by Katy German

In the winter issue of the CDSS News each year, I share with you some highlights from the closing year, as well as exciting things on the horizon. Normally, that’s pretty easy to sum up on one page. But in times that are anything but normal—when it feels like a decade of learning and events were packed into one year—where do I even begin?

Photo: Jeff Bary
from Karen Axelrod and Audrey Knuth

Have you watched Karen Axelrod's "In the Moment" concerts this year? Been to a "Tunes 'N Stuff" class with Audrey Knuth?

Find out more about these special weekly events (from their creators!) in this issue's Pandemic Panaceas column. Plus, learn new tunes from Debbie Jackson and Noah VanNorstrand!
Photos: (l) David Millstone, (r) Dave Pokorney
by Ezra Fischer

Although the first folk revival was a hundred years ago, many of its core elements are still alive today. Our community rejects urbanism and modernity as fiercely today as Sharp and his cohort did in their time. As active participants in an ongoing folk revival, we have the power to shape it. Through words and action, we can use the strength of our community as an anti-racist force.

Photo: CDSS Archives
by Randall Cayford

Like groups everywhere, when shelter-in-place came earlier this year, Berkeley Morris was faced with decisions on how to carry on. While we could have waited out the pandemic, Berkeley committed to continue—continue practicing, continue performing, and, most importantly, continue to evolve our traditional dance form for a decidedly modern world.

Read more about Berkeley's new morris style: Zoomington.
Photo: Randall Cayford
from Julie Vallimont and Ben Williams

Can you believe our podcast is already 20 episodes in?! In this most recent installment, host Julie Vallimont chats with the one and only Pete Sutherland. They covered so much that we split the episode into two parts. In part one, they discuss Pete’s musical roots, the contra scene in the early 70s, how he teaches music theory, and more. Look for part two next week!

Listen on the Contra Pulse website or wherever you get podcasts.
Photo: Courtesy of Pete's Posse
highlight from outside CDSS
from David Millstone and David Smukler

Ted Sannella (1928–1995) was a well-known leader of American square and contra dance. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his death (November 18, 2020), collectors David Millstone and David Smukler compiled reminiscences from dancers, musicians, and callers. 

Read more and submit your own Ted story on the "Sannella Stories" website.
Photo: Courtesy of David Millstone
Read the full issue online! | As a Flipbook | As a PDF | As Individual Articles
Upcoming in 2021

After nearly 90 years of in-person camps, we are excited to bring CDSS programs to you at home! Our first course, Global Terminology & Positional Calling with Brooke Friendly, is already full, but other courses (for adults and families) are coming soon! (And if you're interested in taking Brooke's course at another time, please email and let us know!)

CDSS is convening a Cultural Equity Advisory Group to help us move forward in our commitment to cultural equity. Advisors will serve in this remote, paid position for one year, starting in early 2021. Nominations for this group are now open; feel free to nominate yourself or a friend!

Applications are also open for a brand new position: CDSS Director of Programs. The new DP will provide program leadership and artistic direction for CDSS dance, music, and song programs, both in-person and online. Applications will be accepted through January 10, and applicants from outside Massachusetts are welcome.
We're proud of all the work we're highlighting in this issue of the News, and we're so grateful for your help in making it possible. To be quite clear, this can't happen without you. We're down to the last ten days of 2020, and we are counting on your support to keep us going as we face another challenging year.