the late 90s, she encountered contra dancing and became Ottawa’s house caller—and the rest is history.

  • An owl and other birds surround a stone tablet reading "In Memory of Poor Cock Robin." September 2023 Song of the Month

    Judy Cook introduces “Cock Robin.” The identity of the murderer of Cock Robin may not be a mystery (spoiler: it was the sparrow), but the origins of the British-American folk song certainly are.

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Upcoming Community Events

CDSS: Country Dance & Song Society Individuals nourished and communities strengthened by dancing, singing, and making music together.