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QUICK LINKS
March 2014
Dance and Sing Your Brains Out! (register for camp)
More Camp Info (staff, classes, scholarships)
Special Matching Scholarships (group affiliates)
Know Any Warming Up Songs?
Dance Writing Contest
March is Arts Learning Month
The Effects of Music
New on Our Website - Conferences
Outreach Grants Deadline
Bylaws Changes Update
Thank You and Welcome
Do Your Airline Miles Need a New Home?
Woo-hoo! What CDSS Was Able to Do With Your Support in 2013
Contra Dance Callers Survey Results
Group Corner - Protect Your Group (group insurance)
Director's Report: CDSS, A National Arts and Education Organization
CDSS News, Spring 2014
Recent CDSS Blogs
Shop at the CDSS Store
Stay in Touch Online
Join CDSS
Dance and Sing Your Brains Out!

Registration is open for our summer residential dance and music programs - 10 weeks total, 3 locations. Renew yourself with contras, squares, English country dance, morris and sword dance, early music, traditional music, and songs, songs, songs. There are weeks for adults (18 years old and up) and weeks for families. Register online, or contact us at 413-203-5467 x 2, or at camp@cdss.org.) Send our flyer to a friend. More info below.  

 

More Camp Info (staff, classes, scholarships)

"Hmmm," you're thinking. "Dance and music camps, huh?" Oh yeah. We have great staff, terrific classes, beautiful locations, and scholarship help if you need it. The fees include room, board and tuition. Register here.

Special Matching Scholarships (group affiliates)
Do you have up-and-coming leaders, musicians, callers or administrators in your community who would be enriched by attending one of our summer programs?  See our matching scholarship program.
Know Any Warming Up Songs?
Spring is coming this week - yippee! Of course, it could snow again next week, but never mind. If you know songs about warm weather, post them on our Facebook page or send them to mailto:news@cdss.org and we'll post them for you). Sing back the warm!

Dance Writing Contest
Writer, poet, musician and CDSS member Tyler Johnson, of Carrboro, North Carolina, is holding a dance contest for callers and choreographers. First prize will be a $100 donation, given to CDSS in the name of the person that writes the best dance for two tunes, "Bluets" and "A Carriage Works," from Tyler's new book, Tales from the Red Book of Tunes. The deadline is May 15, 2014. Listen to the tunes, read the rules, and enter the contest. Dance writers of all experience levels are encouraged to apply. (Tales from the Red Book of Tunes is a dance adventure book that takes you from "a contemporary contra dance back to the murky myths where the music began." CDSS will be carrying the book in our Store, just in time for your spring and summertime reading; more later.) Remember, the contest entry deadline is May 15.

March is Arts Learning Month
The New Hampshire Arts Learning Network
is a fantastic organization. Pat MacPherson, CDSS Director of Education Department, has been to two of their conferences, and came away with a renewed sense of purpose, having the chance to listen to and learn from arts educators. The NHALN is a collaborative of individuals, organizations and groups, with a common interest in arts education, working to support quality arts learning for all students in New Hampshire by sharing information, resources, and services. While their focus is in New Hampshire, the resources, tools, ideas and publications on their website are applicable to anyone who is interested in advocating for, and learning to bring, arts programming to students everywhere.

Advocate for arts learning in your community by inviting an elected official to your school or community to see arts in action! The most recent NHALN Newsletter included a toolkit on how to organize, and structure a visit from local elected officials, to experience arts in their local communities.

The Effects of Music
Here are two excellent videos about the effects of music on people with Alzheimer's and dementia. The first is an interview, containing excerpts from the documentary "Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory". The second video has some of the same material from the film, but it includes an interview with the neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks (scroll down about halfway for the Sacks interview). Both are well worth watching. Many thanks to David Millstone for the links.

