The Country Dance & Song Society is proud to announce that Ed Stern of Minneapolis, MN, is the 2022 recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award.

Ed’s passionate involvement with dance stretches back to the 1960s with international folk dance and morris dance in Chicago. Ed has lived in the Twin Cities since 1971, and several generations of Midwestern dancers have experienced the joy of dance that Ed infuses into his skilled teaching. He has taught numerous styles of dance, including morris, English country, contra, Scottish, international, ballroom, Scandinavian, Irish ceilidh, and more. Ed is a founder of Minnesota Traditional Morris, and morris dancers from many communities have learned the massed dances for Midwest Morris Ale from Ed.

Ed founded the Saltari Folk Dance Emporium in the late ‘70s and has taught at the Tapestry Folkdance Center in Minneapolis since its early days in the ‘80s. Ed actively recruits and mentors new callers. He happily admits that he became addicted to dance early on and is driven to ensure that dance continues to brighten the lives of future generations. Thank you, Ed!

  • “Over the past 40 years, Ed has been a steadfast and active member of the teaching leadership for the folk dancing population in the Twin Cities. People of all ages, from the youngest participants in our family folk dance program to those retirees dancing in the English country dance program, have been touched by Ed’s influence. In the morris community, Ed’s teaching of teachers and involvement in Minnesota Traditional Morris and so many programs at Tapestry shows his dedication to the art of folk dance and its continuation in upcoming generations.”

  • “Besides the fact that Ed has been involved in varied dance and song communities for more than 50 years, he continues to joyfully impart his knowledge to those of us of all ages involved in these communities. He is also a patient, yet deliberate and exacting, teacher who has a vast base of knowledge to impart.”

  • “From my perspective, Ed’s involvement in folk dancing could never be separated from his desire for the traditions he is teaching to continue. Actively seeking out and encouraging new dancers and musicians is part of his fabric as a person who deeply loves and enjoys the traditions he teaches.”

  • “One of Ed’s greatest attributes is his ability to introduce and teach the joy of dance to any generation. I have witnessed this many times and in many ways, including at my wedding. Ed is the reason I am involved in the dance community. His knowledge and passion for dance is unlimited and has influenced literally thousands of people and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

  • “Ed continues to inspire individuals across many demographics, and his legacy will continue for decades to come. I find it hard to think of anyone who has had such a profound impact on traditional dancing as Ed Stern has, and I cannot think of anyone else who is more deserving of a lifetime contribution award than he.”

  • “My community, my dear friends, and many of my joyous experiences in life would not exist without Ed Stern’s founding of Minnesota Traditional Morris. He really is the impetus of the Twin Cities Folk Dance community. When I think about all the things Ed has done for our community, it is the most selfless and admirable gift anyone can bestow upon others. I have danced in the street, I have danced at pubs, I have danced down Nicollet Mall in the heart of Minneapolis. I have sung around campfires with Ed and the rest of my Folk Dance Brothers. I have been to England and again danced in the street and danced in pubs. I am very grateful for Ed Stern’s presence and commitment to Folk Dance in the Twin Cities.”