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NGI Recipient: Emma Reisinger

Session Attended: Royal Scottish Country Dance Society - Scottish Session I (2009)

Dear Pinewoods,

As we drove up the narrow dirt road to Pinewoods Camp, it was like entering a nature preserve, except that instead of endangered species, I found endangered (or at least not-so-common) forms of folk dancing thriving. I was at Pinewoods for the Scottish weekend, and I made the most of the opportunity by taking part in a dance class during each class period, and never sitting out at the dances and ball (without neglecting to cool my feet in Long Pond, either!).

I have never done so much dancing in such a short space of time! It’s a full week later and my legs are still recovering, but it was definitely worth it. In every class I attended, I learned something importantÑfrom staying with the music no matter what to improving my Strathspey traveling step. Many pieces of footwork were clearly explained and beautifully demonstrated, so that I was able to improve several key steps dramatically.

One of my favorite experiences was being able to dance with so many people. I was flabbergasted at the number of sets that were formed when everyone danced together in C#! Although I was able to participate in classes at the Intermediate and Experienced Social levels, I have only been Scottish Country Dancing since January, with only a few months of Irish step dancing and ballet (under a year, combined) in my past. This experience both boosted my confidence at my current level and encouraged me to learn still more so that I can dance more like some of the teachers and most experienced dancers.

I am particularly glad I was able to come to Pinewoods this summer because at the college I will be attending in the fall, there is no Scottish Country Dancing (or any kind of folk dancing) and I am planning on introducing SCD with some beginners’ classes. Although I’m still a beginner myself, I have now taken classes with several more teachers and seen a variety of techniques, all of which will be immensely helpful when I try to pass on the appreciation for this kind of dancing.

Pinewoods has also opened my eyes to a whole world of dancing outside my once-a-week classes. I can’t thank Pinewoods and the Scottish Session I teachers enough!