Country Dance and Song Society

Communities strengthened by dancing, singing, and making music together.


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.


CDSS is a national leader in promoting participatory dance, music and song that have roots in English and North American culture and their living traditions.

Our programs and services do this in five main ways:

  • Educate: CDSS provides many opportunities for learning early music, historical and traditional English and Anglo-American dance, music, and song, especially during our extensive summer camp programs. Our online and paper publications cover a range of historical and how-to topics, as well as actual music and dance instructions. Additionally, we provide hard-to-find resources for teachers and learners of all ages to further their own educational development and practice
  • Support: We support dancers, callers, musicians, singers, organizers, and groups with organizational and creative resources: grants, fiscal sponsorships, group tax exemption, insurance programs, and guidance on nonprofit and volunteer organizational issues.
  • Connect: We bring people together — at regional conferences, online, and in person, in order to cross-pollinate good ideas and resources, to create stronger communities and well-organized activities at the local and regional level.
  • Advocate: CDSS encourages participatory arts and recreation, forming alliances with like-minded organizations to promote opportunities, to increase funding, and to influence public perceptions and regulations in ways that expand people’s access to participation.
  • Sustain: We create and seek out projects that help innovate and preserve our dance, music, and song traditions. In addition to supporting initiatives that expose new groups to these traditions, we publish or support documentation projects — both historical and contemporary, and steward the CDSS Library and the CDSS Archives collections housed at the University of New Hampshire Library.
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