  New on Our Website - Conferences

We've posted a new section on our website - an overview of leadership conferences that CDSS has cosponsored so far. We will be adding links to provide in-depth information, including session topics, archived notes, testimonials, photos, News articles and more. As you'll see, these events have had far-reaching and long-lasting effects, revitalizing music and dance communities from coast to coast. This new tab is also the place to go for updates about plans for the Southwest Regional Organizers Conference; if you'd like to be involved with this conference, please contact Linda Henry.

Outreach Grants Deadline
Upcoming deadlines are June 1 and October 1. Questions? Click here, or contact Linda Henry, Outreach Manager, or call 413-203-5467 x 105.

Bylaws Changes Update
The deadline for CDSS members to vote on bylaws changes coincides with this email. We'll announce the results on our website in early April, and in the next eblast.

Thank You and Welcome
The following officers and at large members will be leaving the CDSS Board this spring; we thank them for their hard work: David Chandler (secretary), Gaye Fifer, Brian Gallagher, Scott Higgs, Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg, and Pat Petersen. Coming onto the Board in April will be Brooke Friendly (Oregon) as secretary, and these at large members: Shawn Brenneman (Virginia), Martha Edwards (Missouri), Michael Hamilton (Ohio), Dorcas Hand (Texas), Alex Krogh-Grabbe (Massachusetts), Sharon McKinley (Maryland), and returning incumbent John Mayberry (Ontario). We look forward to welcoming them next month.

Do Your Airline Miles Need a New Home?
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. With budgets stretched to the limit, it would be a tremendous help. If you have accrued enough miles for a full ticket and are willing to purchase a ticket for CDSS staff travel, please contact Christine Dadmun, 413-203-5467 x 104. Thanks so much!

Woo-hoo! What CDSS Was Able to Do...
Ever wonder if we've put your membership dollars, camp fees and donations to a good use? Have a look! As always, we are grateful to our members and friends for the many ways you help our work. Each year we publicly thank those who contributed to last year's annual appeal, special funds, scholarships, matching gifts, etc. The donor list for 2013 is now on our website.

Contra Dance Callers Survey Results
The results of the recent callers survey can be seen on our website or you can access it through Mary Wesley's post on our blog. Our thanks to the members of the task group who spearheaded this project-Lynn Ackerson, Emily Addison, David Chandler, Martha Edwards, Lisa Greenleaf, Chris Page, Louise Siddons, and Mary Wesley-and to the nearly five hundred callers who responded.

Group Corner - Protect Your Group

So, your group is wondering about insurance for the dance." Why do we need insurance?" you may ask. There are actually quite a few good reasons for a group to be insured. First of all, the hall you are renting may require it. Secondly, it covers the group, and the members of the group, for liability if a claim should occur. Lastly, even if there is no liability proven, it can be quite costly to defend against a lawsuit. If the group is insured, the insurance company pays to defend.

"What kind of insurance do we need?" Most groups need a basic commercial general liability policy. You will want it to have at least $1.000,000 per occurrence and $3,000,000 aggregate coverage. Since most of us are volunteer organizations, you will want to make sure volunteers are not considered employees and therefore not covered. This is liability insurance only; it covers you if someone decides to sue your group for damages. It does not cover loss or theft of equipment, cancellations of events due to weather, or what-have-you. It also does not automatically pay out if someone twists their ankle. This is for when the damage is serious enough for you to get sued.

"Where can I get such a policy?" You can procure a policy like this through CDSS if you are a Group Affiliate, or through Fractured Atlas (which, by being a member of CDSS, you are also an associate member of), or through your local insurance carrier. Be sure to investigate  both yearly and by-the-event options to get the best deal for your needs.

We at CDSS are here to advise your group on insurance (and a variety of other topics too) in any way we can. Feel free to drop a line to Jeff Martell at sales@cdss.org, or give him a call, 413-203-5467 x 103, or see the information on our website.

Director's Report:
CDSS, A National Arts and Education Organization


On the cusp of our Centennial year, we are looking forward to the future. For nearly one hundred years we have been spreading joy and building community through dance, music and song. Our founding was as the American chapter of the English Folk Dance Society, where one could come learn how to play music, dance and sing in the English, and later Anglo-American, traditions. In later years, May Gadd, longtime director of CDSS, described headquarters as "organizing a number of activities and services as a bureau of information to any part of the country." She went on to talk about "providing resources to the field through instruction booklets, records and materials for callers, teachers, musicians and dancers."

