Do you envision a future where the traditions you love flourish and endure? Join others who have promised to help dance, music, and song communities thrive across North America!

Join the Legacy of Joy Society

It’s simple to join the Legacy of Joy Society:

  • Include CDSS in your estate plans.
  • Notify CDSS that you’ve done so and express your willingness to share your story.

Becoming a member of the Legacy of Joy Society is a great way to make your core values known to others while ensuring the sustainability of our organization. Generations to come will benefit from your gift, and your lasting support of our mission will serve as an inspiration to others.

Learn More About Planned Giving

Find frequently asked questions about planned giving here.

Still have questions? We’re here to help! Email

Quick info about CDSS for your will or beneficiary forms:

Legal Name: Country Dance and Song Society, Inc
Address: 116 Pleasant St., Suite 334, Easthampton, MA 01067
501(c)(3) Tax ID: 04-3031125

Meet Our Society Members

  • Doug Young & Pat Petersen Doug Young & Pat Petersen

    We met either dancing or playing music—neither of us can remember, as we were both “otherwise engaged”—but those two threads drew us ever closer, and continue to knit our lives together. Our courtship continued after Doug moved a few hours away—he would drive down to the Friday contradance and whisk me onto the floor.

    The strands in those threads multiplied—waltz, contra, English, square; early music and recorder, old-time music with banjos and guitars, and oh so many songs (Pat is sure that when she is on her deathbed Doug will sing for her yet another song that she’s never heard him sing before).

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  • James Edward "Sunshine Jim" Hudock James Edward “Sunshine Jim” Hudock

    We are grateful to have received a major legacy gift from the James Edward Hudock Trust.

    James Edward Hudock, known to his friends as “Sunshine Jim,” was a beloved member of the Melbourne (FL) English Country Dance and the Cocoa Beach Contra Dance communities, enjoying the friendships that developed there and becoming an informal board member. From time to time, he was suspected of being the “Dance Angel” who would make quiet cash donations to keep the slow times solvent. Even when health challenges began to make dancing difficult for him, his presence at dances lifted spirits.

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  • Dorcas Hand Dorcas Hand

    An avid contra and morris dancer since the ‘70s, and later a caller and co-founder of Houston Area Traditional Dance and Song, I took a few years off from dance leadership while my boys were small. I returned to dancing and calling again in 2000, and there was CDSS, ready with books to buy, read, and incorporate into my calling! When my friend Joseph Pimentel asked me if I would be willing to serve on the CDSS Board, I was surprised but curious. I had the impression that CDSS was a northeast-centric organization, but Joseph suggested that the more that people like me from communities beyond the northeast served on the Board, the broader CDSS’s reach and perspective would become.

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  • Peg Duthie Peg Duthie

    ECD captivates me because it speaks to both my head and heart—its blend of patterns, precision, and haunting, heart-rending melodies are immensely satisfying to practice, study, and improvise on. It’s led to both sublime moments of connection on the dance floor and extraordinary friendships beyond it.

    As someone whose parents both died before the age of 65 and someone who has witnessed problematic outcomes thanks to nonexistent wills, outdated beneficiary designations, and the like, I am a fervent believer in estate planning and maintenance. (Knowing that wills are supposed to be revisited and revised periodically got me past the mental barrier of trying to make the document perfect for Future Me.)

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  • Luanne Stiles & John Lam Luanne Stiles & John Lam

    Adding CDSS to our estate plans this year was a natural step in setting up our legacy, because we trust CDSS to carry forward the things that matter most to us far into the future.

    When we began dancing in our home communities in Massachusetts, we were focused on our own challenges of becoming competent dancers and thoroughly appreciated the patience and skill of our local leaders. Thanks to Helene Cornelius in the ‘70s and Robin Hayden in the 2000s! We focused on our local groups and were not very aware of CDSS.

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  • Rick Szumski Rick Szumski

    I have included CDSS in my estate planning because traditional music and dance has contributed so much to me, and I want it to continue into the future. I trust CDSS to use my contribution wisely to promote the traditional music and dance forms that I enjoy so much.

    This is just one of the ways I give back to the dance community. Giving back has never been a burden or chore; I contribute simply because it feels right.

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