Governing Board

Absent Tea

Spring TeaYou're invited to the CDSS

Spring Tea

a special peek inside CDSS happenings for our donors

A Look at 2022 and Beyond!

President Gaye Fifer
Executive Director Katy German

Monday, May 2, 2022
8:30-9:30 p.m. ET
Via Zoom video call

Hosted by

CDSS Governing Board

R.s.v.p. by April 29

Howell LankfordHowell Lankford (Portland, OR). Just about 17 years ago, the Portland (OR) ECD folks presented a demonstration at a Jane Austen meeting, and Howell Lankford and his wife Peggy have been dancing ever since. The rest of the time, Howell has been a labor-management arbitrator and mediator for over 40 years, with no real intention of giving it up any time soon; and when he’s not doing that, he’s teaching it or traveling (give or take a pandemic now and again).

Norman FarrellNorman Farrell (Ridgefield, WA) discovered community dance by accident in 2006 after years of wondering why the dancing he enjoyed so much at fiddle camp wasn’t happening everywhere. Go figure. Tulsa, OK, and Lawrence, KS, were Norman’s original dance communities, and he soon found himself volunteering at the annual Pilgrims Progression Dance Weekend and playing for a local family dance in Bartlesville, OK.

Now, retired in the Pacific Northwest, Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA, have become Norman’s dance home where weekly dancing (in the “before times”), paid and volunteer music, and being part of the Vancouver contra dance organization are a vital part of life. Playing in the Portland Megaband horn section has been an annual thrill since 2017.

Norman grew up in Oklahoma as part of a large dairy farming family and has been a lifelong musician since successfully begging for piano lessons at age 10. An omnivorous musical appetite led to performing at local cultural events and festivals and playing for several years with the Amarillo Wind Ensemble. Work-related travel brought a chance to encounter the rich tapestry of community dance and music around the world from Alaska to Australia and life-enriching experiences which Norman hopes to support and grow through direct CDSS participation.

Susan EnglishSusan English (Wooster, OH) taught her first dance class on a rooftop in China in 1980. In 2017, she returned to China with a $50,000 cultural exchange grant from the US State Department featuring the Country Dancers of Berea, KY. With living and working experience also in Europe, West Africa, and the US, Susan brings her enthusiasm for people of every background.

A competitive swing dancer for a year in DC, Susan has called monthly contra and square dances since 1990. With her late husband, Bill Alkire, Susan co-developed the intergenerational program at Terpsichore's Holiday. Together, they choreographed and performed "Minuet to Macarena: The History of Couple Dance in 20 Minutes."

At home in Wooster, OH, Susan is artistic director of the Madrigal Dancers, an intergenerational performing group. Since the start of the pandemic, Susan has broadcast weekly Zoom dances from her basement and has called virtual contra dances for Atlanta; Glen Echo; Bloomington, IN; and Lake City, WA. She looks forward to again calling live contra, square, and English country dances, plus weddings and barn dances, homeschool, Civil War, and Jane Austen Balls. With her PhD in higher education and consulting experience with strategic evaluation, Susan cares a lot about quality programs for lifelong growth and learning.

Joanna Reiner WilkinsonWhen Joanna Reiner Wilkinson (Cheltenham, PA) found Scottish country dancing her freshman year in college, it transformed her life. After college, Joanna made Philadelphia her home and immediately filled her nights and weekends with dancing.

Over the years, Joanna has danced a number of different genres, but truly found her home in the English dance community. Locally, she has served on the boards of the Delaware Valley Scottish Dancers and the Germantown Country Dancers, led the GCD English dance demo team, and taught both English and Scottish dance at Swarthmore College, mentoring students and encouraging them to dance throughout their lives.

Joanna started attending Pinewoods Camp in 1994, worked on the Pinewoods crew for four summers, and served on the board of Pinewoods Camp, Inc. for seven years. She has also served on the CDSS Youth Task Group and on the CDSS Finance Committee.

In addition to calling locally for over 20 years, Joanna has called across the US and Canada and other points abroad, including many week-long camp sessions for CDSS. While known for her clear calling and instruction, Joanna loves teaching workshops to train ECD callers, and workshops that explore ECD technique, new dances, and how people learn and remember dance choreography.

