CDSS ENews Header
June 2015
Connect Learn. Enjoy.
2015 Posthumous Lifetime Contribution Award
Board Nominations Deadline
Technology Update
CDSS Centennial
Teaching the Teachers
CDSS Education Report
New Camp Programs Coming in 2016
Folk Music Archives
In the CDSS News
Stay in Touch Online
Connect. Learn. Enjoy.

Timber Ridge 2014
(photo by Nicholas Smith)
It's not too late to sign up for camp this summer! See a flipbook of all our 2015 camp programs, or register for a week, or apply for a scholarship (first come, first serve), click here. Full information about class descriptions, staff bios, camp facilities, etc. is here. Connect! Learn! Enjoy! 
2015 Posthumous Lifetime Contribution Award

The late Warren Argo, a much-beloved Seattle old-time musician who worked with the Northwest Folklife Festival, Centrum's Festival of Fiddle Tunes, and the Seattle Folklore Society, will be honored this fall by the Country Dance and Song Society. He died in 2010 and will be the recipient of CDSS's first Posthumous Lifetime Contribution Award. The article below is adapted from a tribute written by fellow musician and Seattleite Mike Richardson shortly after Warren's death.  

Warren Argo

Warren Argo
(1942-2010) cast a long shadow over the Northwest and national folk scene for several decades. I've personally run into him staffing the Northwest Folklife Festival, Wannadance, the NW New Year's Camp, the Lady of the Lake Camp, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, the Alaska Folk Festival, and several of CDSS's Pinewoods camps. That's a lot of landscape that will seem a lot emptier without Warren around.  


Read more...   


Board Nominations Deadline Is June 30th

The CDSS Board will have several positions to be filled next year and would really appreciate your nomination suggestions. Think about yourself and the people you know in your community and beyond. We're always looking for great people who have the appropriate mix of skills, experience, time, energy, teamwork style and have a passion for traditional dance, music and song.  


We're always interested in people that have organizing and fundraising skills, accounting expertise or business acumen, or other board experience. For next year, we're looking for people with personnel experience, facilitation and adult learning/training skills. We're also always on the lookout for great people who would like to serve CDSS on committees and task groups as community members. In fact, the Nominating Committee is looking for a community member who would be willing to serve as chair next year!   


If you know someone who fits any of these criteria, please send your suggestions by June 30, to the CDSS Nominating Committee via email or by mail to 301-140 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON M5V 3N8.   


Remember, the change approved to the CDSS Bylaws in March 2014 allows for members of the Society to ensure that a specific person is included in the slate proposed by the Nominating Committee for the following year by submitting a nomination in writing, signed by ten members of CDSS sent in by June 30. However, keep in mind that this does not guarantee a nomination to the Board. Please refer to the CDSS Bylaws (Article 7).  


Technology Update
Thank you for your patience as we upgrade our technology to provide a better experience for you online. When the CDSS Store "broke" last year it caused a number of difficulties, both in-house and for our customers, and significantly set back our planning to integrate our different technology platforms addressing all of our public and behind-the-scene needs. We are now working with a new company to help steer us through the challenges. Although slower than we wish, there has been progress, and we'll keep you up-to-date as features come online.*

If you had an account on the previous Store site, it's still there, but you need to change your password for security reasons. Put your email address in the space under "Returning Customers" and then press the "Forgotten Password" link to reset your password. If you run into difficulty with your account, or you're having trouble ordering, joining/renewing, donating, or registering for camp, DON'T PANIC! Call us at 413-203-5467 (press 0, when prompted) and we'll cheerfully help you, Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm, Eastern Time. Or you may use the new Trouble Ticket system by sending an email to (This feature has been very helpful; thanks to those who've used it.)

If you have concerns to share, please email Rima Dael at

*We expect to bring back the online Members Directory this summer.


CDSS Centennial
The first two of our six Centennial Tour stops, Tucson, AZ and Owen Sound, ON, were wonderful; see the first batch of photos. More information about the Tour and its upcoming stops is on our Centennial site.

The CDSS Centennial is about connecting with the song and dance communities across the continent who are keeping our traditions alive. Our "volunteer captains" let us know what's happening and where we can help. Get to know them or become one yourself!


Amazon and CDSS Smile

Father's Day is Sunday, June 21. If you're shopping on Amazon for it, sign up for AmazonSmile and the big bad bookstore will donate to Country Dance and Song Society. No kidding. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to CDSS whenever you shop on AmazonSmile. (Be sure to specify Country Dance and Song Society, Inc. in Easthampton, MA.)

And/ can shop at the small wonderful CDSS Store, and buy Dad some great new CDs or tunebooks or songbooks or totebags. Either way, you buy some cool stuff and we add to our piggy bank. 


Teaching the Teachers
(photo by Pat MacPherson)
A committed group of teachers gathered on a May afternoon in Amherst, MA with CDSS staff for our first education workshop. The workshop, funded by donations to CDSS via the regional "Valley Gives" online philanthropy event, was offered free to all participants.

