History of CDSS
The Country Dance and Song Society was founded in 1915 with the help of Englishman Cecil Sharp, a musician who traveled in his own country and in the southern United States collecting folk dances and songs. Four years earlier he had helped found the English Folk Dance Society in London, and we began as a branch of that organization.
In 1940, with a growing interest in the American versions of the English traditions, we changed our name to the Country Dance Society to honor both countries' traditions. Later, "and Song" was added. The Country Dance Society, Inc. was incorporated in New York State in 1940. That corporation was merged with a new Massachusetts corporation, Country Dance and Song Society, Inc., in 1991.
Early in 1915, Sharp had written home: "The people (in America are) really most enthusiastic." We still are. Today, we have over 3,200 individual and group members and, through them, serve several thousand more in the dance and music community at large.
Join us and celebrate a living tradition of English and Anglo-American folk dance and music.