August 12-18, 2019 // Cascade, MD

Your community is here

Join us at Cascade this summer!

Program Description

Whether you’re a single adult, a family of five, a teen, a tween, or a 20-something, you’ll find a home and a strong community at this CDSS week. Not to mention the fun you’ll be sure to have. Mixing English and American, young and old, experienced and new, earnest and ridiculous, this camp specializes in variety. Classes and dances and gatherings are held daily with a sprinkling of jam sessions, swimming, snacks, games, and other shenanigans throughout the week.

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Not one, not two, but four great callers will be leading our dances this week. Our tradition of great English and American dances will be led by Joanna Reiner, David Millstone and Janine Smith. Our community dances will be led by Janine Smith and Katy Tartar German, our CDSS Executive Director.

This week is host to English Dance Leaders Course, an intensive, 2 period Course, led by Joanna Reiner, that requires pre-application and acceptance.

Our musicians and teachers this year are varied in age, mirroring the makeup of the community itself. With camp veterans like Dave Weisler and John Devine alongside brand new community members like Cedar Stanistreet and Casey Murray, this year’s staff promises to provide a unique and rejuvenating experience.

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Mornings at camp: lots of dancing, and kids classes for ages 2 and up.

Afternoons: lots of variety! Art, singing, swimming, jamming, dancing, and our Camper Led activity time – your chance to share something you like to do with your camp community.

All Camp Gatherings: Each day the entire camp comes together before lunch and again after dinner. We start with some dancing, and we share songs, skits, talents and stories. Some folks find this to be the best part of camp.

Each night our evening dance party combines English and American dance styles, with music that is just marvelous. Our tradition is for our younger campers to follow John Devine, our Pied Piper, to their cabins each evening after Gathering. Once they are settled their parents head back to the dance while our Roving Monitors check to make sure all is well in the cabins. The teens and the adults dance into the night and then share scrumptious snacks and entertaining late night activities.

Scholarships are available. Please visit the Scholarship tab. We would like you and your family to be able to join us at camp this summer!

~ Janet, Robert, Imogen, Cecily Mills, Program Co-Directors


Program Directors

Janet, Robert, Imogen, & Cecily Mills


  • Laurie Andres
  • Sam Bartlett
  • Rebecca Bosworth-Clemens
  • John Devine
  • Leslie Jeanne Devine Milbourne
  • Katy German
  • Katherine Giacoletti
  • Jonathan Jensen
  • Kappy Laning
  • David Millstone
  • Casey Murray
  • Joanna Reiner
  • Kerry Ryer-Parke
  • Janine Smith
  • Cedar Stanistreet
  • Leslie Sudock
  • Miranda Weinberg
  • Dave Wiesler

Program Advisors:
Steve Howe, Joel Bluestein, Kappy Lanning

Class Descriptions

9:00-10:00 Period 1 Kids can be dropped off at their class at 8:55

Discover, Sing, and Play! (2-3) – Leslie Jeanne Devine

Young explorers will visit nature up-close, sing songs, read nature stories, build structures, and simply play together.

Music and Movement (4-6) – Rebecca Bosworth-Clemens

Musical Stories (7-9) – Casey Murray

We’ll explore storytelling and acting through rhythmic and musical improvisation. We’ll use story tales as well as write our own stories together as a class. Instruments are not needed but if you have an instrument (drums, voices, and homemade instruments are welcome too!) feel free to bring them!

Songs Your Parents Probably Won’t Approve Of (10-12) – Kerry Ryer-Parke

We’ll start off the day with movement and rhythm, then we’ll learn songs from America, the British Isles and around the world. We’ll try singing and making up harmonies in one, two and three parts. From cheeky wildly dissonant Bosnian village songs to murder ballads, there is something for everyone.

Morning Mix (13-17) – Imogen Mills, Cecily Mills

Cecily and Imogen will lead the teens in a variety of music and dance related activities. Classes will range from working on Contra and Waltz, to singing songs, to “hitting things with other things, minus the aggression,” aka bucket drumming! Look forward to snacks (don’t worry about making it to breakfast) and hanging out with the Mills sisters. Come ready with dance shoes, your singing voice, and an open mind.

Advanced ECD: Style and Technique (18 & up) – Joanna Reiner

Music by: Jonathan Jensen, Miranda Weinberg, Laurie Andres: This class will explore not just what we dance – the patterns and figures, but how we move to the music and through the choreography. We’ll define the concepts of technique and style together, and think about the dance choices you make, how those choices create your own “style,” and then apply these ideas to both simple and complex choreographies. Cheerful recovery skills and knowledge of ECD figures and basic repertoire is expected.

The Spice of Life (18 & up) – David Millstone

Music by: Dave Wiesler, Cedar Stanistreet, John Devine, Sam Bartlett: Drawing from English and American traditions, we’ll dance some familiar formations (“Take hands four from the top!”) and many others that are less common. Some are unusual and a few are delightfully odd! From simple dances to more complex, these dances (aided by sparkling music) will put smiles on our faces as we start each day.

10:15-11:15 Period 2

Let’s Pretend! (2-3) – Katy German

We’ll start by sharing some of our favorite stories. Then we’ll pick a few and make believe that we are in the stories, working together to bring our imaginations to life! Good times, movement, crafting, and giggling will abound. Please bring a favorite book to read together.

Wander, Create, and Storytelling (4-6) – Leslie Jeanne Devine

Wandering the beautiful grounds will reveal hidden treasures from nature that will lead us to storytelling, singing, and craft activities.

Not your Grandma’s Folk Songs (7-9) – Kerry Ryer-Parke

We will spend time warming up our bodies and voices, then jump right into singing traditional American children’s songs. Then we’ll add songs from the British Isles and other countries. Animal songs, silly songs, work songs, serious songs. All taught by ear, with plenty of movement and rhythm.

