We connect and support people in building and sustaining vibrant communities through participatory dance, music, and song traditions that have roots in English and North American culture.

Massachusetts Cultural Council logoCDSS thanks the Massachusetts Cultural Council for its generous support.

New and Noteworthy

Contra Pulse with Becky TracyContra Pulse

This episode, Julie sits down with fiddler Becky Tracy. Becky has been a defining presence in some of the most popular and innovative contra dance bands from New England—Wild Asparagus and Nightingale. They discuss her trajectory from math teacher to full-time traditional musician, her approach to musical creativity, her musical partnership with Keith, the ways that community builds upon itself through tunes, and much more.

CDSS: Inclusivity • Stewardship • Creativity • CollaborationWe're looking for a new Membership Coordinator to join our team!

Do you enjoy connecting with new friends, talking about shared passions, and working to achieve goals with other fun, dedicated people? Then we have a job for you!

Our new part-time Membership Coordinator will help our communities be excited about CDSS! They will chat with new members and donors, keep previous members engaged in our work, and help organize fundraising and recruitment events. Learn more, and apply by February 4.

Common TimeCommon Time returns in February!

Monday, February 21, 7:30 p.m. ET (4:30 p.m. PT): Program to be announced.

On the third Monday of every month, we focus on a different aspect of our community and highlight an issue, introduce you to something new, and give you things to think about through interviews, panel discussions, lectures, and more. Because we have so much in common. Full schedule announced soon.

Brooke Friendly teaching an online courseGlobal Terminology & Positional Calling with Brooke Friendly

Begins January 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Back by popular demand! This three-week online course focuses on using global and positional calling for English country dance. Explore strategies and refine your teaching and prompting, translating from books and your dance cards, and program planning. Learn more and apply here.

Engraving of Tom o'BedlamJanuary 2022 Song of the Month

Tim Edwards introduces “Tom o'Bedlam's Song,” an early 17th-century tune that has been described as the finest anonymous poem in the English language. Tom is a licensed beggar discharged from the Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem in London (“Bedlam”).

Saro Lynch-Thomason on YouTubeSongs that Speak

CDSS is pleased to support "Songs that Speak," a monthly YouTube series by Saro Lynch-Thomason. Learn about the history, folklore, and modern-day relevance of traditional songs, and sing along as Saro teaches each song through sing-and-repeat. Saro's latest offering is "The Cherry Tree Carol."

CDSS News, Winter 2021Winter 2021 CDSS News

The Winter 2021 CDSS News is now available! Learn about Ignatius Sancho, a country dance composer who started life on a slave ship; dance the Pandemic Waltz; get some tips for weathering the winter together; and remember that "Songs Stay Sung." Plus much more!

Ed Stern in a flowered hat2022 Lifetime Contribution Award Recipient

The Country Dance & Song Society is proud to announce that Ed Stern of Minneapolis, MN, is the 2022 recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award.

A snowman wears a winter hat and scarfCheck out the last Web Chat

The video, slides, and full transcript for our most recent Web Chat are now available. We generated lots of ideas for keeping communities engaged during the coming winter months, and heard current news and perspectives from a public health professor, Dr. Kimbi Hagen. Email us with questions.

A toy car parked on a map, with text reading 'Are we there yet?!'Reentry Resources for Organizers

In our most recent Web Chat, a lawyer, epidemiologist, dance organizer, and the CDSS Insurance Manager address​ed ​many of our community’s concerns as we begin to safely emerge from the pandemic. This compilation of Reentry Resources includes extensive Q&A sections from the Web Chat, along with a list of considerations to help smooth your journey.

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