We are pleased to present our new five-year strategic plan, developed by the board and staff and with community input over the past two years. Click here for more about the development of the new plan.


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.


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


  • We commit to Stewardship, sustaining and cultivating these living traditions and the financial and cultural resources that have been entrusted to us.

  • We embrace Creativity and Innovation, both in the living traditions we steward, and in the ways that we approach our own work and support communities.

  • We believe that Participation is at the heart of the living traditions in our mission, and therefore we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone who wishes to do so has the tools and access they need to join in.

Strategic Goals

  • Help affiliates adapt in a changing world

    Many of our affiliate communities are facing challenges related to pandemic recovery and generational leadership shifts. CDSS will provide support and leadership to set communities up for long term success by bringing people together, providing resources and learning opportunities, and facilitating the transfer of knowledge.

  • Re-evaluate and update the CDSS membership model

    More people participate in the traditions in our mission than are reflected in our current base of support. CDSS aims to develop an updated membership model that values current contributors and participants, and attracts new supporters, while better connecting with the broader communities we serve.

  • Achieve financial sustainability

    CDSS will expand and diversify our funding streams in order to balance the budget, launch strategic initiatives, and sustain our mission into the future.

  • Embed cultural equity in CDSS programs and operations

    In the context of CDSS, cultural equity encompasses the values, policies, and practices that ensure that all people have access to the dance, music, and song traditions defined in our mission. We will embed cultural equity in our work, with a focus on increasing access to CDSS resources, removing barriers to program participation, and researching and sharing the complete histories of the traditions we steward.