About CDR

The Country Dancers of Rochester (CDR) is dedicated to the preservation, study, teaching, enjoyment and continuing evolution of English and American traditional and historical dance and dance music. We currently offer two styles of dance: traditional New England Contra and English Country.

Our dances are participatory, open to all, with live music, smoke-free and alcohol free. Newcomers are always welcome. Dances are taught and prompted, with more teaching at the beginning of the evening. No partner or special dress needed — dress comfortably and wear soft-soled, low-heeled shoes.

CDR is a member of the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), a national organization dedicated to traditional dance and song.


Membership in CDR is open to all. Our members receive a host of benefits, and their membership dues help support the annual costs of the organization (including insurance, web hosting, and advertising). Additionally, as a member organization of the Country Dance & Song Society (CDSS), our members also receive benefits from CDSS. Our membership runs from September 1 to August 31, with the annual membership drive in September; however, you are welcome to join throughout the year.

Member Benefits

  • One dollar discount at each weekly dance (both Contra and English).
  • Eligibility for annual CDR scholarships and matching CDSS camp scholarships.
  • Priority consideration for admission to CDSS events which have limited availability.
  • Early delivery of the quarterly CDR newsletter delivered directly to your home or email.
  • Eligibility to vote at the annual meeting.
  • Eligibility to participate on Planning Committees and to serve on the Board of Directors.
  • New! Custom name tags for all members.
  • New! Eligibility for purchase of a year-round dance pass.
  • The great satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting our local traditional dance community.

Cost of Membership

  • $12 per year for an individual membership.
  • $18 per year for a family/household membership.

Note: our membership year runs from September 1 to August 31. (If you choose to join mid-year, membership can be prorated according to the number of full months remaining until September; ask a volunteer at the dance.)

How to Join

  1. Join instantly with PayPal. Select the appropriate membership level and click on the buy button. You will be taken to PayPal’s secure server to complete your payment.  Paypal takes your credit card if you don’t have a PayPal account.

    Membership Type


  2. Print a membership form. Send the completed form and a check (made out to “CDR”) to:
    Rich Dempsey, CDR Treasurer, 140 Fernboro Rd, Rochester, NY 14618.
  3. Join at a dance.  Membership forms should be available at the dance. Talk to an officer at the break.

Scholarship Recipients

Year Recipient(s)
2016 Meg Grindrod
2015 Carol Gayeski and CJ Bish-Zieglhofer
2014 Chuck Abell and Rafi Pryntz-Nadworny


CDR was founded in 1976.  We’ve kept some history.


The Country Dancers of Rochester, Inc. is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization operating as a Group Affiliate of the Country Dance and Song Society of America under Guidelines established by the Society. CDR is an educational organization dedicated to the preservation, study, teaching, enjoyment and continuing evolution of English and American traditional and historical dance and dance music. CDR furthers these objectives through activities and programs open to the general public.  Find out more in our bylaws.

As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. You may forward your donation to the CDR Treasurer, 140 Fernboro Rd, Rochester, NY 14618, donate at any dance, or donate through PayPal.

There are 3 primary committees that run CDR:

  • The Board oversees the general organization of the club and administers shared services and expenses.  It meets quarterly.
  • The Contra Planning Committee arranges for the Thursday Night Contra Dances.  Thanksgiving Festival planning is arranged by a subcommittee.
  • The English Planning Committee arranges for the Sunday English Country Dances.  Jane Austen Ball planning is arranged by a subcommittee.

CDR officers and committee chairs are listed on the Contact CDR page.