CDSS ENews Header
Song Video from Camp
Late Breaking News
Coming This Fall
Help CDSS Fly
Party On - 2013 Lifetime Contribution Award Update
2014 Award Recommendations Sought
The Tour - CDSS Camp on the Road
New Publication
Collecting CDSS Impact Stories
Quarterly Grants Update
Upcoming in the CDSS News
2014 Camp Dates
Thank You for Your Support
Membership Map Update
Recent CDSS Blog Posts
Shop at the CDSS Store
Stay in Touch Online
Song Video from Adult & Family Week at Timber Ridge

Watch and hear one of the great songs sung at CDSS's Adult & Family Week at Timber Ridge last month (video by Joel Bluestein). 

Late Breaking News - MCC Grant Confirmed


A big thank you to the Massachusetts Cultural Council who just confirmed a grant to CDSS for fiscal year 2014.


Coming This Fall

We're refreshing and reorganizing our website this fall - yippee! Easier navigation! We'll let you know when the changes are live.

Help CDSS Fly!

airplane Collaborating and fundraising for our Centennial festivities in 2015 will have us traveling to communities across the US and Canada-by air, in cars and on trains! Do you have airline miles you could donate to help us with travel? For 2014, we're looking for six individuals to donate miles. Contact Robin Hayden for details,

Party On - 2013 Lifetime Contribution Award Update
Glen and Judi Morningstar
Glen and Judi Morningstar

The presentation of this year's Lifetime Contribution Award, to Glen and Judi Morningstar, will be on Saturday, November 16, in Lansing, Michigan; details here. Come help celebrate this talented couple's accomplishments - or read the interview in our newsletter (being posted in early September).


2014 Award Recommendations Sought

Do you know someone who has made a longterm and exceptional contribution to the mission of CDSS? Has this contribution benefited more than one geographical area or generation? Has he or she worked in conjunction with CDSS for more than twenty years? If the answer is "yes" to all of these, then you may know a future recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award.

Examples of a significant contribution include: increasing the quality of what we do by inspiration, instruction or excellent example; bringing what we do to new communities; expanding the repertoire of dance, music and/or song through scholarship or original composition; working behind the scenes or enabling others to make these contributions.

PLEASE NOTE: Nominations for 2014 must be received by November 25, 2013. (This is earlier than in the past.) Send your recommendations to the Awards Committee or to the committee's chair, Mary Devlin. If you prefer snailmail, send information to Mary at 2230 SW Sunset Drive, Portland, OR 97239.

Your recommendation must include the name, address, phone number and email address of the person you are recommending as well as your own name and full contact information. Recommendations must be for living persons. Be sure to include one page highlighting why the person you are recommending deserves the award.

The Awards Committee will review recommendations in early December and submit a short list of nominees to the CDSS Governing Board for its decision.
The Tour - CDSS Camp on the Road


Yay! CDSS is going to be 100 years old in 16 months. Okay, technically, 19-1/2 months-the actual day is in late March 2015 - but still, 100! One of the events will be a Tour, what Tour Manager Nils Fredland calls "CDSS camp-on-the-road," and it may be coming to a community near you.

"Our weeklong residential camps," Nils said in a recent email to groups, "provide opportunities to learn in focused classes and workshops, while offering dancing, playing, singing and socializing during large gatherings. CDSS has been running camp programs for over eighty of our almost a hundred years...and is ready to take them on the road.

"We are planning to visit four to six communities as Tour Stops. We will be selecting expert teachers, who also are excellent performers, for stays of up to ten days in these communities. In doing so, we'll bring the experience from our camps right to your door. The mission of our camps is to educate, serve and celebrate. The mission of the Tour is the same: highly-skilled teachers will come to your community, lead workshops and master classes with local participants, performers, leaders and organizers. CDSS will partner with you to ensure that we meet your needs and will provide financial backing for large public dance, song and music events.

"Our ultimate goal is to boost enthusiasm for traditional dance, music and song in your community, to increase the skills and confidence of your local performers, and offer you concrete ways to bring sustained energy to your local events. We want to leave you feeling inspired and supported, and will follow up with you to make sure the lasting effects of the Centennial Tour are positive and sustainable."

If your community is interested in being a Tour Stop, read
What to Expect and and fill out an application or contact Nils Fredland, Application deadline is September 30, 2013.


