• From the Mic with Luke Donforth 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.

  • Actor Richard Barthelmess kisses the arm of a blushing Thelma Todd, in the 1928 movie "The Noose" 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.

  • Silhouette of Bob McQuillen playing accordion Bob McQuillen Curated Tune Lists

    Over 1500 of contra musician Bob McQuillen’s tunes are now available on the Apple App Store. Check out Bob McQuillen Curated Tune Lists to narrow down the tunes and find some new favorites!

  • CDSS News, Summer 2023 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.

  • Dancers taking hands across a line 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.

    Read more about Web Chats, or email us with questions.

  • A farmer napping in a barren field 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 with Steve Zakon-Anderson 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.

  • Brian Lindsay and Alex Sturbaum playing guitar and fiddle in the CDSS store room 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.

    Read More

  • From the Mic with Louise Siddons 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. 

  • Will Noble pointing across fields 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.

  • A young boy participating in a dance at school Lesson Plans for Educators

    The CDSS Educators Task Group presents a new set of Lesson Plans to introduce students to a variety of topics in traditional music and dance. Check out the sample plans, and contribute your own at education@cdss.org.

  • From the Mic with Wendy Graham From the Mic Episode 12: Wendy Graham

    In episode 12 of From the Mic, Wendy Graham tells Mary, “My only job is to help people have fun. Fun, F-U-N, three letter word. That’s it!” Wendy’s passion for music, song and dance caught fire in 1991 on a Danish-American Exchange (DAE) youth dance tour to Denmark. Today, Wendy leads English and American community folk dances and teaches social couples dance across the country and around the world.