August 5 - 12, 2017



This course is an intensive “blitz” exposure to Modern Western Square Dancing (MWSD) for experienced contra dancers, traditional square dancers, and contra or trad callers. If you enjoy learning new choreography and the unexpected delights of no-walk-thru contra medleys, this is for you. Starting with the 25 or so contra calls that are shared with Modern Western squares, we will explore much of the CALLERLAB Basic, Mainstream, and Plus lists. New calls will be taught and workshopped, but you’ll get plenty of time to “just dance” and enjoy what you have already learned in both patter and singing call contexts. The pace of the course will be determined by the students’ ability to assimilate the material, but the goal will be that you can dance most Mainstream calls smoothly at speed. We will cover several of the more popular Plus calls as well. Expect to be challenged and have lots of fun!

Modern Western uses recorded music of various genres; the patter music is designed to get you moving at a continuous flow and the singing call music allows for a change of pace. The class time will be divided into an all morning workshop session where we will learn new figures, then a late afternoon practice and review session. You will have the middle of the day to relax or enjoy other workshops at American Week.

A note on terminology and dance roles: The course will use traditional terms to identify the dance roles, including Gents/Ladies, Men/Women, and (as is quite common in MWSD) Boys/Girls. Anyone of any gender identity or gender expression is welcome to dance either role although it is recommended that students pick one role to dance for the course, as it helps to focus on learning one set of dance actions. Students who really want to role-swap and learn both parts may be accommodated if possible.

This program, held concurrently with American Dance & Music Week at Pinewoods, is designed and led by Andy Shore.


Participation is limited for optimal participation. If the class is oversubscribed on March 13, preference will be given to the best qualified applicants and to applicants supported by their local community. Strong indicators for CDSS are our Group Priority and Matching Scholarship processes, where a CDSS affiliate vouches for a participant and may offer some scholarship, asking CDSS to match that amount ( This is a statement by people who know the individual, that the person is deserving of assistance and would benefit the local community by attending camp. That can count highly in this and in our scholarship considerations.


Students should be familiar with the following contra calls:
     Allemand Right/Left
     Star Right/Left
     Circle Right/Left
     Forward & Back
     (Courtesy Turn)
     Right & Left Thru (with hands)
     Ladies Chain
     Box the Gnat
     California Twirl
     Rollaway (with a half-sashay)
     Pass Thru to a Wavy Line (“Pass the Ocean”)
     Star Promenade
     Single File Promenade
     Square Thru
     Box Circulate (aka rotate minor set)

Contra calls with dance actions that we will give other names:
     Turn Alone
     Mad Robin
     Cast Off (as in 1s around 2s)

And from Traditional Squares or 4-face-4, you should have seen:
     Right & Left Grand
     Weave the Ring
     4 Ladies Chain
     Grand Square

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