Aunt Janine’s Dancing Machine (10-12) – Janine Smith

Music by: Laurie Andres, John Devine: 10-12s will spend the latter half of their mornings with former program director and current Dancing Queen Aunt Janine. Be it a splash of contra, a dash of singing square, a pinch of fun, or simply a full barrel of laughs; Janine Smith will always provide a grand time. No experience necessary, but a playful spirit and an open mind will serve you well.

Contra Innovations (13 & up) – David Millstone

Music by: Robert Mills, Rebecca Bosworth-Clemens, Cedar Stanistreet, Casey Murray: The traditional contra repertoire used to be small, relying on only a few dozen basic figures. With efficient teaching to allow maximum time for dancing, in this session we’ll explore how that dance vocabulary has dramatically expanded with the introduction of different figures into the contemporary contra repertoire.

Garland Dancing (13 & up) – Kappy Laning

Music by: Sam Bartlett

Caller’s Class (Pre-accepted applicants) – Joanna Reiner

This class is restricted to the pre-accepted applicants to the English Dance Leaders Course

2:00-2:45 Period 3

Camper Led Activities

Rebecca Bosworth-Clemens is available as a musician for camper-led offerings.

Nature Discovery! – Appalachian Trail Hike (8 & up, under 12 with adult) – Leslie Jeanne Devine

Trees, rocks, moss and more! Taking serendipitous strolls will lead us to discover nature’s splendid surprises. We’ll also play nature games. One afternoon is set aside for exploring the infamous and delightful Appalachian Trail.

3:00-4:00 Period 4 and swimming for all

Tune Session: English (9 & up) – Laurie Andres

Controlled Abandon: Scottish Country Dancing (13 & up, 10-12 w/parent) – Katherine Giacoletti

Music by: Dave Wiesler, Miranda Weinberg: Scottish country dance has its roots in a fusion of English country dance figures and highland dance footwork and music, and is one of the ancestors of American contra dancing. Whether you have done Scottish for years or have never seen it before, come skip, hop, and spin Scottish-style and work up a sweat before you jump in the pool!

Bartlett’s No-Talent Drawing Salon and Cardboard Experiment Station (under 9 w/parent-like helper) – Sam Bartlett

We’ll focus as a group on drawing a Crankie Show, a moving visual story, illustrated on a long piece of paper, and then cranked by hand between two dowels. Drawing tips provided by Mr. Bartlett, but free to be ignored. We will also make hats, masks, and large animals and other parade-able objects (hats, masks, giant gorillas, etc) out of my favorite cheap resource, corrugated cardboard. Ages 8 and below with parent-like helper.

Caller’s Class (Pre-accepted applicants) – Joanna Reiner

Music by: Jonathan Jensen: This class is restricted to the pre-accepted applicants to the English Dance Leaders Course

4:15-5:15 Period 5 and swimming for all

Indigo for All! (for All) – Leslie Sudock

This year we’ll bring back the indigo vats and celebrate the magic of blue! Indigo is a magical natural dye, and indigo dyeing is safe and fun for campers of all ages. So bring a clean white T-shirt or two to camp and learn the Japanese art of shibori resist dyeing techniques (only one of which is the familiar “tie-dye” process), katazome stencil resist and tsutsugaki freestyle paste resist dyeing. Some dye blanks (scarves, bandanas, etc) will be available for folks who need extra supplies or want to try additional projects.

A Cappella Singing (under 10 w/adult singing buddy) – Kerry Ryer-Parke

Come experience the joy of singing in harmony. Whether you are new to singing and want tips for more confidence, or are an experienced singer looking to play with harmony and blend, there will be something for everyone. We will sing sacred and secular songs from America and the world in two, three or four parts, and also try our hand at making up harmonies on the spot. All songs can be learned by ear and all levels of singers are welcome, though singers under the age of 10 are asked to bring an adult singing buddy.

Here’s to the Composers (13 & up) – David Millstone, Joanna Reiner

Music by: Dave Wiesler, Jonathan Jensen, Miranda Weinberg: This week we celebrate the music of two gifted and prolific composers, both of whom will be at camp with us! Jonathan Jensen and Dave Wiesler have provided music for scores of contemporary English country dances. Join us for a rewarding dance journey, carried along by a delightful variety of their tunes!

Tune Session: Irish & American (9 & up) – Cedar Stanistreet

Come learn traditional jigs and reels! Any instruments are welcome, at any level. Tune teaching will be done by ear, with an emphasis on what makes these tunes sound authentic to the traditional style. Sheet music will be handed out at the end of the classes.

English Dance Leaders Course

So you want to be an English dance caller! Hooray!

English dance calling and leading is the best job in the world, but it is, in fact, a job. It requires training, experience, patience, love, continuing education, many hours outside of actual gigs to prepare and digest, and overall, passion for and dedication to English Country Dance, this sport we love so much.

This course, held concurrently with Cascade of Music & Dance at Camp Louise, is designed and led by Joanna Reiner, who has been calling for many years, and enjoys passing this skill on. It is designed for English dancers interested in becoming callers as well as those who have already begun their calling career. We’ll begin at the beginning with an overview of the history of ECD, and move on to other key topics including:

  • what makes a good caller
  • how to write a program
  • the importance of repertoire
  • understanding ECD music and working with musicians
  • language choices
  • and many others

The course will meet during two class periods per day and include dancing, discussion, small group work, observation, and practice calling.

This course will encourage self-reflection, and will include critique and the opportunity to support and be supported by a cohort. Dancers should sign up for this class with a genuine desire to learn new things, take risks in a supported environment, and try different ways of teaching and calling. By the end of this course, you will have developed a set of personal goals for your teaching, and crafted a plan to achieve them.