January 2021

Dear CDSS Members,

Each year, the Nominating Committee nominates one or more candidates for each position becoming vacant among the Officers and Governing Board Members-at-large, taking into account a balance of skills, interests, and backgrounds. This year we are nominating the following slate. As there are no more nominees than vacancies, the nominees are deemed elected and will begin their service at the annual Board meeting in April 2021.

Board President (3-year term)

  • Gaye Fifer (incumbent) – Pittsburgh, PA

Members-at-large (3-year terms)

  • Jenna Barron – Easthampton, MA
  • Margaret Bary – Brooklyn, NY
  • Alice Kenney – Leyden, MA
  • Avia Moore (incumbent) – Toronto, ON

For biographical information about the above nominees, please see below.

The following Officers and Members-at-large will also continue to serve in 2021:

Continuing Officers:

  • Nikki Herbst, Vice President – Amana, IA, and Hawthorne, FL
  • Pam Paulson, Secretary – Waukesha, WI
  • Joel Bluestein, Treasurer – Arlington, VA

Continuing Members-at-large:

  • Peter Baker – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Nancy Barbour – Monmouth Junction, NJ
  • Jeremy Carter-Gordon – Concord, MA
  • Karl Colon – Yellow Springs, OH
  • Susie Lorand – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Robbin Marcus – Lithonia, GA
  • Justin Morrison – Charlotte, VT
  • Marni Rachmiel – Seattle, WA, and Cambridge, England
  • John Seto – Sacramento, CA
  • Diane Silver – Asheville, NC
  • Luanne Stiles – Asheville, NC
  • Darlene Underwood – Cincinnati, OH
  • Juliette Webb – Nashville, TN
  • Chris Weiler – South Burlington, VT

Per the change approved to the CDSS ByLaws in March 2014, members of the Society may ensure that a specific person is included in the slate proposed by the Nominating Committee for the following year by submitting a nomination in writing, signed by ten members of CDSS and sent to the Secretary by June 30. Written assent must be obtained from each nominee as well as a brief description of the nominee’s qualifications. The nominee must be a member of CDSS. It should be noted that inclusion in the slate does not guarantee a nomination to the Board. If there are more candidates in the slate than vacancies, the Secretary will send to every member by January 15, a written ballot containing the names of the candidates and pertinent positions, together with information about the candidates’ qualifications. The membership would vote, and the successful candidates would be determined as outlined in article 7.2 of the CDSS ByLaws.


The CDSS Nominating Committee
Juliette Webb (Chair) – Nashville, TN
Meredith Doster – Weaverville, NC
Beverly Francis – Dublin, OH
Lisa Greenleaf – Bolton, MA
Robbin Marcus – Lithonia, GA
Sue Songer – Portland, OR

Nominations for Governing Board

Members-at-large (3-year terms)

Jenna Barron (Easthampton, MA) literally stumbled across contra dancing almost 15 years ago in Washington, DC. Heading to Glen Echo to see a performance, she spied a large group of people in the ballroom holding hands and walking in a circle. After blowing off the performance and spending all night at the Friday Night Dance instead, she was hooked! After dancing contras, squares, waltzes, and English in the DC area for several years, she and her husband moved to the Pioneer Valley, in no small part due to the great music and dance community. She is a founding member of Oxbow Morris and has enjoyed attending programming at Pinewoods and Cascade camp weeks.

After a decade in regional theater as a stage manager, Jenna is now the Director of Communications and Development for a nonprofit focused on equitable clean energy deployment. Jenna also serves on the Board of Directors for her local library, leading their fundraising efforts. She looks forward to using these skills to help CDSS build and sustain vibrant communities through participatory dance, music, and song.

Margaret Bary (Brooklyn, NY) is a lifelong dancer and dance educator. She teaches English country dance at Country Dance New York and other dances in the region, founded a family folk dance at her school, and calls community dances at a variety of local venues. Along with her family, she has been a regular participant in CDSS Campers’ Week for many years, leading dances for all ages, teaching sword dance workshops, and serving a stint as Program Director. Margaret is active on the steering committee of Pourparler, a national gathering of teachers of traditional dance and music in schools and communities. As a member of Half Moon Sword, she hosts the NYC English Sword Dance Ale and performs locally, as well as at festivals such as NEFFA and the Marlboro Ale. Margaret has a background in modern dance, holds an MFA in Dance Choreography and is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst. She recently retired as Dance Specialist and the Performing Arts Chair at Brooklyn Friends School, where she incorporated folk and sword dances into her creative dance curriculum. Underlying all of her work with children and adults, Margaret believes that participatory dance experiences foster joy, self-expression, and connection between people.

Alice Kenney (Leyden, MA) moved to southern Vermont where she was introduced to contra dancing, shape note singing, and the wonderful music and storytelling of Peter and Mary Alice Amidon. She was introduced to CDSS Family Week to help the Amidons care for their (then) toddler, Sam, while they worked. Long before they were married, it was there she met Stuart Kenney, with whom she established a successful dance series at the renowned Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, MA. In addition to contra dancing, they offered a Quebecois Immersion Weekend intensive for musicians for ten years and produced countless concerts of traditional music.

Alice believes that music and dance are an integral part of her life and others’. In her longtime professional career as a physical therapist, she is known to dance with her clients, using music to facilitate their recovery. For all it has brought and continues to bring to her quality of life and the lives of so many others, Alice is delighted to give back to CDSS!

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