Check back soon for upcoming workshops!

Past programs:

  • Positional Calling for Contra with Louise Siddons Positional Calling for Contra Callers

    Taught by Louise Siddons

    This discussion- and activity-based course built on the ideas presented in Louise’s booklet, Dancing the Whole Dance: Positional Calling for Contra.

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  • Daily Antidote of Song Building Diverse Community: Celebrating 2 Years of Daily Antidote of Song Common Time 𝄇

    This month’s Common Time celebrates two years of the Daily Antidote of Song, sponsored and produced by Carpe Diem Arts.

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  • Noah VanNorstrand and Julie Vallimont Contra Pulse: Laying Down the Rhythm: A Conversation with Contra Piano Greats Common Time 𝄇

    Join Julie Vallimont, host of Contra Pulse, as she talks shop with other contra piano greats Ann Percival, Amy Englesberg, and Bruce Rosen about their craft, technique, history, ideas, approach, and more.

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  • Four leaders of the Gender-Free Calling workshop The Caller’s Toolbox: Gender-free Calling for Contra Callers Common Time 𝄇

    If you’re a contra dance caller, maybe you’ve dabbled in Larks & Robins, but have you tried positional calling? If you’re used to using gendered calls, but want to meet the needs of your changing community or other dances where you hope to get gigs, have you experimented with other role terms?

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  • David Millstone Square Dance History Series

    Led by David Millstone

    Experience the rich history and regional variety of square dancing in this in-depth, three part series.

    With photographs, audio, and video, we’ll travel:

    • from 17th century France to Civil War ballrooms
    • from New England Grange halls to Texas cowboy balls
    • and from Newfoundland to New Mexico

    to explore and discuss how this dance form became a staple of American popular culture.

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  • Brooke Friendly leading a dance Global Terminology & Positional Calling

    “What a fabulous opportunity for group and one on one help from Brooke. Her experience with global terminology provided me with the courage and tools I need to implement it in a way that makes sense for my community.”

    a 3 week online course
    Taught by Brooke Friendly

    This course is geared toward ECD teachers with in-person calling experience. Contra callers, community and family dance leaders, and ECD callers with online calling experience only are welcome to apply.

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  • Phil Jamison with banjo Recognizing African American Contributions to Southern Appalachian Music and Dance with Phil Jamison Common Time 𝄇

    The music and dances of southern Appalachia have often been portrayed as culture that was brought to the U.S. from the British Isles. These traditions, in fact, have multicultural roots. They are a blend of earlier European, African, and Native American traditions, and they reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of America.

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  • Mary Devlin The Caller’s Toolbox: Mary Devlin on NLP Common Time 𝄇

    Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a psychological approach patterned on strategies used by successful individuals to assist people to reach personal goals. Language strategies and patterns of behavior are used to enhance clarity of teaching dancers, and used to avoid obstacles that you as a caller may have experienced during a dance.

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  • Noah VanNorstrand and Julie Vallimont Contra Pulse: Mentors and Inspirations Common Time 𝄇

    Julie Vallimont has been interviewing contra musicians for the Contra Pulse podcast over the past year – diving into their personal histories and exploring the growth and change of contra music and community over time.

    In this special event, Julie will be hosting a panel discussion with four of the contra dance greats—Becky Tracy, Pete Sutherland, Rodney Miller, and Kate Barnes—about who their mentors and inspirations were, and how they’re mentoring and inspiring the next generation of contra musicians.

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  • Dena Ross Jennings Cultural Equity at the Local Level with Dena Ross Jennings Common Time 𝄇

    CDSS is committed to our core value of Inclusivity. As an arts organization, CDSS understands inclusivity to mean striving to promote cultural equity. Cultural equity embodies the values, policies, and practices of providing equal access to the arts, including our shared dance, music, and song traditions, especially to people who historically have been underrepresented or denied access to those traditions.

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  • Dance It Yourself! Dance it Yourself: From the Living Room to the Classroom Common Time 𝄇

    As the pandemic began, the CDSS Education Task Group created the Dance it Yourself video series to keep kids and families dancing while remaining safe at home. These six videos feature traditional dance callers, musicians, and a wide variety of dance styles, all of which can be done solo or in a couple.

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  • Campers performing at Early Music Week Early Music Week Online

    “Fabulous music and dance in a magical setting.”

    Epics and Odysseys

    You are invited to join us for Early Music Week Online! We are delighted to share with you a variety of exciting events led by our wonderful faculty.

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  • Scott Higgs ECD Choreography

    “Great choreography is not a bunch of tricks strung together. Great choreography is unexpected and unique movement that stirs emotion.”

    Three consecutive 2-hour online classes

    Explore the art of dance writing with master caller and choreographer Scott Higgs.

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  • Saro Lynch-Thomason on YouTube Songs That Speak: Saro Lynch-Thomason and Jeremy Carter-Gordon Common Time 𝄇

    Join ballad singer and historian Saro Lynch-Thomason and Jeremy Carter-Gordon for a conversation about traditional song, social justice, sharing songs across race and culture, and trying to be relevant on TikTok! Saro is the creator of Songs that Speak, a YouTube documentary series about the history, conflicts and culture behind traditional songs. Jeremy Carter-Gordon of vocal harmony group Windborne will interview Saro about creating the series, the challenges and opportunities of using digital media to celebrate traditional songs, and finding ways to respectfully learn and share songs from diverse musical traditions.

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  • Musicians and dancers in the hall at Ogontz Virtual Kaleidoscope: Online Camp 2021

    “It’s a soul-nourishing reminder of the power of music and dance to connect people and bring joy.”

    Join us online for a week of great activities! In addition to CDSS-sponsored workshops and classes, we’re excited to be partnering with Carpe Diem Arts, Amherst Early Music, and Muddy Fork Farm & Bakery to bring you a series of virtual camp events.

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  • Lisa Greenleaf, Kalia Kliban, Ben Sachs-Hamilton, and Cis Hinkle Stepping Up to the Mic: Creating the Post-pandemic Dance Experience Common Time 𝄇

    As organizations are beginning to contemplate holding in-person activities, and as small dance parties are already happening, it’s time for callers to get ready. Join our panel of dance leaders, Lisa Greenleaf, Cis Hinkle, Kalia Kliban, and Ben Sachs-Hamilton, as they explore what dancers will need, want, and expect once in-person dancing resumes, how callers and organizers will need to work together to help re-build the community, and more.

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  • Kids and adults take part in a Maypole dance Celebrate May!

    ”Hail! Hail! The First of May-o!
    For it is the first summer’s day-o!
    Cast your cares and fears away,
    Drink to the old ’oss on the First of May!”

    Join us for a family-friendly hour of singing, dancing, and merriment!

    Celebrate May with CDSS! Join us as we welcome the season with singing, dancing and activities for the whole family at a gathering hosted by Chloe and Rick Mohr with Sarah Gowan, Bill Quern, and Bob Walser.

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  • Children performing a longsword dance Winter Family Gathering & Workshops

    “It’s a soul-nourishing reminder of the power of music and dance to connect people and bring joy.”

    Join us online for a multi-part family gathering filled with music, dance, and song. 

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