Yay, Bob!

Award celebration for Bob Dalsemer (photo by Keather Weidman)

Award celebration for Bob Dalsemer (photo by Keather Weidman)

CDSS President Bruce Hamilton reports

CDSS’s 2011 Lifetime Contribution Award was given to Bob Dalsemer at a ceremony on December 10th at the John C. Campbell Folk School. About a hundred people came from near and far to show their appreciation for Bob’s influence on them and on the traditional dance scene.

It was a lovely, warm ceremony. Jim Morrison and Brad Foster both spoke about the quality of Bob’s work, his care for community dances, and his courage to go against the grain when his conscience said to. Both stage and dance floor were packed with admirers. The breaks had dancing by the local clog, border morris, rapper and garland teams, some with Bob in the band. People called dances they had learned from him, and Bob himself called “Forward Six and Six Fall Back” in his crystal-clear fashion. CDSS president Bruce Hamilton choked up a bit reading the Award’s text:

On behalf of the membership of the Country Dance and Song Society, the Governing Board is pleased to present this award to Bob Dalsemer.  For his extraordinary vision and contributions as caller, teacher, musician, author, choreographer, and organizer; for his excellent work as CDSS board member, vice president and president; for his lifetime commitment to the dance and music community, and for his easy generosity in sharing the joy with so many people, we honor him today.

which brought sustained, heartfelt applause. The congratulations, stories and thanks continued at a party afterwards, on into the wee hours.

Caroline adds: We are grateful to John C. Campbell Folk School for hosting the event and for their support throughout the planning (special thanks to Jan Davidson and Keather Weidman). Thanks also to Bruce Hamilton, Stephen Stiebel, Carol Marsh and Brad Foster for representing CDSS, to the wonderful people who celebrated Bob that day (“Yay, Bob!”), and to Bob himself for allowing us to loudly praise him. Congratulations, Bob, and long may you influence us.

For more great photos of the celebration, see the rest of Keather’s album on Flickr.