The portal contains a vast range of resources by and for the dance, music, and song community. From expert tips from fellow organizers and callers, to databases of dances and songs, find what you need to help engage with the traditions you love!

Resources added before 2022 do not all have explicit permission from the authors. If your resource is in the portal and you’d like it removed, please email us.

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Tip: Selecting multiple checkboxes will give you more specific results. For example, to see specific resources for contra dance callers, select both Callers and Contra Dance.

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18 Results

Lesson Plans for Educators

The CDSS Educators Task Group presents lesson plans on a variety of topics in traditional music and dance.

Categories: Community/Family Dance, Educators, Resources, Youth

Topics: Equity, History

New England Dancing Masters Teaching Blog

A blog for teachers wanting to teach traditional dance, including videos of dances suitable for classrooms.

Categories: Community/Family Dance, Educators

CDSS Community Culture & Safety Toolkit

The CDSS Community Culture and Safety Task Group (CCSTG) aims to support local communities in their efforts to provide a safe environment for music, song, and dance events. We are working to provide advice and resources that will help organizers develop the policies, procedures, and supporting documents needed to understand and facilitate safety in their communities.

CDSS is not prescriptive in regard to what your community ‘should be doing.’ We recognize and value the range of living traditions practiced by our communities.

As such, we are working to develop a toolkit of resources.

Read More

Categories: Callers, Educators, Musicians, Organizers

Topics: Community Safety

Dinah, Put Down Your Horn: Blackface Minstrel Songs Don’t Belong in Music Class

In this article, the author puts forward the need to remove racist songs from school music programs and discusses a number of songs with racist messaging.

From Dr. Katya Ermolaeva

Categories: Educators

Topics: Equity

Starring Your Recorder

Starring Your Recorder is a free educational video series from GEMS NY. The recorder has been an important instrument worldwide for hundreds of years. It has often been played along with other beautiful instruments that are still played today. With these six videos, students can experience playing easy tunes on recorder accompanied by a Renaissance band.

From Gotham Early Music Scene, Inc.

Categories: Educators, Musicians

Topics: Early Music

Dance It Yourself

The CDSS multigenerational dance video series, is our response to dancing at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Categories: Community/Family Dance, Educators, Families

American Folk Dancing with Evo Bluestein

This is a 10 minute video snapshot of an American Folk Dance Residency by Evo Bluestein. With a large repertoire of traditional dances and songs as his tools, Evo introduces a fun social and cultural experience and at the same time, teaches courtesy and important social rules of behavior. Evo introduces students to fiddle, accordion, Appalachian dulcimer and many other instruments. It is no small feat that he can demonstrate the steps, call the dance and play old time fiddle at the same time. The week, culminates in a rousing Friday night “barn dance.” 

Categories: Educators

Square Dancing with 3rd Graders

This is a 17-minute documentary (2013) about a project in Berkeley that involves musician and caller Erik Hoffman. The work builds on folk dance instruction by 3rd grade teacher Susan Graubard Archuletta. Mention is made of the 4 C’s: courtesy, cooperation, concentration, and community. You’ll see shots of Zodiac, Texas Star, the Virginia Reel, and even a bit of Sellinger’s Round. Nicely edited mix of the adults talking to the camera along with plenty of shots of a very diverse group of kids dancing and having lots of fun.

From Crabtron

Categories: Educators

Country Dancing as a College Course

Brooke Friendly describes her experience leading an English and Scottish country dance college course, including getting the course approved, evaluating students, and more. Includes example course proposal and syllabus. 

From the CDSS News

Categories: Educators, English Country Dance

Dance for College Credit!

Hilton Baxter describes his experience leading a college dance course including getting it approved, the goals of the course, and much more.

From the CDSS News

Categories: Educators

Dancing In Schools

Wondering how to bring the next generation to dance and song? Read these collected reprints from the CDSS News recounting readers’ experiences, success stories and practical advice for teaching traditional country and ritual dance in school settings.

This resource is free for CDSS members and is available for purchase through the CDSS Online Store.

Categories: Educators

Family and Community Dances

Lots of useful information on creating, programming, and organizing a family dance from contributors Dudley Laufman, Andy Davis, Bob Dalsemer, Marian Rose, and Joan Shimer. Includes an extensive resource list.

This resource is free for CDSS members and is available for purchase through the CDSS Online Store.

Categories: Community/Family Dance, Educators

Decolonizing the Music Room

This website provides research for music educators on unsung narratives in U.S. folk music, resources, and tools for decolonizing practices.

Categories: Educators

Topics: Equity

Dinah, Put Down Your Horn: Blackface Minstrel Songs Don’t Belong in Music Class

In this article, Dr Katya Erolaeva makes the case to remove racist songs from school music programs and discusses a number of songs with racist messaging.

From Medium

Categories: Educators

Topics: Equity

Adapting for Young Children

Marian Rose provides some fantastic calling tips as well as suggestions for dances to do when accommodating young children as part of your dancing community

From the CDSS News

Categories: Callers, Community/Family Dance, Educators

Crankies in the Music Classroom

This article outlines how Eleanor Lincoln learned about crankies and started using them in her elementary classroom.  It also includes tips to support other teachers in doing so!

From the CDSS News

Categories: Educators

Introduction to Pronouns

Miriam Newman explains the movement towards asking people about their pronouns.

From the CDSS News

Categories: Callers, Dancers, Educators, Musicians, Organizers, Singers

Topics: Equity

Amidon Choral Music

Peter and Mary Alice offer more than 30 (and adding more all the time) free downloads of sheet music of accessible choral arrangements, mostly a cappella SATB, that are steeped in traditional music. Most are Amidon arrangements; there are a few by other old and new composers and arrangers, including a selection of classic American shape note songs.

From Peter and Mary Alice Amidon 

Categories: Educators, Singers

Topics: Repertoire