Rockets, Dancing and a Welcoming Community

by Rima Dael, CDSS Executive Director

Rima laughing at the community meeting; photo by Linda Lieberman

I dreamed of going to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. (Yes, it was because of the movie “Space Camp” in the ʾ80s.) Alas, those dreams were dashed…but I did get to go to Huntsville recently, the weekend before Thanksgiving, and I did see the rockets and I got to go dancing!!

Twice a year, CDSS has a traveling meeting when we visit places where we may not be that visible and where we have our Executive Committee meetings in conjunction with a community meeting. It is a way to meet people around the country, to hear about their needs and how CDSS can better support them. It is also wonderful to dance in different communities and Huntsville welcomed us warmly! North Alabama Country Dance Society was our host, and longtime CDSS member Jane Ewing spearheaded the planning. It was the 30th Anniversary for their Saturday night contra dance. While there, we introduced at least 25 new folks to English country dance who came out to join us on Friday night for English country dancing. And yes, rocket scientists do dance!

It was a great visit, as evidenced with the picture of me laughing during our community meeting. Some of my favorite takeaways from our community meeting: Social media does work for Gen X and Gen Y. Public Service Announcements is a great way to promote your dance. Picking up the phone works too! Dance buddies buttons, where experienced dancers are identified and tasked with seeking out the beginners. I met some wonderful young leaders from the home school community, young dancers eager to continue dancing and playing music in college and more seasoned dancers who shared wonderful stories about dance weekends, favorite bands and thoughts about what else CDSS can do to continue to support their communities.

Jane Ewing called the last dance at the Saturday night contra without a walkthrough and it was so much fun! A special thank you to Chuck and Katrina Weber, musicians and artists who housed me and CDSS VP Jenny Beer.

Thank you, Huntsville and North Alabama Country Dance Society!

Order of dances at the Friday evening English country dance; photo by Rima Dael

Contra dancing in the gym on Saturday; photo by Rima Dael