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Organization Structure

Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS)

The CDSS describes itself as a “National leader in promoting participatory dance, music and song that have roots in North American and English culture. We believe in the joy that participatory dance, music and song bring to individuals and communities. Within the US and Canada, we educate, support and connect participants in these living traditions and we advocate for their vitality and sustainability into the future.”

Contras, squares, English country dance, Morris and sword dance, Maypole dances, dance tunes, songs, early music, individuals, families, communities, inclusive of all levels of experience – that’s the world of the Country Dance and Song Society. CDSS was founded in 1915 as a branch of the English Folk Dance Society. (

The section of the CDSS website devoted to Contra Dance includes discussion of the music form and sources, how to call with some dance examples and books listed, promotional information, and numerous website links including many YouTube dance examples.

CALLERLAB, International Association of Square Dance Callers

CALLERLAB's mission statement is “To foster the art of square dance calling, and improve caller skills”.

CALLERLAB fulfills this mission by providing guidance and education, certifying caller coaches, maintaining standardized lists of calls and definitions, and generally promoting the square dance activity.

Committee for Community and Traditional Dance in CALLERLAB

This committee formed from the merger of the Community Dance Committee and the Contra/Traditional Committee.

Its primary focus in recent years has been Beginner Dance Parties.
Since 2000 an annual two-day Beginner Dance Party Leaders Seminar has been held before the CALLERLAB Convention.
This seminar focuses on various types of dances for beginners including Circles, Lines, Contras and Squares and all of the skills involved in presenting such dances and conducting Beginner Parties.

The Committee also publishes the Community Dance Journal two or three times per year and that has a similar focus.
All CD Journal issues going back to 1992 are available from the CALLERLAB website ( look under Document).

The CCTD maintains an extensive web resource of beginner party and community dances.

National Executive Committee (NEC)

The National Executive Committee is made up of General Chairman of National Square Dance Convention®.
Being a Convention General Chairman is the only way to become a member of the National Executive Committee.
The National Executive Committee Members are active square dancers and are available for discussion with any square dancer.

The National Executive Committee meets at least twice a year, spending a week each time at Pre-Convention and Convention.
The National Executive Committee is a volunteer position, no salaries or compensation is received for their services.
Each Committee Member will spend several days per month and several weeks attending the Pre-Convention and Convention events each year.
National Executive Committee Members are responsible for paying their own Convention Registration fee, Program Book, etc., travel, and expenses when attending the National Square Dance Convention®.

The National Executive Committee selects the future Convention sites from among those meeting the requirements and submitting a bid.
Criteria for selection are broad and based on dancers needs and desires.
The Bidding City is responsible for submitting a proposal to the National Executive Committee 90-days prior to the start of the next National Square Dance Convention®.

The National Executive Committee is also responsible for publishing the National Squares Online Magazine, which benefits the upcoming National Square Dance Conventions®.
This publication provides dancers and Dance Leaders from around the world with Convention information and updates each month leading up to the Convention.

Alliance of Round, Traditional and Square Dance (ARTS)

The purpose of ARTS is to create and affirm a name and a non-profit corporation (the ARTS) which will provide an image of unity among diversified dance groups.

The Alliance is made up of nationally recognized dance organizations which have some connection to the world of modern square dancing.

The ARTS coalition offers all member dance organizations a chance for affiliation on a balanced and representative basis without diminishing any of the autonomy, or unique qualities and programs of any individual affiliate member.

Its current members are: All Join Hands Foundation Ltd, CALLERLAB, CONTRALAB, International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs, National Square Dance Campers Association, National Executive Committee, ROUNDALAB, Singles Square Dancers USA, United Square Dancers of America and, USA West Policy Board.

The ARTS presents an attractive and comprehensive 'acronym' for use in advertising, publicity and public awearness and education programs.

The ARTS will function in an advocacy role, providing a strong, central voice, concerned equally with the collective interest of all its affiliated organizations.

The ARTS will allow for more effective public education about these dance forms and their health and fitness benfits.

The ARTS will seek opportunites for grant funding and search for corporate and institutional partners and sponsorship.

The ARTS will also pursue collaborative projects with groups already working in the dance, leisure, recreation or physical education fields.