Tis the Season: What are your dance, music, and song resolutions?
2018 Lifetime Contribution Award
Pat MacPherson Retires
Holiday Sales & Shipping
Give to the Annual Appeal
We Need Your Help!
Winter 2017-18 CDSS News

Plummer i 9xgTP48 XL for webPhoto by Doug Plummer

'Tis the Season: What are your dance, music, and song resolutions?

As we approach the start of a new year, it’s natural to take stock of everything in our lives and determine what changes we can make to improve ourselves and/or our world. For some folks, those annual promises are about spending more time at the gym, losing weight, or eating a healthier diet. Others resolve to take a class, volunteer, or spend more time with friends or family. Chances are you’ve made some of these same resolutions yourself over the years (and perhaps even kept them!).

This got us thinking…

At CDSS, we believe the world needs more JOY. In fact, much of our day-to-day work centers around helping our members, Affiliate communities, and friends spread the joy of traditional music, dance, and song. And in 2018, we pledge to find more ways — whether through big picture initiatives or smaller, more personal interactions — to enhance our own lives and the lives of others.

What are your New Year’s resolutions related to traditional dance, music, and song? Whether you are a caller, a musician, a dancer, a singer, an organizer, or an educator, how will you spread the joy in the new year? Will you go to a new dance event? Learn or write a new tune? Join a community chorus? Help a new dancer (or camper) get acclimated? Lead a group song for the first time? Teach a previously unfamiliar dance? Learn to be a caller? Serve on an event organizing committee?

Let us know. Email news@cdss.org and we’ll include a wrap-up of member resolutions in our January E-News Update!

Happy holidays, and a joyous New Year to all!

2018 Lifetime Contribution Award

alkire sm

The Country Dance and Song Society is pleased to announce that Bill Alkire of Wooster, Ohio is the 2018 recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award. Bill has positively impacted the world of American traditional dance for over 70 years as a dance leader, organizer, choreographer, and mentor.

On Sunday, February 25, 2018 there will be a celebration in honor of Bill’s award. This open-to-the-public occasion will be held in Wooster at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Wayne County. The award presentation will begin at 2:00 pm followed by a dance until 5 pm with invited callers leading contras, squares, mixers, and English country dancing for all.

You can learn more about this event at www.woosterdance.com/lifetime-award and RSVP by contacting Susan English at senglish@umich.edu.

Read about Bill’s remarkable contributions to traditional dance throughout his life. 

Pat MacPherson Retires

pat macpherson

At the end of December, CDSS Director of Education Pat MacPherson is retiring from CDSS after more than 24 years with us. She reports that it is with a mixture of excitement and sorry that she has come to this decision, and that her time at CDSS “has been full of laughter, ardent discussion, and passionate commitment.”

In her letter, printed in the Winter 2017-2018 issue of the CDSS News, Pat continues:

“I have a reached that magic age when the time seems right to re-evaluate, re-adjust, and think about the future. I have been a dancer and musician since the age of five, and I continue to feel most myself when among my dancing friends. That has not changed. Two years ago, I started to feel that it was time for me to consider moving on—to offer a place at CDSS for someone else—because I feel we can use different ideas and ways of doing things in order to thrive as an organization. What has changed also is my desire to explore new places (camping and hiking come to mind); new work adventures (I’ve already starting offering my musical and writing skills at Revels North, in Hanover, NH, working with my ex-colleagues Nils Fredland and Mary Wesley); and importantly, new ways to offer my skills to the wider world. I have been waiting for the right moment for this transition and now it has come: CDSS is in a great place, with our new Executive Director, Katy German, at the helm. I will miss everyone here, and especially the opportunity to work with Katy, but at the end of December my time at CDSS will be over. I will definitely be at camp—dancing, singing, playing music, and goofing around, like I do. I hope to see you on the dance floor sometime. Come and say hello!”

Photo by Christine Dadmun

Holiday Sales & Shipping

holidayWe’ve got some terrific books, CDs, notecards, and accessories - both new arrivals and old favorites - in the CDSS store for your holiday gifting. Order by December 18th to ensure arrival by Christmas. And don’t forget, CDSS members get a 10% discount! See our holiday e-blast for more details.


Give to the Annual Appeal


Our world needs more of this! More twirling and turning! More rousing choruses! More hands working to make music! CDSS is dedicated to providing the resources, support, and connections that nurture local dance communities all across North America. Whether through insurance coverage, training for dance organizers, historic and academic resources in our e-library, grant funding to help new ideas take shape, or immersion experiences at camp, CDSS is here to keep the traditions you love going strong.

And your membership and financial support are what make it all possible. So if you've experienced the joy of connecting through traditional dance, music and song, and if you believe - as we believe - in the compounding goodness they create in the world, then make a gift to our annual appeal. We can't do it without you.

Photo by Patty Tarter


We Need Your Help

hearfromyouWe’re continually looking for ways to make the CDSS News a must-read resource for the traditional dance, music, and song community and we’d like your help. In the coming issues, what topics would you like to see included? Do you have ideas for ongoing columns? Dances, tunes, songs, or poetry you’d like to submit? Is there a story you’ve been wanting to read, or itching to write yourself? Get in touch with us. Send an email to the editor at news@cdss.org.


Winter 2017-18 CDSS News

news cover full

The Winter News is online and its a resource-full issue, with articles about the CDSS grants program (Outreach Far and Wide: News from CDSS Grant Recipients in Calgary, Alberta and Missoula, Montana), a Report from the Governing Board, and a Letter from Executive Director Katy German; two contra dances by Melanie Axel-Lute; a new English country Dance by Colin Hume; and a poem. There are also columns by Lorraine Lee Hammond (CDSS Sings), Graham Christian (Tell Me More), and Anna Rain (Yoga for Dancers). Read and enjoy!


Join CDSS. Join us on Facebook. Share with a Friend. Happy winter, everyone!

Go To Top