- 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.
- August 2023 Song of the Month
Margaret Nelson introduces “Dives and Lazarus.” This traditional folk song retells the parable of a rich man who refused to give food and comfort to a beggar at his door.
- From the Mic Episode 15: Luke Donforth
This month on From the Mic, Mary is joined by longtime friend, collaborator, and fellow Vermont caller Luke Donforth. As a caller, he brings a warm and inviting playfulness to the stage. He calls new compositions and traditional contras at weekly dances, barn dances, weddings, and festivals all over the country. On the local front, he currently runs a monthly family dance in Burlington and he is also a published author! If you don’t already own a copy of his book The ABCs of Contra Dancing, pick one up for the young dancers in your life.
- July 2023 Song of the Month
Mark Gilston presents “How to Make Love,” a set of tongue-in-cheek instructions for young men wishing to court. The necessary ingredients include hairstyling lard, a harmonica, gold tooth, red bow tie, and ten cents’ worth of drugstore perfume.
- Bob McQuillen Curated Tune Lists
- Summer 2023 CDSS News
The Summer 2023 CDSS News is now available! See contra dancing through the eyes of a young person; learn to shoot good dance videos with Don Bell; dance the New Jersey Commute with Alex Laursen; and much more.
- Check out the last Web Chat: Communities in Conflict
The slideshows, video, and transcript from our May 2023 Web Chat are now available. CDSS Executive Director Katy German joined Jenny Beer, Dana Dwinell-Yardley, Sue Songer, and Kathy Story for a conversation about working through conflict as a community.
- June 2023 Song of the Month
Lea Coryell presents “The Lazy Farmer (Young Man Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn).” Lea writes: “Did the young man fail because of laziness or bad weather? Traditional verses offer conflicting reasons, so perhaps we were meant to wonder. In my shortened version, the farmer has nothing and no one to blame but himself.”
- From the Mic Episode 14: Steve Zakon-Anderson
In this episode of From the Mic, Steve Zakon-Anderson shares stories about the people and places that have shaped him as a caller and as a person, as well as some pretty deep thoughts about what this calling thing is all about.
- Pack & Wrap Session with Countercurrent!
We’re delighted to welcome Countercurrent (Brian Lindsay and Alex Sturbaum) to CDSS for the first episode of our new Pack & Wrap Sessions! Named for the store room where it’s filmed, the Pack & Wrap Sessions is a not-so-often web series featuring very short interviews and concerts with dance musicians. In this episode, Alex and Brian talk about the silly things they always have in their instrument cases and play a set of favorite contra dance tunes.
- From the Mic Episode 13: Louise Siddons
In this episode of From the Mic, Mary interviews Louise Siddons about her involvement with communities in Michigan and Oklahoma, and across the pond in the UK. We’ll also learn about her work developing and teaching the practice of “positional calling” for social dance, which has recently culminated in a new book, published through CDSS, called Dancing the Whole Dance: Positional Calling for Contra.
- May 2023 Song of the Month
Derek Piotr presents “We’re All Jolly Fellows that Follow the Plough,” a rare tale of hard work well rewarded.