Nils Fredland, CDSS Education Associate, was the workshop leader. Fresh off a full week of leading school programs during the CDSS Centennial Tour stop in Owen Sound, ON, he offered sessions in repertoire, teaching advice and calling skills, and shared his tips for engaging and holding children's attention. CDSS staff members, Pat MacPherson and Linda Henry, played music during the workshop. They also recorded five tunes suitable for teaching dances and this CD was given to all workshop participants, along with copies of CDSS's publication "Dancing in Schools," plus a list of teaching resources in the CDSS store, and an additional CD from our store. Each teacher participant received a Certificate of Attendance, for professional development points in their school.

Feedback from the workshop was very positive, and debriefing with the attendees gave the CDSS Education Department great ideas for improvement, and better outreach. Thank you to the four local "dance angels" who also helped with workshop: Wayne Crouch, Cedar Stanistreet, Rowan Lupton, and Ben Williams.


CDSS Education Report
Today CDSS is a national arts and education service organization for dance, music and song communities and participants across North America. Our ongoing strategic planning work has benefited from community and membership surveys in 2005, 2008 and 2011 and led to the strategic direction adopted by the CDSS Board in November 2013. A shortened version of the new Education Department report, presented to the Board in April 2015, shows the results of recent programmatic planning which will inform our work in the future. In our Centennial year, it's important for us to share with you where we are going and how we are using our resources to help strengthen dance, music and song communities for the 21st century. Please read the report. Share it with others. It's posted on our Facebook page, where you can include comments there, or send them to The report also is a web extra with the Summer issue of the CDSS News.) Lots of opportunities to read it! 


New Camp Programs Coming in 2016
Camp Cavell  
(photo by Arlene Kindel)
CDSS is pleased to announce that our Governing Board approved the go forward plan to create a new CDSS summer camp at Camp Cavell, near Lexington, Michigan, on Lake Huron, beginning the summer of 2016. Carol Ormand will be the Program Director for the inaugural camp, called CDSS Dance, Music and Spice Week, to be held Sunday-Sunday, August 14-21, 2016. Camp capacity at Cavell is 160.

It will be a week-long English and American Music and Dance Week, including a full daily schedule of classes and workshops. CDSS has been partnering with a diverse planning committee, representing nine states and Canada, chaired by Debbie Jackson, as they create this welcoming camp full of new traditions, customs and plenty of spice! What is "spice"? It will be the offerings that are not music and dance focused-beach ecology, photography, herb gardening, painting, crafts, massage, gourmet desserts, astronomy, canoeing, kayaking, and horseback riding are just a few examples of the types of spice sessions that are being considered for the week.

For more information about the week, contact Debbie Jackson, Committee Chair, 248-255-2713; or Peter Baker, Camp Manager, 734-476-4650. "We are especially excited that campers who attend this first year will have a pivotal role in partnering with us to shape the traditions and personality of the camp," Peter says.

Additional information will be available this fall on our website.

The announcement of a joint Revels/CDSS summer camp at Ogontz (Lyman, NH) this year was met with enthusiasm by many families and members of our joint communities. At the same time we heard that a number of potential campers who were most interested would not be able to attend as they already were committed to other activities this year, so Revels Inc. and CDSS agreed that a more realistic goal for creating a Revels village at Ogontz would be the summer of 2016. More info will be on our website this fall. 


Folk Music Archives
Read CDSS Director of Education Pat MacPherson's blog about the recent conference she attended. It may get you thinking about folk music festival archives and sound preservation!

In the CDSS News

CDSS News Summer 2015 The Summer 2015 is now posted online; the printed version for members will arrive by snail mail in a couple of weeks. The cover photo is by Theresa Martin of Lawrence Barn Dance Association. Articles include the Centennial Tour - Morgantown, WV and Lawrence, KS; News from Canada: An Imposter at Puttin' on the Dance 2, by Siri Paulson; Yoga for Dancers - Abdominal Integrity, Part the First, by Anna Rain; Dance Musicians Resources, by Max Newman, Jill Allen and Susie Lorand; People Support What They Helped Create by Susan Peterson; 2015 Posthumous Award-Warren Argo; CDSS Sings - Jack Went A-Sailing, by Jeff Davis; our two Centennial dances and song: Centennial Reel, by Rick Mohr; Double Jubilee, by Gary Roodman, with tune by Dave Wiesler; Spread the Joy, by Jonathan Jensen, and more. Web extras for this issue include: Jeff Davis singing "Jack Went A-Sailing"; Dave Wiesler playing "Double Jubilee"; Jonathan Jensen and friends singing "Spread the Joy" (song and a video slideshow of the song); and an article about the recent CDSS Governing Board meeting by Lynn Ackerson (article), with photos by Doug Plummer. 


Stay in Touch Online

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


Join CDSS Today!

Whether you are a traditional contra, techno contra, square or English dancer; practice morris, rapper, longsword or garland traditions; perform traditional or early music and song - you belong in the CDSS network! Your membership ensures that CDSS can continue to support, advocate, educate, connect and sustain the dance and music traditions that we cherish for ourselves and for our families for the next hundred years. Read more about membership or sign up today! And don't forget about the special Passport to Joy! 

Contributors to this issue include: Peter Baker, Caroline Batson, Bev Bernbaum, Christine Dadmun, Rima Dael, Nils Fredland, Debbie Jackson, Pat MacPherson, and Lynn Nichols. Photos by Nicholas Smith, Thelma Leuba, Pat MacPherson, Arlene Kindel, Theresa Martin; CDSS Centennial logo by Ethan Hazzard-Watkins.