“It will be, without a doubt, the most fun you’ve had in a long time.”

–Helen Whitty

August 7 – 14, 2021 // Plymouth, MA

Dance, sing, play, repeat: party in the woods!

CDSS is moving forward with 6 COVID vaccine-required camp sessions for 2021. Each session will adhere to national, state, and local public health ordinances in effect at the time of the session. CDSS will continually monitor public health guidelines and keep registered campers informed of program adjustments as they are necessary.

Click here to read more about our decision process.

The program details listed here are subject to change. We are working with staff and program directors to bring you as much of this program as possible. We will continue to update these pages as changes become clear. 

There will be a lottery on June 14 for any programs that are oversubscribed. After that date, registrations are processed in order of receipt.

Join our community Facebook group!

Program Description

American Dance & Music Week at Pinewoods gathers folks from around the country to learn and have a mighty fine time together. Whether you’re just dipping a toe in the water, or you’re an experienced dancer and player, this week will provide all kinds of contra and contra-adjacent activities for you to explore. From Bal folk to Blues, from harmony singing to hot squares, this week will keep you moving and learning in a wonderful community.

Dancers at American Dance Week

Every afternoon we get together at Gathering to hear mini-concerts from staff and enjoy humorous presentations. Then, folks gather at the shady Raccoon Bar for tunes, conversations, and drinks (non-alcoholic options heartily welcomed). Every evening, we come together in an open air pavilion to dance to glorious music. To keep up with the times, this year we’ll be using Larks/Robins for contras and Ladies/Gents for squares.

Campers jamming at the Raccoon Bar

This is a week for singers, too.

One of the best things about camp is that you have many opportunities to debut and put yourself out there! Campers’ Night on Wednesday means that the evening dance is run entirely by campers calling and playing. There are after-parties every night full of singing and dancing, many informally led. And then, there will be a daily “hot-shots” session where anyone can lead a one-shot workshop on a topic of interest. Think outside the box – storytelling? Plant identification? Synchronized swimming? ECD?

American Week will also host the Contra Dance Caller’s Course led by the inimitable Lisa Greenleaf. This course will bring emerging callers to our dance floors and stages, adding a level of thoughtfulness about dance that will enrich our session in numerous ways.

The people and the classes are thrilling enough. But really this is just the tip of the iceberg! What none of us can see yet, what we can only imagine, is all that miraculous energy that emerges when a great community of people get together. Perhaps you’ll find yourself playing tunes with your feet in a pond, or star-gazing with a new best friend, or singing into a microphone for the first time.

The week is yours. Be there. 

~ Emily Troll, Program Director

Schedule

Updated June 25,2021

7:15-7:45Movement Improvement with Tai Chi Qigong – Cis Hinkle
7:45-8:15Hot Breakfast served cafeteria style
8:15-8:45Cold Breakfast Coffee/Tea available
8:45-9:00Morning Song
9:15-10:15Period 1
Good Neighbor Contras — Ben Sachs-Hamilton
Old-Time Harmony Singing – Beverly Smith
Ukulele Jam – Katie Martucci
Contra Callers Course (course registrants only) — Lisa Greenleaf
10:30-11:30Period 2
Snappy Squares from Mid-Century to the New Millennium – Cis Hinkle
Waltz – Clayton Jennings
Swing Harmony — Katie Martucci
Bal Folk Repertoire – Jeremiah McLane
Contra Callers Course (course registrants only) – Lisa Greenleaf
11:30-12:10Swimming, Bookstore staffed
12:15Lunch
1:45-2:45Period 3
Mindbending Contras (and more) – Cis Hinkle
Quebecois Session Repertoire — Yann Falquet
Spectacular Pub Singing Practicum – Julia Friend
3:00-4:00Period 4
Contra Caller’s Dance Party – Lisa Greenleaf and the Callers Course
Blues – Clayton Jennings
Old-Time Tunes — Beverly Smith
4:00Tea
4:30-5:00Gathering
5:00-6:30 Special Events, Swimming, Bookstore staffed
6:30Dinner
8:00-10:30Evening Dance Party
After-dance Activities

Class Descriptions

Updated June 25, 2021

7:15-7:45

Movement Improvement with Tai Chi Qigong – Cis Hinkle

With roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts, qigong is a practice to cultivate and balance qi (chi), translated as “life energy”. Come learn how to use some of these gentle and powerful movements to enhance your dance experience with more flexibility, strength, balance, and flow. You’ll feel better at the end of class than when you came in, guaranteed!

8:45-9:00

Morning song

Period 1

Good Neighbor Contras – Ben Sachs-Hamilton

Music by: Cedar Stanistreet, Max Newman, Dave Langford: We all want to be supportive partners and neighbors on the dance floor, but don’t often get the chance to explore what that really means. In this class we’ll get our morning contra fix while practicing the skills of communication, flexibility and recovery that go into being a “good neighbor.”

Old-Time Harmony Singing – Beverly Smith

We will look at what makes harmony and how to find a harmony part to a song you may have never sung or even never heard. We will also learn some of the great duets and trios from the early days of the country music — Carter Family, Stanley Brothers, Blue Sky Boys etc., and learn to listen and match the other voices in the group.

Ukulele Jam – Katie Martucci

New songs every day! Learn new tunes across a range of genres. You’ll learn new chords, different stylistic techniques and enjoy the unique sonic experience of dozens of ukuleles playing together.