New Publication - By Choice: Dances for Volume 8, edited by Helene Cornelius and Francis Attanasio


By Choice booklet is the latest book in the CDSS and CDS Boston Centre English country dance collaboration. It includes instructions and notes for twelve dances to accompany the Bare Necessities recording of the same name. By Choice is something of a complement to the previous Volume 7, By Request, which was a selection of dances chosen by the dance community; Volume 8 is a selection of favorite tunes chosen by the band itself. "To provide a volume of dances to accompany such lovely music is a treat," says CDSS's Pat MacPherson.

Of the dances in the book, nine are duple minor, all in proper formation. The remaining dances are a three couple longways, a two couples facing, and a four couple dance. The dances range in date of composition from 1651 to 2001. While the majority are from the 17th and 18th centuries, new dances are making their way into the repertoire, as seen here. Also of note is that many of the older dances have "modern" interpretations, which is a great illustration of the vibrancy and energy of a dance style that on the surface might be thought dated. Dances include: Angels Unawares, The Beggar Boy, The Bonny Grey-Ey'd Morn, Cockle Shells, Easter Tuesday, The Haymakers, Muriel's Measure, The Night Cap, The Princess, Rufty Tufty, Softly Good Tummas and The Turning of the Year. Order By Choice now! See all the books and recordings in the series.


Collecting CDSS Impact Stories

A questionnaire was recently sent to the 130 people who have been offered CDSS Outreach Funding from 2008 (the inception of our current grants program) through 2011. This message launched a project to collect as many stories as possible about the ways CDSS support has benefited traditional music, dance and/or song communities throughout the US and Canada. (Grant recipients from 2012-13 will be contacted after enough time has passed to see the longterm impact of our support.) Glimpses of these personal experiences can spark others to create projects and events to enliven their communities. They can also help past, present and future donors see the myriad ways their contributions have made and will make a difference. If you received this questionnaire and haven't yet responded, it's not too late! Please contact Linda Henry with any questions as soon as possible.

Quarterly Grants Update
Family Dance at the
92nd Street Y, NYC
(photo by Richard Lurie/Kitsune Media)

In June 2013, CDSS Outreach support totaling $3,175 was offered to these projects and events:
  • Scholarship for Cumberland Dance Week - partial scholarship to help budding caller attend contra callers' workshop at Cumberland Dance Week (KY)
  • English Country Dance series - new series of eight monthly English country dances for Columbia region (MO)  
  • Supporting Classroom Teachers to Dance with their Students - pilot project to develop training materials for K-5 classroom teachers who want to introduce their students to traditional dance (ME)                         
  • Dare To Be Square West - square dance weekend including workshops (dancing, music, calling) to promote and preserve traditional square dancing (CA)    
  • Cape Ann Contra Dance - series of new intergenerational contra dance events (MA)                 
  • Travel assistance for Appalachian clogging team-support for college team from NC to perform at 49th International Folklore Festival in Billingham, England                     
  • Dancing with Style - workshop for Vancouver ECD community, including mentorship for new musician (BC)                     
  • Preparing for the Next Level - workshop to help contra callers learn what they need to plan and call a successful evening of dancing (PA)                    
  • Winter Dreams English Country Ball - four-hour ball to bring together dancers from ECD communities throughout southern California (CA)
If you have ideas about ways to support your music, dance and/or song community, CDSS can help. Contact Linda Henry or visit Outreach Funds and Application Guidelines to apply for funding. Upcoming deadlines are October 1, 2013 and February 1, 2014.

Strengthen our Outreach Fund - Donate.


Upcoming in the CDSS News
CDSS Fall News
The paper edition of the newsletter (Fall 2013 issue) will be arriving in members' mailboxes shortly; the PDF online version will be posted in early 
September. Included are articles about 2013 CDSS Lifetime Contribution Awardees Glen and Judi Morningstar; putting on techno contras, by Will Loving; Catapult Contra Showcase, by Luke Donforth; a Vermont contra callers collective, by Mary Wesley; more from Anna Rain on taking care of your knees through yoga; Natty Smith introduces the song "See, See, the Cape's in View"; plus there's a contra dance (Fooling the Flirt, by Rob Harper), feedback on a couple of previous articles, and letters and announcements. Online obituaries will include ones for Wayne Batcheler (NY), Bernard Chalk (UK) and Philip Zimmerman (MA).

Next deadline for articles, letters, etc. is November 1. To place an ad in the paper version, see the guidelines on our website.

