Our mission is to create an enlivening program of dance, song, music-making, and other activities that is fun for all ages. The organizing committee for Swing into Summer is:

  • Alex Krogh-Grabbe

    Alex Krogh-Grabbe is a contradancer and organizer living in Providence, Rhode Island. He started dancing at NEFFA in 1999 and hasn’t looked back. He has also been involved in organizing BIDA, NEFFA, Youth Dance Weekend, and various dances around Western Massachusetts.

  • Max NewmanMax Newman

    When not organizing, Max spends a lot of his time playing music, often with the bands Nor’easter and Stringrays. He served a term as the Youth Projects Intern at the Country Dance & Song Society, leading workshops and creating resources for dance organizers and the like. He also serves on the organizing committee for Youth Dance Weekend.

    Swing into Summer is a chance for him to lead by example, showing that you don’t need to be good at the ukulele to have a blast playing it. Known to shout “Money Musk!” in a crowded hall, he is also an avid fan of root beer. Current obsessions include the idea (at least) of playing lots of board games.

  • Allison ShappAllison Shapp

    Allison hails from Brooklyn, New York, where she was one of the founders of the Brooklyn Contra. She is a contra dancer, a player of flute, and is developing a recently discovered love of playing English Country Dance music. She first learned of contra dancing while working at a 19th century living history museum, and she was wearing a full hoop skirt for her first dance. When she is not dancing, Allison is working on a PhD in linguistics.

  • Ben Williams424509_10101104107860882_1860137569_n

    Ben Williams began contra dancing in 2009 while attending UMass Amherst, and has been in love ever since. He is also a life-long singer and plays a number of instruments badly, including bones, jaw harp, and guitar. He lives in Western Massachusetts where he works as a writer, meditation leader, and tiny house builder, among other things.

  • Eleanor Lincoln11429937_10152983367532496_4613341732228814295_o

    Western MA native Eleanor Lincoln weaves her love of music and dance between teaching elementary school kiddos and participating in the New England folk dance scene. She is a classically trained viola player and now spends time playing fiddle tunes and English Country Dance hits along with Bach and Beethoven.  She and her partner Ben sing in a choir, sit on the Fiddler’s Green Dance committee, and build their tiny house together.

To get in touch with the committee, please email info@swingintosummer.org.

Previous Years

Before it was called “Swing into Summer”, Swing into Summer was just called “First Weekend”. In 2011, CDS-Boston Centre, which had been in charge of the weekend and had seen declining attendance, decided a new direction was needed. They brought on Chuck Gordon to rebrand the weekend. Chuck recruited Max Newman, Alex Krogh-Grabbe, and Jeremy Carter-Gordon to help, and Swing into Summer was reborn as such. In 2014, Allison joined Max & Alex in organizing the weekend, and keeps those two wild and crazy (and distractable) guys on task.

First Weekend used to be more specifically designed for families than Swing into Summer is. While the current idea of the weekend still considers families an important audience, the programming is designed to appeal to all ages, with a special eye to the young adults who can bring a special type of energy to a dance weekend. It seems to be going okay so far!

We have had rockstar staff every year since that transition. Below you can find a listing of who graced the stages of Pinewoods in previous years.


  • Gallimaufry
  • Rachel Bell
  • Eileen Nicholson
  • Adina Gordon
  • Michael Hamilton
  • Emily Troll
  • Julie Vallimont
  • Fynn Crooks


  • Gallimaufry
  • Free Raisins
  • Rachel Wallace
  • Karen Axelrod
  • Rachel Bell
  • Eric Martin
  • Adina Gordon
  • Nicole Singer


  • Gallimaufry
  • Nor’easter
  • Scott Higgs
  • Will Mentor
  • Karen Axelrod
  • Rachel Bell
  • Emily Troll
  • Brendan Taaffe
  • Jan Elliott


  • Nils Fredland
  • Scott Higgs
  • Karen Axelrod
  • Liz Rose
  • Anadama
  • Jan Elliott
  • Max Newman
  • Mia Bertelli
  • Jeremy Carter-Gordon


Our venue, Pinewoods, is a traditional dance and music camp. Located on twenty-five acres in a beautiful pine forest between Long Pond and Round Pond in Plymouth, Massachusetts, it has four custom-built dance pavilions, rustic cabins, swimming in two clear water lakes, an open-air dining hall that looks out over the pond, and a cozy camphouse for gatherings.

Folks often describe it as “magical” and we couldn’t agree more. It’s relaxing, with plenty of opportunities to read in the shade, take a walk in the woods, play games in the sun, or jump into the pond for some swimming. And the beautiful dance pavilions in the woods are the envy of many!

The facilities of Pinewoods Camp are operated by Pinewoods Camp, Inc. (PCI), a non-profit organization. PCI is dedicated to supporting country dance, folk dance, folk music, and early music programs by providing an accessible and beautiful setting which enhances the programs offered by the user groups.

For more information and to get involved with this fantastic place, visit its website.

Country Dance Society, Boston Centre

Since 1915, the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre has been working to preserve and promote the knowledge and practice of the traditional and contemporary dancing and dance music of England and New England. The Boston Centre sponsors and produces classes, parties, workshops, and residential and special events featuring the best performers and practitioners of English and New England country dancing. Events are open to all, and most feature teaching; no experience or partner is required.

To learn more about this lively group sponsoring the weekend, visit the CDS-Boston Centre website.

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