Class Descriptions, CDW 2022

***More 2022 Class Descriptions Coming Soon***

ADULT PROGRAM (ages 13+)

Harmony Singing with Val Mindel

There is nothing quite as satisfying as voices coming together in harmony. In this class you can expect some fundamental music theory (very accessible to all!), some practice making up harmonies, vocal style tips, as well as just having fun making music together. The repertoire will be a combination of of small-group songs (traditional and country duets and trios) and big-group singing (rounds, songs for community singing). 

Squares with Seth Tepfer

Tap Dance Crash Course with Matthew Olwell

This class will explore American tap dance through technique, improvisation, and historic repertoire. By learning steps, watching film footage, and discussing the cultural and historical context of tap dance and its connection to early jazz music, students will craft their own embodied musical experiences, and interrogate ideas like "tradition" through the lens of this iconic American percussive dance. No prior experience required. Leather-soled shoes or taps recommended. 

English Country Dance with Gaye Fifer

Throughout the week, we will enjoy the delicious variety of moods, music and movements that English country dancing can offer. We will focus on common figures and explore all the ways they have been used to good effect in lovely dances.

Old-Time String Band with Val Mindel
In this class, we'll learn some great old-time stringband tunes (and possibly some songs as well, depending on who comes to the class), primarily from West Virginia. All instruments are welcome (fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass). To get the most out of the class, participants should have some experience learning tunes by ear, but we will tailor the speed of learning to the folks who come.

Ottoman Souvenirs with Sarah Wendtlandt and Drake Meadow
Take a dance trip to the former Ottoman Empire – and return with dance moves and styling you can use to spice up your contra dancing! We’ll learn the Csardas, a Hungarian couple’s dance, and, explore couple, circle, and longways set dances of neighboring countries in the Balkans and the Near East. As souvenirs of our trip, we’ll bring back refinements in aspects of dance such as weight shifting, rhythm, and symmetry in movement, and explore applications to contra dancing.

Needle Felting with Beth Harvey
Explore sculpture and art using wool! Needle felting is an easy and satisfying art form to begin with lots of methods and detail to continue exploring. From whimsical to realistic, the possibilities are endless and the clean up is easy. We’ll work through some projects together while you create your own Cumberland artwork to take home. Small additional material fee to be brought to class.

Band Skills with Jonathan Whitall and Eric Schedler

Waltz with Gaye Fifer
Waltzing is not only about fancy moves and twirls, but first and foremost, about connecting with the music and with your partner. We will focus on the skills and nuances of aware, timely leading and following. What we do will apply to other couple dances as well, and to life in general!

Jazz-Era Party Dances with Emily Oleson

This class will focus on playing with jazz era "moves" like the Shorty George, Suzie Q, and the Charleston- vintage vernacular movement of African American origins done socially as well as in performance in the 1920s, 30s and 40s.  We'll return these social dances to their social (as in party) context, looking at some historical footage of great performers and sociopolitical context along the way!


Dance Band with Deb Shebish and Matthew Olwell

Want to play for dancers? Of course you do! This class will introduce students to the basics of working with other musicians to create strong grooves, fun arrangements, and exciting musical dynamics. We'll teach some tunes and experiment with ways to make them fun to dance to. No prior band experience necessary but students should have a least a small repertoire of tunes and/or chords and a basic proficiency with their instrument. 

Parade Art! with Sam Bartlett

Using my favorite resource in the world, cardboard, we will make hats, masks, and large animals and other parade-able beings.  All ages, but under 8 with a parent or helper. 

Mummer's Play with Brian Lindsay and Emily Oleson

Rhythm and Music Story Time with Meg Dedolph

This class period offers parents and kids, grandparents and grandkids, older siblings and younger siblings, and everyone in between a chance to enjoy a change of pace together in the middle of the day. Each day will feature a story infused with singing, percussion instruments, ukuleles, and movement. The story of the day will be bookended by a grab bag of activities that are fun for all-- some favorite songs, some body percussion pieces, and maybe even a bal folk dance. If you need a second wind during the early afternoon slump, this relaxing-yet-invigorating session is the place to be!

TEENS* (ages 13-18)
*Teens participate in the adult program through out the day, with one special teens only class offered for them.

Vernacular Dance Sampler with Emily Oleson
American cultural practices have complex, intertwined shared roots. This workshop will focus on similarities and differences in American social dances, and will play with Appalachian flatfooting, some contemporary urban dances, and vernacular jazz dances like the Shorty George, Suzie Q, and Charleston. Sitting into these vintage dances of African American origins, we'll explore their social context and communicative power through improvisation, reflection, and discussion of historical sources and sociopolitical issues.


Rapper with Kappy Laning

Calling / Dance with Seth Tepfer

Singing with Val Mindel



Ritual Dance with Kappy Laning

Dance and Games with Seth Tepfer


Musical Movement and Play with Meg Dedolph
We will sing, dance, and play each day sharing and learning songs, stories, and poems. Bring a favorite toy or story to share.

Outdoor Explore 
Let your hair down while creating sand and rock empires, splashing in the creek, frolicking on the lawn or observing critters (possibilities from armadillos to tiny tree frogs to swallows nests) with a great group of friends.

Tap into your creative side by using bits of nature to make fun art. Focused on natural materials that can easily be returned to the earth, or recyclable materials. We will build little treasures and also something to share with our friends at camp. 


Skill Swap
Community lead workshops or class sessions. Could be anything!- an afternoon of games, crafting an art project, discussion on dance communities, foraging for mushrooms, slow jams, swapping clogging steps, a round of rounds, etc. Go to a pick-up class from a world class folkie and/or take a class from an 8 year old. Maybe you'll lead, maybe you'll choose your own adventure.

We come together toward the end of our day to share in song, skit, story, comedy, performance, talents, special moments, joy, harmony, readings, and.... announcements! Not to be missed. What might you share?

Community Dance
Easy, lively, fun dances for ALL ages.
On July 4th we will have a campfire gathering instead of community dance.

Evening Dance
A variety of dance forms (Contras, Squares, English, and more). Led by staff callers.

Late-Night Dancing (teens & adults)
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. Offerings TBA.

Go to Schedule.
Go to Staff Bios.