Most Recent LCA Recipient:

New England Dancing Masters: Andy Davis, Mary Alice Amidon, Mary Cay Brass, and Peter Amidon 2023: New England Dancing Masters

We are proud to announce that Mary Alice Amidon, Peter Amidon, Mary Cay Brass, and Andy Davis are the 2023 recipients of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award.

Join us for the award celebration on October 15!

Collectively known as the New England Dancing Masters, for the past four decades they have spread the joy of traditional music and dance across North America.

Starting with The Chimes of Dunkirk in 1991, the New England Dancing Masters produced a treasure trove of books, CDs, and DVDs with crystal clear instructions for dances and singing games. Their live performances, workshops, school residencies, and leadership at family dance camps have encouraged and trained countless teachers to bring traditional dance, music, song, and storytelling into schools and communities.

In recent years, the Dancing Masters’ teaching blog and YouTube channel brought resources and inspiration to everyone at home during the pandemic.

Thank you Mary Alice, Peter, Mary Cay, and Andy!

  • “I just experienced some of the dances in your books Listen to the Mockingbird and Chimes of Dunkirk at a workshop. It was an incredible experience…My students will really enjoy these dances. The movement instructions are the clearest I’ve seen in a resource like this! Thank you!”

  • “This is hands-down one of the best resources for American folk dances for children. Dances are carefully selected, instructions are easy to follow, and the recordings are delightfully authentic.”

Nominations for Future Lifetime Contribution Awards

Do you know someone who has made a long-term and exceptional contribution to the mission of CDSS? Has this contribution benefited more than one geographical area and/or generation? Has the person worked in conjunction with CDSS for more than 20 years?

If the answer is “yes” to all of these, then you may know a future recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award (LCA).

Examples of a significant contribution include:

  • increasing the quality of what we do by inspiration, instruction, or excellent example
  • bringing what we do to new communities
  • expanding the repertoire of dance, music and/or song through scholarship or original composition;
  • working behind the scenes or enabling others to make these contributions

Nominations for the 2025 Lifetime Contribution Award will open in early 2024. Nominations for the 2024 award are closed. The recipient will be announced in late 2023.

If you would like to nominate someone who has recently passed away, please use this form for the Posthumous Lifetime Contribution Award. Nominations for the Posthumous LCA are accepted anytime.

Past Recipients:

Honorary CDSS Members

The following people were made an Honorary CDSS Member before the origination of the Lifetime Contribution Awards:

  • 1996: Sue Salmons
  • 1992: Kate Van Winkle Keller
  • 1990: Marshall Barron