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NGI Recipient: Ian Patrick

Session Attended: Royal Scottish Country Dance Society - Scottish Session II (2019)

Thank you so much for awarding me NGI scholarships this year for both Scottish Session II.

As I started to get more involved in Scottish Dancing around the Northeast of the US, I’d regularly go to social like the Argyle Ball in Alexandria, VA and Hogmanay in Philadelphia. People would ask me, “You’re going to Pinewoods, right?”, but I had no idea what it actually entailed. Little did I know how quickly, fully, and eagerly I’d fall, and in some ways leap, into the experience that it is.

The classes were challenging but incredibly rewarding. Over the Session II, I attended classes like the Advanced Technique and Critique courses to push myself, and the instructors did so and very kindly identified specific areas for me to practice. By the afternoons, my legs would start an aggressive letter writing campaign as to why I shouldn’t go to the evening dances, but each night as soon as the music welcomed us down the path to C# and onto the dance floor, I found my feet stepping to the music in preparation for another exhilarating night.

The social aspects of the camp rounded out what was a truly wonderful time at Pinewoods. I went into it knowing a handful of people, but over the course of camp that rapidly changed. From meals to classes, gaming on the porch of the camp house to treks to the camp store for ice cream, that quickly changed, and I wound up truly feeling like a part of Pinewoods and its community. I spent hours rehearsing skits for the ceilidh night, preparing items for the auction night and laughing as I watched the bidding fly, and generally savoring all there was. I didn’t want it to stop.

Thank you so much for your scholarship gift and for making it possible for me to not only come to Pinewoods but become a part of it. I don’t doubt I’ll be back again for years to come.