CDSS Web Chat
Announcing the Legacy of Joy Society
Still Room at Camp for YOU!
Camp Scholarships — It's Not Too Late!
Advocating for OUR Arts
CDSS Staff at Camp This Summer
Summer 2018 CDSS News


webchatbackground photo by Doug Plummer

CDSS Hosting First Ever Web Chat for Dance Organizers

CDSS will be hosting our first ever Web Chat on Thursday, June 21st, from Noon - 1 pm EST

We’re offering this series to provide a variety of resources for organizers throughout the continent who volunteer countless hours to keep traditional dance alive in your communities. We’ve already heard from over 50 organizers who are planning to join us!

This first web hat will focus on Boosting AttenDANCE. We’ll hear tried-and-true stories from guests Laura Gorrin and Margaret Pigman (Oakland, CA) and Jo Mortland (Chicago) about ways their communities are experiencing success in this area. We will also give glimpses of the vast resources for organizers available through CDSS.

You can join us by computer or by phone. Since some participants will be joining by phone, we will not include live video for this call. If you are an organizer from a CDSS Affiliate Group and want to join the webchat, RSVP by June 19th by sending your name, email, and group name to Linda Henry at Everyone who has RSVPed by that date will receive instructions about how to join the call.

Questions? Linda will be happy to answer them.

Announcing the Legacy of Joy Society

dave and jolaine legacy of joyJoLaine Jones-Pokorney and Dave PokorneyCDSS is pleased to announce the launch of our Planned Giving program, the CDSS Legacy of Joy Society, recognizing and honoring members of the community who have included CDSS in their estate plans and wish to encourage others to join them by sharing their stories. When we think about our estate plans, we’re each thinking about what matters most to us – our values and the legacy we wish to pass on. If you’re reading this, you have, like so many of us, found meaning and joy in dance, music and song. You believe “The world needs more of this!” The members of the CDSS Legacy of Joy Society are openly sharing how that joy and meaning in their lives moved them to provide future support to CDSS through a bequest.

We are delighted to recognize these friends’ generosity by sharing their photos and stories online at This wonderful collection of photos shows Members doing what brings them joy, along with pithy quotes distilling their experience. Browse the pictures! See how many people you know, both across North America and in your local community. We think you'll be surprised by how many you do know and intrigued by the diversity of their experiences.

It’s simple to join the Legacy of Joy Society: Simply fill out the online Request to Join form at or call Robin Hayden at 413-203-5467 x107. CDSS will work with you to contribute a joyous photo, a zippy quote, and your own legacy story.

Considering including CDSS in your estate plans but don't know where to begin or what your options are? Fill out the Expression of Interest form on the website, and CDSS will send you a free copy of Nolo Press's Estate Planning Basics (a $20 value)!

Still Room at Camp for YOU!

EW PW 2016 Fiddles Water jeff bary smPhoto: Jeffrey Bary

It's not too late to consider attending CDSS camp this summer! Head over to, where you'll find descriptions, schedules, staff lists, the online registration form, and a link to the camp brochure as a colorful flipbook. Join us for contras and squares, English country dance, morris & longsword, folk song, traditional music, and more at our week-long adult camps, family camps and mini-courses. We still have room at: 

CAVELL, Lexington, MI

Dance, Music & Spice, August 12 - 19

Adult & Family Week, August 12 - 19

Everyone Can Improvise Course, August 12 - 19


Harmony of Song & Dance, July 21 - 28

American Dance & Music Week, August 4 - 11
Early Music Week, August 11 - 18
Square Dance Callers Course, July 21 - 28

Camp Scholarships — It's Not Too Late!

harmony 2015 singers carl friedman smPhoto: Carl FriedmanWe can help YOU have a life-changing week at a CDSS music/dance/song camp this summer. To apply for a scholarship, start by checking to see which weeks still have space. Then fill out and submit the camp registration form to register, pay, and send in your scholarship application.

Scholarships are offered first-come first-serve, so please apply soon! 

Questions? Contact

We’d also love help with finding scholarship candidates. So if you have suggestions, please send names and emails to the address above.

