About CDR

Country Dancers of Rochester (CDR) sponsors traditional New England Contra Dances and English Country Dances. 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. It costs $12 a year for an individual, $18 a year for a household. Members get $1 off dance admissions and the satisfaction of supporting traditional American and English social dancing in Rochester.  In addition, members are eligible to apply for scholarship aid to attend camps and programs sponsored by CDSS, may attend general and special meetings, vote on all questions coming before the membership, hold office and serve on special committees.

Memberships run from September 1 for one year, through August 31.  If you join mid-year, pay for the number of full months remaining until Sept. 1 ($1 / month individual, $1.50 family).

There are three ways 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.


In 2014, CDR awarded two scholarships to attend CDSS dance camps.


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.

There are 3 primary committees that run CDR:

  • The Executive Committee 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.