By staying true to that mission, and changing with our communities' needs, we have sought to become more of that "bureau of information" in the twenty-first century, harnessing the best of our past to lay the groundwork for a vibrant future.

Ongoing series and events are well run by community volunteers at the local level across North America. We support that work with services and grants. In addition, as a national arts organization, we are able to concentrate on big picture needs and trends, such as serving as a centralized hub for resources, support and information services; connecting dance, music and song communities to one another and to CDSS; and advocating for the vitality and sustainability of traditional dance, music and song far into the future. As an education organization, we are able to continue providing skill building opportunities in dance, music and song at our summer camps and to support educational opportunities for dancers, callers, musicians, singers, organizers and teachers.

Our future priorities are the same as our Centennial priorities:
  • Raise the visibility of traditional dance, music and song
  • Reach and connect people in and outside our community who were not connected before
  • Affirm that our participatory arts can change lives
Onward to the Centennial - CDSS 2015! We look forward to celebrating together.

CDSS News, Spring 2014

 

The paper edition of the CDSS News (Spring 2014 issue) will be arriving in members' mailboxes shortly; the online PDF version is now posted. Individual articles include, in addition to Rima's director's report (see above): Community100 and CDSS's Centennial Tour; a book review by Brendan Taaffe on The Shenandoah Harmony; Madison's Tuesday Night Dances - Fostering Talent for More Than Twenty Years, by Carol Ormand; News from Canada - Dancing with Style, by Jo Young;  Traveling Execs (Iowa and Pennsylvania), by Gaye Fifer and David Smukler; Poems, Old and New, by Steven Howland, Harvey J. Gardner, and an excerpt of a Stephen Vincent Benét poem; Anna Rain's Yoga for Dancers column (this time about "Resting"); an English county dance, Laura's Third-Quarter Century, by Bob Stein, and a contra, Mad, Mad World by Martha Wild, both using the delightful "mad robin" figure; CDSS Sings - Black Jack Davey, or Ballads: Alive, Well, and Changing by guest columnist Sally Rogers. Web extras include video of people dancing Mad, Mad World version 1 and version 2, and Sally singing Black Jack Davey plus there are Letters and Announcements and morris-related goodies in the CDSS Store. Obituaries will be posted later this month. 

 

Next deadline for articles, letters, etc. is May 1; send to the Editor. To place an ad in the paper version, see the guidelines on our website.

 

Cover photo: CDSS's Adult & Family Week 2013, Timber Ridge Camp, High View, WV, by Nicholas Smith  

 

Recent CDSS Blogs
Good reads include several blogs by our January intern Zoë Madonna: Handing On the Tradition, Youth Traditional Song: The New Kid's Tale,
Exceedingly Good Night Song, Encouragement, plus Stewart Dean's remembrance of Pete Seeger, "Nobody remotely like him" and Rima Dael's Lifetime Importance of the Arts.
Shop At the CDSS Store

It's morris dance season and we have books, recordings and bells, bells, bells, plus other year 'round items including books, recordings, DVDs, t-shirts, bags, water bottles and more. Drop by during business hours (Monday-Friday, 9-5) or shop online.

 

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 - or look for "Log in" just under the top photo on our homepage.

 

Join CDSS

Support a great organization! CDSS membership makes a great gift for students, young families, new dancers, the musicians or organizers in your community...or yourself. Read more about membership in our beautiful brochure.


Contributors to this issue include: Caroline Batson, Christine Dadmun, Rima Dael, Robin Hayden, Linda Henry, Pat MacPherson, Jeff Martell, and Mary Wesley. Photos by Stewart Dean, Jeff Bary, Sargon de Jesus, Tyler Johnson, David Wiley, Nicholas Smith, Suzanne Mrozak, and courtesy Rima Dael.