«Back to all NGI Letters

NGI Recipient: Dana Hartshorn

Session Attended: Country Dance and Song Society - Harmony of Song and Dance (2016)

I attended Harmony of Song and Dance and had a wonderful first experience at Pinewoods. The community was incredibly friendly and welcoming and the instructors were fabulous. I made many new connections with instructors and campers alike and emerged with a large new repertoire of songs, tunes and dances. Being part of a group of sweet and talented individuals for a week fostered many interesting discussions as well as pushed me to improve my dancing, singing and playing. I adored Emily Miller’s southern duet class, it was expertly run to make those not as comfortable with singing alone feel totally secure. Other highlights include camper’s night where a few of my ‘youth’ friends and I temporarily formed One Night Band and performed a few medleys, including a pop song, for the evening contra dance. The honky-tonk party was also a fabulous good time. But it’s so difficult to choose specific highlights as the whole week was full of beautiful moments of discovery and connection.

The biggest challenge may have been the heat, but that was always temporarily solved by jumping in the pond. Asides from that, everything went smoothly.

I had many take-aways from the week. Lisa Greenleaf’s morning contra class had some great ideas for fostering communication, consent and safety in the dance community, an important topic as a young dancer, fully immersed in the New England folk community. I, of course, have many new tunes and songs to share with friends and musicians back home, and also an overall sense of energy and happiness that I try to infuse my music with. As a contra musician, I had some wonderful acoustic jams with campers and instructors, which is always an inspiring and amazing experience, allowing me to expand my repertoire and broaden my musical horizons. It was such fun to have so many amazing young musicians at Harmony Week.

As a working college student, I would not have been able to afford to attend camp had I not received the scholarship. I am so thankful for the NGI program and the support it provides to young musicians, singers and dancers. My family and I are all working very hard to fund my college education and living on a tight budget, which makes me even more grateful for the New Generation Initiative, which made it possible for me to spend an affordable and magical week at Pinewoods.

I really appreciated the ‘mentor’ NGI provided me with. It was nice to have someone to contact with questions before the camp began and show me around a little once I arrived.

Overall, I fell totally in love with Pinewoods and will do my best to return year after year. I am so appreciative of the scholarship money I received that made it possible for me to attend. I had an amazing week, dancing, singing, and playing my heart out in such a lovely location surrounded by wonderful community and talent.