• British and German WWI soldiers socializing around a small Christmas tree December 2023 Song of the Month

    Marc Bernier introduces “Christmas in the Trenches” by John McCutcheon. The song tells the tale of the 1914 Christmas Truce between the British and German lines in the First World War from the perspective of a fictional British soldier.

  • Katy German presents the Lifetime Contribution Award to the New England Dancing Masters Photos and Video from the 2023 LCA Celebration

    In October 2023 in Greenfield, MA, we presented the Lifetime Contribution Award to the New England Dancing Masters: Mary Alice Amidon, Peter Amidon, Mary Cay Brass, and Andy Davis. See some photos and video from the ceremony.

  • From the Mic with David Smukler From the Mic Episode 18: David Smukler

    In this episode of From the Mic, we hear from the most wonderful David Smukler. A dance caller, scholar, organizer, choreographer, teacher, champion of chestnuts…the list goes on. David joined Mary over zoom from his home in Syracuse, New York. He grew up singing folk songs with his mom and began dancing contras in New Hampshire as a teen. In 1981 he was drafted to call for his local dance and has been calling ever since. David calls contras and squares, English country dances, and family and community dances.

  • Illustration of a young person in a sailor suit November 2023 Song of the Month

    Sally Rogers presents a recording by Gordon Bok of “The Handsome Cabin Boy,” a classic with a gender twist. 

  • Sharon Green 2024 Lifetime Contribution Award Recipient: Sharon Green

    We are delighted to announce that Sharon Green of Oakland, CA, is the 2024 recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award. Sharon is an English country dancer, caller, teacher, choreographer, and tireless promoter of the talents of others.

  • A fiddler and accordionist play for a dance in a sunlit hall Annual Report Now Available

    The 2022 CDSS Annual Report is now available! Take a look back at our programs and financials. 

  • From the Mic with Susan Petrick From the Mic Episode 17: Susan Petrick

    In this episode of From the Mic, we head to northern California for a conversation with the wonderful Susan Petrick. An avid dancer for many years, Susan started calling for contra dances in 2000 and teaching couple dances, including waltz, cross-step waltz, and hambo, shortly thereafter. She is known for her clear teaching, efficient guidance, and expert pacing, making even complex dances accessible to all.

  • 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.