Governing Board

Justin MorrisonJustin Morrison (Burlington, VT) has been a part of song and dance communities in Canada and the US for as long as he can remember. He earned his first Pinewoods crew t-shirt around age 7, and has taught Morris classes there in (much) later years. During a tour with the dance collective he co-founded, Maple Morris, Justin won the Best New Entrant prize at the Sidmouth Folkweek Morris jig competition in 2011 and respectfully declines to mention how many other new entrants were performing that year. In 2013, he was an organizer and artistic director of an international Morris stage show for Maple, which brought together dancers from Canada, the US, and the UK. He currently travels various distances to enjoy English, Contra, and song, and dances Morris with the Toronto Morris Men, Pinewoods Morris Men, and Thames Valley International.

In his professional life, he is an educator of young children, and seeks to bring singing and music into the classroom every day. He has been excited to share songs with colleagues to bring into their own rooms and even teach them to play mandolin. He often reflects on how his time leading Morris teams informs his experience as a teacher.

Justin feels that dance and song can find a chord in all of us, and comprise a natural language understood by young and old alike.

Luanne StilesLuanne Stiles (Asheville, NC) discovered traditional dance later in life upon spotting an advertisement in the local Amherst, MA, newspaper for a Monday night English country dance. She thought, “‘No experience needed, no partner needed, all dances taught,’ that’s me!” Her love of the variety of dance tempos, amazing musicians, thoughtful teaching, and a generous community had her immediately hooked. For over 15 years, Luanne has danced extensively in communities and at camps throughout the Northeast and Southeast as well as California, Ohio, Illinois, and Canada. Luanne organized dance events in Massachusetts, and, after moving to the Carolinas, she and her husband John lead a biweekly ECD in South Carolina. After moving to Asheville, she continues calling and has joined the Ashegrove Garland team. It was the move south that really drove home the support CDSS provides to its affiliates. She was a community member on the Fund Development Committee for the past two years and is happy to continue to “pay it forward” by contributing as a board member. Luanne believes that her professional experiences within the corporate world of insurance services will serve to assist CDSS’s vision and goals.

Alice KenneyAlice Kenney (Leyden, MA) moved to southern Vermont where she was introduced to contra dancing, shape note singing, and the wonderful music and storytelling of Peter and Mary Alice Amidon. She was introduced to CDSS Family Week to help the Amidons care for their (then) toddler, Sam, while they worked. Long before they were married, it was there she met Stuart Kenney, with whom she established a successful dance series at the renowned Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, MA. In addition to contra dancing, they offered a Quebecois Immersion Weekend intensive for musicians for ten years and produced countless concerts of traditional music.

Alice believes that music and dance are an integral part of her life and others’. In her longtime professional career as a physical therapist, she is known to dance with her clients, using music to facilitate their recovery. For all it has brought and continues to bring to her quality of life and the lives of so many others, Alice is delighted to give back to CDSS!

Jenna BarronJenna Barron (Easthampton, MA) literally stumbled across contra dancing almost 15 years ago in Washington, DC. Heading to Glen Echo to see a performance, she spied a large group of people in the ballroom holding hands and walking in a circle. After blowing off the performance and spending all night at the Friday Night Dance instead, she was hooked! After dancing contras, squares, waltzes, and English in the DC area for several years, she and her husband moved to the Pioneer Valley, in no small part due to the great music and dance community. She is a founding member of Oxbow Morris and has enjoyed attending programming at Pinewoods and Cascade camp weeks.

After a decade in regional theater as a stage manager, Jenna is now the Director of Communications and Development for a nonprofit focused on equitable clean energy deployment. Jenna also serves on the Board of Directors for her local library, leading their fundraising efforts. She looks forward to using these skills to help CDSS build and sustain vibrant communities through participatory dance, music, and song.

Margaret BaryMargaret Bary (Brooklyn, NY) is a lifelong dancer and dance educator. She teaches English country dance at Country Dance New York and other dances in the region, founded a family folk dance at her school, and calls community dances at a variety of local venues. Along with her family, she has been a regular participant in CDSS Campers’ Week for many years, leading dances for all ages, teaching sword dance workshops, and serving a stint as Program Director.

Margaret is active on the steering committee of Pourparler, a national gathering of teachers of traditional dance and music in schools and communities. As a member of Half Moon Sword, she hosts the NYC English Sword Dance Ale and performs locally, as well as at festivals such as NEFFA and the Marlboro Ale.

Margaret has a background in modern dance, holds an MFA in Dance Choreography and is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst. She recently retired as Dance Specialist and the Performing Arts Chair at Brooklyn Friends School, where she incorporated folk and sword dances into her creative dance curriculum. Underlying all of her work with children and adults, Margaret believes that participatory dance experiences foster joy, self-expression, and connection between people.

Joanna Reiner WilkinsonWhen Joanna Reiner Wilkinson (Cheltenham, PA) found Scottish country dancing her freshman year in college, it transformed her life. After college, Joanna made Philadelphia her home and immediately filled her nights and weekends with dancing.

