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NGI Recipient: Catherine (“Bean”) Knott

Session Attended: Country Dance and Song Society - English & American Week (2013)

Dear Pinewoods Camp and Country Dance and Song Society,

Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to take part in this year’s English & American Week and finally experience the magic of Pinewoods.

Having contra danced for several years, I had heard from countless dancers about the wonder of Pinewoods. Despite thinking I knew how wonderful an experience a week at Pinewoods would be, my expectations were blown out of the water by the wonderful people that I got to spend a week dancing with. Upon arriving I almost immediately became caught up in the magic of the music, dancing, and laughter that was around seemingly every corner.

One of the highlights of my week at Pinewoods was the countless new faces that I met upon arrival. For years I have been dancing at my locals dances and traveling to big festivals and dances across the northeast. Pinewoods was a new playing field; with dancers and musicians from completely foreign dance communities to me. I had a wonderful opportunity to meet many new dancers from across the country. Quickly these new faces became new friends and dance partners and I left the week with the unexpected treat of dozens of new friendships.

In addition to meeting a whole host of new members of the dance community, I was able to expand my dancing repertoire as well. English & American week was the perfect place for me to try new dance styles throughout the day and nights and still get my twirling fix from evening contras. Getting a chance to dabble in new dances such as Quebecois step dancing and rapper were two of the highlights of my time at Pinewoods. In addition to learning about new traditions and styles of dance, I was able to dance and enjoy styles of dance I already love. Interjecting my day with wonderful sessions of ECD was a great way to grow my love for this elegant dance form as well as enjoy some of the most beautiful dance music I have ever heard. And of course, every day was made that so much more delightful by a daily round of couple dancing. Zwiefachers, polkas, and waltzes, oh my! Having the opportunity to dance through each day into the night and onto the wee hours of the next morning was an incredible experience that I hope one day I have the chance to enjoy again.

Finally I would like to thank all those who make my experience at Pinewoods possible and truly wondrous. Special thanks to Lisa Greenleaf for being my sponsor, Shawn Brenneman for being my mentor, and finally thanks to all of the staff, crew, and my fellow campers. Hope to see you all soon on the dance floor!