Professionally, Joanna is a nonprofit financial educator specializing in illuminating the mysteries that surround nonprofit financial concepts and statements. She holds an AB in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College.

Absent Tea

Absent TeaYou're invited to the CDSS

Absent Tea

a special peek inside CDSS happenings for our donors

Our Year in Review, Plus a Peek at 2022

President Gaye Fifer
Executive Director Katy German

Monday, October 25, 2021
8:30-9:30 p.m. ET
Via Zoom video call

Hosted by

CDSS Governing Board

R.s.v.p. by October 24

Margaret BaryMargaret Bary (Brooklyn, NY) is a lifelong dancer and dance educator. She teaches English country dance at Country Dance New York and other dances in the region, founded a family folk dance at her school, and calls community dances at a variety of local venues. Along with her family, she has been a regular participant in CDSS Campers’ Week for many years, leading dances for all ages, teaching sword dance workshops, and serving a stint as Program Director.

Margaret is active on the steering committee of Pourparler, a national gathering of teachers of traditional dance and music in schools and communities. As a member of Half Moon Sword, she hosts the NYC English Sword Dance Ale and performs locally, as well as at festivals such as NEFFA and the Marlboro Ale.

Margaret has a background in modern dance, holds an MFA in Dance Choreography and is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst. She recently retired as Dance Specialist and the Performing Arts Chair at Brooklyn Friends School, where she incorporated folk and sword dances into her creative dance curriculum. Underlying all of her work with children and adults, Margaret believes that participatory dance experiences foster joy, self-expression, and connection between people.

Jenna BarronJenna Barron (Easthampton, MA) literally stumbled across contra dancing almost 15 years ago in Washington, DC. Heading to Glen Echo to see a performance, she spied a large group of people in the ballroom holding hands and walking in a circle. After blowing off the performance and spending all night at the Friday Night Dance instead, she was hooked! After dancing contras, squares, waltzes, and English in the DC area for several years, she and her husband moved to the Pioneer Valley, in no small part due to the great music and dance community. She is a founding member of Oxbow Morris and has enjoyed attending programming at Pinewoods and Cascade camp weeks.

After a decade in regional theater as a stage manager, Jenna is now the Director of Communications and Development for a nonprofit focused on equitable clean energy deployment. Jenna also serves on the Board of Directors for her local library, leading their fundraising efforts. She looks forward to using these skills to help CDSS build and sustain vibrant communities through participatory dance, music, and song.

Alice KenneyAlice Kenney (Leyden, MA) moved to southern Vermont where she was introduced to contra dancing, shape note singing, and the wonderful music and storytelling of Peter and Mary Alice Amidon. She was introduced to CDSS Family Week to help the Amidons care for their (then) toddler, Sam, while they worked. Long before they were married, it was there she met Stuart Kenney, with whom she established a successful dance series at the renowned Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, MA. In addition to contra dancing, they offered a Quebecois Immersion Weekend intensive for musicians for ten years and produced countless concerts of traditional music.

Alice believes that music and dance are an integral part of her life and others’. In her longtime professional career as a physical therapist, she is known to dance with her clients, using music to facilitate their recovery. For all it has brought and continues to bring to her quality of life and the lives of so many others, Alice is delighted to give back to CDSS!

Luanne StilesLuanne Stiles (Asheville, NC) discovered traditional dance later in life upon spotting an advertisement in the local Amherst, MA, newspaper for a Monday night English country dance. She thought, “‘No experience needed, no partner needed, all dances taught,’ that’s me!” Her love of the variety of dance tempos, amazing musicians, thoughtful teaching, and a generous community had her immediately hooked. For over 15 years, Luanne has danced extensively in communities and at camps throughout the Northeast and Southeast as well as California, Ohio, Illinois, and Canada. Luanne organized dance events in Massachusetts, and, after moving to the Carolinas, she and her husband John lead a biweekly ECD in South Carolina. After moving to Asheville, she continues calling and has joined the Ashegrove Garland team. It was the move south that really drove home the support CDSS provides to its affiliates. She was a community member on the Fund Development Committee for the past two years and is happy to continue to “pay it forward” by contributing as a board member. Luanne believes that her professional experiences within the corporate world of insurance services will serve to assist CDSS’s vision and goals.

     
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