Contra Callers Course (Pre-registration) – Lisa Greenleaf

Link to course page

Period 2

Snappy Squares from Mid-Century to the New Millennium – Cis Hinkle

Music by: Beverly Smith, Emily Troll, Dave Langford, Julia Friend: In the 1950s, just before rock ‘n’ roll, square dancing swept the country. Creativity and innovation were all the rage, and new moves were invented every day. That inventive spirit is still alive and well among square dance composers today. Come explore some fresh ideas from ‘back in the day’, and contemporary takes on the tradition.

Waltz – Clayton Jennings

Music by: Eric Boodman, Yann Falquet: Learn to feel comfortable connecting and moving across the waltz floor. We will progress through basic footwork, rotation, connection variations, and fun flourishes that are accessible for everyone. With a balance of instruction and practice, there will be opportunities for both new and experienced dancers to grow their waltz skills. Gorgeous musical accompaniment by Mary Cay Brass and Jeremiah McLane. Dancers will be asked to choose a lead or follow role for each lesson, but can feel free to choose different roles between classes.

Swing Harmony – Katie Martucci

Learn to sing in tight three-part swing harmony, a la The Boswell Sisters and The Mills Brothers. We’ll learn a few arrangements of swing standards and dive into some of the theory so students understand how to hear and sing their own harmonies.

Bal Folk Repertoire – Jeremiah McLane

description to come

Contra Callers Course (Pre-registration) – Lisa Greenleaf

Link to course page

Period 3

Mindbending Contras (and more) – Cis Hinkle

Music by: Jeremiah McLane, Max Newman, Cedar Stanistreet: For those who want a little more spice in their dancing experience, we’ll explore some tricky moves, unexpected twists, and challenging timing in a variety of dance formations.

Quebecois Session Repertoire – Yann Falquet

Yann will teach awesome tunes (some common, some less) that will make you very popular at your next French Canadian session. Tunes will be taught on mandolin and button accordion. All instruments welcome!

Spectacular Pub Singing Practicum – Julia Friend

I call this kind of social singing the Vocal Potluck because each person cooks their vocal dish ahead of time, and then everyone gets to taste the chorus even if they don’t know the recipe. We’ll spend most of the workshop singing songs, learning choruses, trying our own harmonies, and practicing leading songs, but we will also discuss things like: * Where to look for songs to learn, * Dealing with nervousness while singing, * Encourage others and reading the energy of the room, * Recognizing when lyrics don’t align with our ethics, and then figuring out how to contextualize confusing lyrics or remove offensive content.

Period 4

Contra Caller’s Dance Party – Lisa Greenleaf

Music by: Max Newman, Yann Falquet, Dave Langford: Come get your groove on at our dance party, featuring the talents of the callers course participants. These callers will energize the dance floor and get folks moving to the beat of our fabulous musicians.

Blues – Clayton Jennings, Alyssa Adkins

Music by: Katie Martucci, Anna Patton, Jeremiah McLane: From the ballrooms of Chicago and NY, to the juke joints of the American South, blues dancing is rooted in African American music and traditions. We will cover the basics of two blues dance styles: Jookin and Ballroomin’. Jookin: focusing on rhythmic movement in small spaces, we’ll explore fun footwork and styling to help you party down on the dance floor. Ballroomin’: glide across the floor in this smooth, traveling blues dance. We’ll teach lead/follow dynamics and elegant momentum based movements. Jookin will be taught with switch dance roles and Ballroomin’ dancers will be asked to choose a lead or follow role. Katie Martucci and Anna Patton will provide fantastic live music.

Old-time Tunes – Beverly Smith

What are the secret ingredients to making dancers jump and holler with joy? We’ll do a combination of tune learning and experimenting with ways to make the music as danceable as possible. Anyone is welcome to listen and learn. Players should be able to play close to dance tempo. Participants will be encouraged to show their skills off at Camper’s Night and the Friday Parade!

5:00-6:30

Free time for napping, swimming, parties, and one-shot workshops. With the Raccoon Bar open for social time, jamming, and singing.

Registration and Fees

You can find more information about the registration process here. If you need financial assistance in order to attend, please go to our scholarships page.

The registration fee for this week is $915.

Staff

Yann Falquet

American Dance & Music Week
Yann Falquet

Katie Martucci

American Dance & Music Week, Harmony of Song & Dance
Katie Martucci

Lisa Greenleaf

American Dance & Music Week
Lisa Greenleaf

Julia Friend

American Dance & Music Week
Julia Friend

Clayton Jennings

American Dance & Music Week
Clayton Jennings

Cis Hinkle

American Dance & Music Week
Cis Hinkle

Jeremiah McLane

American Dance & Music Week
Jeremiah McLane

Max Newman

American Dance & Music Week, Family Week at Ogontz
Max Newman

Anna Patton

American Dance & Music Week
Anna Patton

Ben Sachs-Hamilton

American Dance & Music Week
Ben Sachs-Hamilton

Beverly Smith

American Dance & Music Week
Beverly Smith

Cedar Stanistreet

American Dance & Music Week
Cedar Stanistreet

Alyssa Adkins

American Dance & Music Week

Eric Boodman

American Dance & Music Week
Eric Boodman

Dave Langford

American Dance & Music Week

Emily Troll

American Dance & Music Week, Program Directors
Emily Troll