Over the years, Joanna has danced a number of different genres, but truly found her home in the English dance community. Locally, she has served on the boards of the Delaware Valley Scottish Dancers and the Germantown Country Dancers, led the GCD English dance demo team, and taught both English and Scottish dance at Swarthmore College, mentoring students and encouraging them to dance throughout their lives.

Joanna started attending Pinewoods Camp in 1994, worked on the Pinewoods crew for four summers, and served on the board of Pinewoods Camp, Inc. for seven years. She has also served on the CDSS Youth Task Group and on the CDSS Finance Committee.

In addition to calling locally for over 20 years, Joanna has called across the US and Canada and other points abroad, including many week-long camp sessions for CDSS. While known for her clear calling and instruction, Joanna loves teaching workshops to train ECD callers, and workshops that explore ECD technique, new dances, and how people learn and remember dance choreography.

Professionally, Joanna is a nonprofit financial educator specializing in illuminating the mysteries that surround nonprofit financial concepts and statements. She holds an AB in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College.

Marni RachmielMarni Rachmiel (Seattle, WA) grew up outside Detroit and studied Music History/Musicology at the University of Michigan, where she played & sang in concert bands, Early Music Ensemble, Javanese Gamelan, and the U-M Gilbert & Sullivan Society. She started dancing and playing for contra and English dances in 1990 in Albuquerque, NM, when she stumbled into a Bare Necessities weekend that totally changed her life. Returning to Michigan, she was active in the Ann Arbor dance and music scenes and became an avid dance-wanderer, including pilgrimages to Buffalo Gap and Pinewoods.

Shifting west in the later ‘90s, Marni danced and played in and around Boulder, CO, while getting her MA in Contemplative Psychotherapy at Naropa University. The siren song of the Northwest Folklife Festival drew her further west to Seattle, where she moved in 2004.

Marni’s band Contra Sutra actively tours and has played weekends up and down the West Coast and around the Southeast so far. She also plays in Reverie and The End Effects, among other dance band configurations, and for many years has been part of the wacky Fremont Philharmonic, stage band for Seattle’s British Panto and Moisture Festival. She’s composed a handful of tunes, including “Violet,” the title track of Reverie’s CD that now has a locally-grown ECD to go with it.

Marni also serves on the boards of the Seattle Folklore Society and FAR-West (Folk Alliance Region West). She and her husband Robert Orr co-host Two Pools House Concerts.

January 2021

Dear CDSS Members,

Each year, the Nominating Committee nominates one or more candidates for each position becoming vacant among the Officers and Governing Board Members-at-large, taking into account a balance of skills, interests, and backgrounds. This year we are nominating the following slate. As there are no more nominees than vacancies, the nominees are deemed elected and will begin their service at the annual Board meeting in April 2021.

Board President (3-year term)

  • Gaye Fifer (incumbent) – Pittsburgh, PA

Members-at-large (3-year terms)

  • Jenna Barron – Easthampton, MA
  • Margaret Bary – Brooklyn, NY
  • Alice Kenney – Leyden, MA
  • Avia Moore (incumbent) – Toronto, ON

For biographical information about the above nominees, please see below.

The following Officers and Members-at-large will also continue to serve in 2021:

Continuing Officers:

  • Nikki Herbst, Vice President – Amana, IA, and Hawthorne, FL
  • Pam Paulson, Secretary – Waukesha, WI
  • Joel Bluestein, Treasurer – Arlington, VA

Continuing Members-at-large:

  • Peter Baker – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Nancy Barbour – Monmouth Junction, NJ
  • Jeremy Carter-Gordon – Concord, MA
  • Karl Colon – Yellow Springs, OH
  • Susie Lorand – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Robbin Marcus – Lithonia, GA
  • Justin Morrison – Charlotte, VT
  • Marni Rachmiel – Seattle, WA, and Cambridge, England
  • John Seto – Sacramento, CA
  • Diane Silver – Asheville, NC
  • Luanne Stiles – Asheville, NC
  • Darlene Underwood – Cincinnati, OH
  • Juliette Webb – Nashville, TN
  • Chris Weiler – South Burlington, VT

Per the change approved to the CDSS ByLaws in March 2014, members of the Society may 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 and sent to the Secretary by June 30. Written assent must be obtained from each nominee as well as a brief description of the nominee’s qualifications. The nominee must be a member of CDSS. It should be noted that inclusion in the slate does not guarantee a nomination to the Board. If there are more candidates in the slate than vacancies, the Secretary will send to every member by January 15, a written ballot containing the names of the candidates and pertinent positions, together with information about the candidates’ qualifications. The membership would vote, and the successful candidates would be determined as outlined in article 7.2 of the CDSS ByLaws.