  Summer's Over, Summer's Coming - 2014 Camp Dates

A dance during CDSS Harmony Week
A dance during 2013 Harmony Week (photo by Marty Stock)

It's fall, summer camp is over for now (it was terrific!), and we're planning for 2014. Here are the dates for our programs for next summer; program directors and special courses will be announced in the Winter issue and on our website by the end of this year; registration begins January 1.

Early Music Week, June 26-July 3
Family Week, July 19-26
Harmony of Song & Dance, July 26-August 2
English Dance Week, August 2-9
American Dance & Music Week, August 9-16
Campers' Week, August 16-23
English & American Dance Week, August 23-30

Family Week, August 2-9 (dance to be confirmed)

Adult & Family Week, August 10-August 17   

Thank You for Your Support

Thank you for your generosity and support of CDSS! Here are some of the wonderful things you supported with your membership and gifts in the past 5 years:


  • 175+ grants totaling $90,000 to support events and projects across the continent
  • continuing fiscal sponsorship of projects like Dancing Well: The Soldier Project
  • over $42,600 in camp scholarships in 2013, supporting CDSS's commitment to making our programs accessible to all
  • support for the first Youth Traditional Song Weekend
  • new publications, including New River Train and booklets to accompany Shindig in the Barn and By Choice (see above); and Ken Sheffield's works now online in our e-library
  • preliminary centennial project work
  • improved liability insurance for Group Affiliates, offering better coverage and less exposure at lower cost
  • continuing support of callers' insurance for members
  • wider selection of material in the CDSS Store
  • associate membership in Fractured Atlas for CDSS members
  • social media fun like sharing and connecting on May 1st with May Day photos from around the country on Facebook and our blog
Please consider adding a gift when you renew your membership this month. The stronger our roots, the more we can do to support traditional dance, music and song. Your generosity sustains us!

Membership Map Update
A few months back, Robin Hayden, CDSS's Director of Development, shared a membership distribution map using raw numbers in each state and province. Several of you wrote to her saying, "This is interesting, but it would be a lot more informative if you showed members per capita." Eric Mueller-Harder went so far as to look up the population data for her and Alex Krogh-Grabbe generously created these maps, for comparison:

Distribution of CDSS Members

CDSS Members per Million People

Any surprises? "Well, Alaska, for one," says Robin. "Way to represent, Last Frontier folks! A shout out to New Mexico as well. Going by pure numbers, California and Pennsylvania were right up there with the New England states, but by population - as some predicted - more in the middle of the pack.

"Overall, I'm just thrilled to see the broad distribution of members across the US and Canada. As CDSS continues to grow as a national organization supporting all communities, it's important that we have a presence wherever dance, music, and song are thriving or struggling to emerge. While ongoing series and events are well run by community volunteers like YOU at the local level, across North America, your national organization is uniquely positioned to see the big picture, gather and present comprehensive information in a centralized forum, provide resources, support, and services where they are most needed, and advocate for the vitality and sustainability of these activities far in the future. So a big thanks to everyone for your generous support through membership!"


Added Recently to the CDSS Blog


Recent blog posts include:  Walking Into My Past, by Lily Kruskal Leahy; BVD Tour stories, by Val Medve and Barb Seppeler; Singing and Dancing in Macedonia, by David Millstone; Rootbound, by Natty Smith; Montreal Monsters- Making the Pretty Boy Video, by Sean McCutcheon; Preserving the Life's Work of Keith Blackmon, Part 1 (by Nils Fredland) and Part 2 (by Pat MacPherson); Using Technology for Board Work, by Brian Gallagher; Celebrating the Spirit and Legacy of Nat Hewitt, by Chrissy Fowler; and Mondays in Nelson, by Mary Wesley.


Shop At the CDSS Store

Get a jump on the holiday season - we have oodles of books, recordings, DVDs, t-shirts, bags, water bottles and more at our store. Drop by during business hours (Monday-Friday, 9-5) or shop online for excellent gifts for your friends or yourself.

Stay in Touch Online

Upcoming Events - lots of special events throughout the country.

Facebook - news about the organization, other organizations, whatever comes into our heads.

E-news - This one, and previous issues, are online.

Email or Members Directory - Joining our email list (for all) or online Members Directory (members only) is simple. You can log in here - look for "Log in" in the upper right corner of each page of the website.



Be part of the map (see above)! CDSS membership makes a great gift for students, young families, new dancers, the musicians or organizers in your community...or yourself. Support a great organization! 


Contributors to this issue include: Caroline Batson, Mary Devlin,
Nils Fredland, Robin Hayden, Linda Henry, Steve Howe, Lynn Nichols,
and Pat MacPherson.