Welcome

Welcome to the website of the Country Dance and Song Society of Pittsburgh.

We hold periodic social English country dances, host Pitt’s Maggot dance weekends, organize workshops for developing dance leaders, and have a performance team . You might be interested in:

Join us for an evening of participatory dance and music (schedule). All dances are taught, you do not need to attend with a partner, attire is casual, and we hold free beginners’ workshops at every dance. Our regular season Saturday dances begin again September 13th and are bimonthly, usually the 2nd and 4th Saturdays (but check the calendar for exceptions), at the Friends Meeting House, 4836 Ellsworth Avenue, Pittsburgh, in Shadyside near Oakland. In addition to our regularly scheduled dances, we also have caller practices about one Wednesday a month.  For dancers this is a free chance to see the dances from a caller’s perspective. Sign on to our email list using this web form.

Play Dater Music Sessions: Musicians of all abilities are welcome. We play English country dance tunes from the Barnes books. If you don’t have those, we can share. If you can’t read music, we can show you how to play along with drones, chords, or harmonies. To get on the email list or for more information, folks can email Maro Avakian at maroavak@gmail.com or phone 412-513-7634.

CDSSP is a membership organization, and members receive discounted admission to our regular dances.  To join, use this 2017-2018 Membership Form.

What is English Country Dancing?

Never heard of English Country Dancing? If you’ve seen the movies Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility, you have indeed seen this form of social dance. But  English Country Dancing (ECD) is not an obscure relic! While this traditional form of dance has been around for several hundred years, it’s still thriving today. There is English Country Dancing all over the United States. The dances that we enjoy date back as far as 1651—or to the latest hot favorite composed yesterday.  The Country Dance & Song Society of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania dances regularly throughout the year in Pittsburgh’s Oakland district, within walking distance of several major universities.  We are nationally affiliated with the Country Dance and Song Society:

Here’s a sample of our dancers performing in the 2013 Pittsburgh Folk Festival, including two of our regular Saturday dances, two dances from Whiskey Rebellion Morris, and an open variant of the Abbots Bromley dance:

Related Dance organizations:

CDSS-Pittsburgh is a member of the national Country Song and Dance Society, http://CDSSP.org.

Country dancing has similarities to Contra, Scottish and Irish dancing.  For more information about these, see Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dancer Society, and Pittsburgh Contra Dance.