Kicking Off Plans for SW Conference

by Linda Henry, CDSS Outreach Manager

Plans are afoot for creating a leadership conference for the Southwest United States! An email recently went out to all CDSS group affiliates in the SW and others we know are interested. The message invited 80 people to participate in a phone meeting about preliminary plans. If you didn’t receive this initial email and would like to be included, please read on.

The call will happen on 1/19/13 (see below for call-in information). We’ll focus on…

  • describing the exciting potential for this event — building connections and bringing resources to dance groups throughout the Southwest (including contra, square and English country dance);
  • explaining how the planning process will work — a collaborative effort involving a core group of organizers from the SW with ongoing support from CDSS;
  • making connections and gathering input to help the conference happen (event date and location TBD).

As CDSS Outreach Manager, I’ll have the very fulfilling role of supporting the SW planning team to create the conference. Possible supports include grant funding, publicity and logistics — sharing materials generated by organizers of previous conferences. (See Puttin’ On the Dance as one example.)

For starters, I’ll send the planners a template survey along with contact information for SW groups currently in the CDSS database.This poll will make it possible to assess which resources are needed throughout the region in order to help dance communities grow and thrive. Based on these needs, the planners will design the content of the conference. This can include workshops and other resources for callers, musicians, dance organizers, sound engineers and more… plus there will be time for dancing, networking and having fun together!

This first phone meeting will be facilitated by Cora McCold of Durango, CO. With assistance from CDSS and several dance groups in her area, Cora attended the Midwest Leadership Conference in Cincinnati, OH last August. She returned home with enthusiasm for launching plans for an event in the SW.

If you’d like to join this call — or know anyone who else who might — here’s how to participate: On JANUARY 19, 2013, at 2 p.m. Pacific, 3 p.m. Mountain, 4 p.m. Central, and 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, CALL 605-475-4000. You’ll be prompted to enter your participant access code: 204920#.

If you’re interested but can’t join us on 1/19, it’s not too late to be part of this effort. We’d love to hear from you, so please send a message to Feel free to let us know your thoughts and interests, and we’ll share them with the planning group. Also we’ll be arranging follow-up calls and would be happy to include you.

Many thanks!

Linda (and Cora)