We connect and support people in building and sustaining vibrant communities through participatory dance, music, and song traditions that have roots in English and North American culture.
New and Noteworthy
In episode 5 of From the Mic, Mary Wesley interviews Gaye Fifer, an accomplished caller from Pittsburgh, PA. Gaye calls contra and English dances throughout the U.S. and Canada and is an enthusiastic advocate and instructor of contra-style waltz. Gaye is currently President of the Board of CDSS.
Kim Wallach introduces “Bibble A La Do.” Also known as "Buttermilk Hill" and "Shule Aroon," "Shule a Ghra," "Siúil a Rún," and by many other names, the song laments a lad gone for a soldier, sometimes one for whom the singer has sold everything to supply with the tools of war, only for them to die anyway.
The Summer 2022 CDSS News is now available! Take a deep dive into the Irish Howle with Graham Christian; remember Lifetime Contribution Award recipient George Fogg; dance via Zoom at a Ball-That-Would-Have-Been; find out how the recorder can shine as a musical star; hear an oral history of old-time and modern Western dance from Bill Alkire; and much more.
The video, slideshow, and transcript from our most recent Web Chat are now available. We heard first-hand experiences from two organizers about keeping their song groups alive and well through the pandemic by hosting in-person and online singing events. Our third guest provided the latest COVID-19 news from her public health perspective, offering suggestions especially pertinent for song group organizers. Email us with questions.
In October 2021, Contra Pulse hosted an online panel discussion as a part of the CDSS series Common Time. In this special event, Julie spoke with four of the contra dance greats—Becky Tracy, Pete Sutherland, Rodney Miller, and Kate Barnes—about who their mentors and inspirations were, and how they’re mentoring and inspiring the next generation of contra musicians. Learn how these musicians fell in love with their craft, hear stories from the early days of touring contra bands, and explore what tradition is and how it is (or isn’t) changing today.
With the 2022 issue of Country Dance + Song Online, we are excited to present three articles on very different topics, two of them by contributors new to the journal. We will time-travel to three centuries of Anglo-American dance—all different, but all evolutionarily connected. Read more and download the issue.