Sincerely,

The CDSS Nominating Committee
Juliette Webb (Chair) – Nashville, TN
Meredith Doster – Weaverville, NC
Beverly Francis – Dublin, OH
Lisa Greenleaf – Bolton, MA
Robbin Marcus – Lithonia, GA
Sue Songer – Portland, OR


Nominations for Governing Board

Members-at-large (3-year terms)

Jenna Barron (Easthampton, MA) literally stumbled across contra dancing almost 15 years ago in Washington, DC. Heading to Glen Echo to see a performance, she spied a large group of people in the ballroom holding hands and walking in a circle. After blowing off the performance and spending all night at the Friday Night Dance instead, she was hooked! After dancing contras, squares, waltzes, and English in the DC area for several years, she and her husband moved to the Pioneer Valley, in no small part due to the great music and dance community. She is a founding member of Oxbow Morris and has enjoyed attending programming at Pinewoods and Cascade camp weeks.

After a decade in regional theater as a stage manager, Jenna is now the Director of Communications and Development for a nonprofit focused on equitable clean energy deployment. Jenna also serves on the Board of Directors for her local library, leading their fundraising efforts. She looks forward to using these skills to help CDSS build and sustain vibrant communities through participatory dance, music, and song.

Margaret Bary (Brooklyn, NY) is a lifelong dancer and dance educator. She teaches English country dance at Country Dance New York and other dances in the region, founded a family folk dance at her school, and calls community dances at a variety of local venues. Along with her family, she has been a regular participant in CDSS Campers’ Week for many years, leading dances for all ages, teaching sword dance workshops, and serving a stint as Program Director. Margaret is active on the steering committee of Pourparler, a national gathering of teachers of traditional dance and music in schools and communities. As a member of Half Moon Sword, she hosts the NYC English Sword Dance Ale and performs locally, as well as at festivals such as NEFFA and the Marlboro Ale. Margaret has a background in modern dance, holds an MFA in Dance Choreography and is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst. She recently retired as Dance Specialist and the Performing Arts Chair at Brooklyn Friends School, where she incorporated folk and sword dances into her creative dance curriculum. Underlying all of her work with children and adults, Margaret believes that participatory dance experiences foster joy, self-expression, and connection between people.

Alice Kenney (Leyden, MA) moved to southern Vermont where she was introduced to contra dancing, shape note singing, and the wonderful music and storytelling of Peter and Mary Alice Amidon. She was introduced to CDSS Family Week to help the Amidons care for their (then) toddler, Sam, while they worked. Long before they were married, it was there she met Stuart Kenney, with whom she established a successful dance series at the renowned Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, MA. In addition to contra dancing, they offered a Quebecois Immersion Weekend intensive for musicians for ten years and produced countless concerts of traditional music.

Alice believes that music and dance are an integral part of her life and others’. In her longtime professional career as a physical therapist, she is known to dance with her clients, using music to facilitate their recovery. For all it has brought and continues to bring to her quality of life and the lives of so many others, Alice is delighted to give back to CDSS!

peter bakerPeter Baker (Ann Arbor, MI) began square dancing in 7th grade in Bay County, MI. He was introduced to contra and ECD in the early 1980’s, and within six weeks was attending Kentucky Summer Dance School and Berea Christmas Country Dance School. He began leading dances because there was no dancing within 100 miles of where he lived. He later became staff for Kentucky Heritage Institute dance camps. Peter leads contra and community dancing. He believes dancing is for everyone and has lead numerous events for “non dancers”, including organizing the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records “Longest Contra Line” in Ann Arbor. He leads dances in schools, churches, street festivals, and wherever he is invited to share this passion. He has been an active organizer and leader in the Ann Arbor Community for Traditional Music and Dance.

Peter has also been organizing folk events since the mid-1980’s, starting with the Dow Gardens Folk Festival in Midland, and has been a co-founder of several organizations and events including the Midland Country Dance Society (1984), the Michigan Dance Heritage organization (1987), Dancing in the Streets in Ann Arbor (1998), and most recently, the new CDSS Dance, Music and Spice Camp at Camp Cavell (2016) in Michigan.

susie lorandSusie Lorand (Ann Arbor, MI) has been a CDSS member for most of her adult life. She had few opportunities for dancing before college, but pursued classical violin training in central Michigan and at Interlochen Arts Academy. Then the student folk musicians at Earlham College decided to “corrupt” her into a fiddler.
Later she spent many years in the central New Jersey and Philadelphia dance communities, playing for English, contra, colonial, morris, and sword dancing (when not dancing herself). Leadership roles there included coordinating the Princeton Country Dancers pick-up band, co-directing Rum & Onions, serving on the PCD executive committee and the Lambertville Country Dancers board, and writing the PCD Newsletter.

Susie has appeared on the music staff of dance weeks at Pinewoods, Buffalo Gap, and Berea, and numerous weekends and festivals. Now in Ann Arbor, she performs with the “Celtic roots” band Nutshell, directs music for Scottish dancing, plays for English, contra, and morris, co-directs the local Threshold Choir, serves on the AACTMAD board, and dreams of getting back into Renaissance music for voices and recorders. She enjoys welcoming and helping new dancers of all ages as well as mentoring musicians. In her spare time she works as an editor and librarian.

     
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