Nov 2023 – President’s Corner


by Kathy Story

This month, we debut two new columns: The President’s Corner and On the Dance Floor. In The President’s Corner, I’ll be sharing interesting news about our dance and music community, recent board and committee activity, and other good stuff. Let me know if you’ve got a topic you would like to see covered. In On the Dance Floor, dancers will be sharing tips on style, technique, and etiquette to make our dances more fun and enjoyable for everyone. Again, if you’ve got a topic you’d like to see addressed, even a short question, let us know. (Or write that month’s column!)

So many things I could write about: the highly successful Northwest Passage ECD weekend in September, our new sound apprenticeship program, the exciting new format for our contra Tune Sessions, the Portland English Ball, George Marshall with Faux Paws coming on November 14, and Raindance registration starting January 1. But these are covered elsewhere in this issue, so I’d like to tell you about something you might not have known: PCDC hosted the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) Executive Committee meeting here in Portland on October 19–22. One of the ways CDSS carries out its mission to “connect and support people in building and sustaining vibrant communities through participatory dance, music, and song traditions” is by holding its Executive Committee meetings in local communities. We hosted the execs in the 1990s and were pleased to have them back again. One of our own, Norman Farrell, is currently on the Executive Committee, and many of our members have served on the CDSS board and committees over the years. PCDC is an affiliate of CDSS.

The CDSS Executive Committee met during the day and danced with us in the evening. Both our English and contra dances were well attended and a lot of fun. Seventeen local organizers, dancers, musicians, callers, and volunteers attended the community meeting on Sunday and the conversation was productive. I was impressed by CDSS’s commitment to being a resource for dance communities around the country. The Committee asked us to talk about our successes and challenges. We learned about some specific grant opportunities for some of our programs and other possible support for our organization. CDSS learned that we have great programs and innovative initiatives, information that could benefit their other affiliates. The Committee members appreciated that we have a vibrant dance and music community and were pleased to be a part of it, if only for one weekend. Many of the members, including the chair, told me that their meeting was very successful and that our hospitality was wonderful. 

Thanks to all the PCDC folks who hosted Execs, loaned cars, set up the brunch and brought food, and helped in other ways. Many, many thanks to David Macemon and Cynthia Stegner for organizing and coordinating the entire weekend and hosting meetings in their home. Please take a minute to thank them for their hard work and generosity!