Dance and Music Camps
English & American Traditional, Participatory, Dance, Music and Song
2016 Program Weeks
Most of the dates for 2016 are now official! Additional courses and detailed descriptions will be added as they become available; camp registration begins by January 1. We look forward to seeing you at camp in 2016!
Summer Dance & Music Camps
Photo: Nicholas Smith
Each summer, the Country Dance and Song Society runs several residential weeks for adults and families where we get to experience traditional English and North American dance and music in beautiful outdoor settings. Each weeklong program, while including some of each, has a unique focus and offers its own mix of dance, music, song and special workshops. There are daily classes, a dance party each evening (sometimes with a concert), followed by late-night activities, plus there is swimming, canoeing, and relaxing with old friends and new. Not to mention the scrumptious meals, fresh air, and break from our daily hectic lives. Programs are held near Plymouth, MA (Pinewoods); High View, WV (Timber Ridge); and Lyman, NH (Ogontz). New in 2016 is Dance, Music and Spice Week at Camp Cavell in Lexington, MI.
As returning campers will see, there is not a week named English & American Dance Week in 2015. There will be some adjustments to the other programs to include and promote the breadth of CDSS programming. Harmony of Song & Dance will have an additional dance class offering in the afternoon, making it possible to dance each class period, English Dance Week will include a daily contra and/or square class and American Dance & Music Week will include a daily English dance offering. All of our Family programs will have their usual mix of genres; adults with or without children are welcome. A new week, co-programmed by CDSS, Revels, Inc. and Revels North, will be held at Ogontz in 2015. We will add details on each program as they become available.
Each week's program has a unique focus and each offers a different mix of daily dance and music classes, singing and special workshops, with plenty of rest/play time. Once a day the whole camp gathers for games, singing or presentations. After dinner each evening there is a dance party, often with a concert, followed by late-night activities.
The minimum age for attendance at our adult weeks is 15. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over age 23. We can sometimes also accept a limited number of infants and children; please call for details. Adults without children are also welcome at Campers' and Family Weeks.
Our family programs provide many opportunities to share traditional English and Anglo-American dance, music and storytelling as well as the beauty of the outdoors with children. This is a great way to spend time with your children, your grandchildren, your nieces and nephews, or other children dear to you.
At the Family Weeks, each age grouping has a maximum number of spaces available. Adults without children are also welcome. Our Family and Campers' Weeks offer new material and many insights for teachers, librarians, and others working with children who wish to incorporate traditional music and dance material into their curriculum.
Recent articles in Making Music Magazine and South Shore Living have highlighted our Family camps.
I was at CDSS Family Week at Pinewoods this summer -
FABULOUS. During a conversation about how wonderful it was to watch all the
kids embrace the week, the woman with whom I was speaking leaned closer to me.
In a very serious, eyebrows-raised, I'm-about-to tell-you-the-secret-of-life
kind of way she said, "You know, deciding to bring my kids to dance camp
every year was the best decision I ever made as a parent." She meant it
with every fiber of her being. And I instantly knew she was right. My kids are
fairly young and most of the time I feel like I'm just winging it, but I knew
at that moment that whatever else I get wrong, bringing them into the world of
family dance camp is one heck of a got-it-right. Music, history, community,
dancing, singing, and life-long friendships; there's nothing else quite like
it. I'm grateful to have grown up with all this, and I hope to share it with as
many others as I can.
-- Katy German, Sept