«Back to all NGI Letters

NGI Recipient: Emma Behrens

Session Attended: CDS Boston Centre, Folk Arts Center of New England - Labor Day Weekend (2018)

I sit on the screened in porch of Schiehallion as music drifts over from Pinecones. The mid-afternoon sun bounces off Round Pond and twinkles through the trees. Somehow, time has escaped me and it has been over five years since I last attended camp.
In this time, a lot has happened; I graduated college, moved to Los Angeles and got a job. And as my life became busier, I stopped finding time for things like dancing. Attending the FAC and CDS-BC Labor Day session made me realize how important it is to make time for the things that bring me joy. Being an NGI recipient has reinvigorated my desire to immerse myself in folk dance and song.
Labor Day is such a special session, tucked unassumingly away at the end of summer. It’s a wonderful mix of the staff-led sessions I’ve come to look forward to and camper-led workshops filled with unexpected delights. When I was younger, I enjoyed folk dancing primarily in the context of American dancing. It was what I had grown up with and what came easily to me. This session, I was really excited to learn more international dances. I went to a workshop in the day but also felt more confident stepping into the dances called in the evening. One of my weekend highlights was leading a line there for the first time, during the Serbian dance Šestorka. All things considered, I think it went well (though someone forgot to mention that the dance gets FASTER!)
I also was thrilled to attend the Intro Rapper Intensive. I’m so enamored with the precision and drive of rapper teams and learn something new every time I give it a try. Many humble thank yous to Michael Resnick for his patience and humor. It’s a great sadness of mine that there is no team where I call home in the middle of Vermont. Perhaps I’ll try to start one!
My feet are sore, my brain is spinning with new songs and my heart is full. The moment I pulled away from camp, I began dreaming of the next time I’ll return. I couldn’t be more grateful for the Folk Arts Center, the Country Dance Society-Boston Centre and to Pinewoods Camp for welcoming me back into the community.