Note to CDSS Affiliates: We continue to offer Matching Scholarships -- one-on-one matches from CDSS and our groups. Please choose an up-and-coming leader, musician, caller, dancer, or organizer and support them to come to camp. They’ll bring lots of new energy and skills back to your community! Refer to this link for application.

Advocating for OUR Arts

davidandrobin smDavid and Robin at Arts Advocacy DayCDSS believes that the traditional dance, music, and song that have brought joy and community to your life and the lives of so many others over the years have a unique power to make the world a better place. Dancing, singing, and playing music together builds the kind of human connections our world needs, and we need to do what we can to help more people discover what our larger community has to offer. That’s why we believe so strongly in advocating for the participatory arts on a national level.

There are very practical reasons for CDSS to advocate for participatory arts on a national level. In the US, for example, NEA funding gets distributed among the states, and each state then grants those funds out to arts organizations and individual artists. CDSS is a recipient of one such state grant, as are many musicians and organizers in our broader community.

One important way we advocate is to reach out to the policy makers who decide funding for the arts. A great example of this is how CDSS participates in ARTS ADVOCACY DAY here in the US. By joining forces with other arts advocates and lobbying our US Senators and Congressmen this past March, our Director of Development Robin Hayden and board member David Shewmaker had a deeply powerful experience and the payoff was almost immediate! Just ten days after Arts Advocacy Day, Congress approved the 2018 budget with full funding of the NEA, the NEH, and other cultural institutions that provide the basis of public support for arts and culture across the US. Furthermore, the 2019 Congressional budget recently proposed by the bipartisan US House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee includes increased funding for the NEA and NEH, at $155M—the increase asked for—not elimination of the programs, as proposed in the Administration’s budget package.

You can help by making your voice heard, too! Click this link for an easy, customizable form to ask your US Senators to match the House support of a minimum of $155 million for the NEA in FY 2019:

Thank you for helping CDSS advocate for the participatory arts!

CDSS Staff at Camp This Summer

sarah ogontz 2Many CDSS staff members will be attending our camp programs this summer. This is our opportunity to meet our community members from far and wide to discuss topics of interest and get vital feedback that will help us serve your needs better.

Executive Director Katy German will be at Dance, Music, & Spice Week at Cavell, Ogontz Family Week, and Pinewoods (Family Week and Harmony of Song & Dance).

Robin Hayden (Director of Development) will be finishing her 3-year run as Program Director for English Week at Pinewoods. She is grateful to have had this opportunity to engage creatively and playfully with so many of the members and donors she engages with in her day-to-day work!

Community Resource Manager Linda Henry will be at Dance, Music, & Spice at Cavell. She looks forward to experiencing the Cavell program and setting firsthand and connecting with campers and staff. She also hopes to meet with dance organizers to “talk shop” and share resources that CDSS has to offer.

Sarah Pilzer (Operations Manager) will be at Ogontz Family Week and Harmony of Song & Dance at Pinewoods.

Ben Williams (Store Manager) will be at Harmony of Song & Dance.

And of course Steve Howe (Director of Camp Programs) will be at Pinewoods all summer!

If you’re coming to one of these camp weeks, please seek us out and tell us about ways we can better support YOUR music, dance, or song community!

Summer 2018 CDSS News

CDSS News Summer 2018 Cover smPhoto: Doug Plummer

The Summer CDSS News is in the mail to our Members and portions are online. It's one of the biggest issues ever - 40 pages packed full of information of interest to dancers, singers, callers, and organizers. It includes a News from Canada column about a new dance in Calgary, Alberta (Leslie Gotfrit); an article announcing our Legacy of Joy Society; the debut of our new community dance column, All Join Hands (Marian Rose); an article about creating good instructional dance videos (Don Bell); an article about advocating for the participatory arts; a report about the recent CDSS Annual Meeting; a CDSS Sings column about On the Banks of Coldbrook (Tony Barrand); a waltz, an english dance, and two contra tunes; and more. Dive in and enjoy!

Would you like a paper copy of the News? Join us as a Member!

Join CDSS. Join us on Facebook. Share with a Friend.
Happy Summer (finally!) to All Near or Far

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