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NGI Recipient: Jacquelynn Ward

Session Attended: CDS Boston Centre - July 4th Weekend (2008)

When I applied for the scholarship I had never been to Pinewoods. I had no idea of what to expect. When I got there and found myself surrounded by the pines with the two ponds I felt like I was in a different world. One in which music and dance prevailed, and everyone was there to have fun and learn. The music, the dancing and the teaching were all excellent. The people were open and happily shared their experience and knowledge. The teachers were willing to help you no matter what your skill level as long as you were willing to try.

During my weekend at Pinewoods I learned more than I could have imagined. I watched in awe as people performed with great skill and then was thrilled that able to try some of the dances and music myself. My only wish was that I was a better student and more capable, but still it inspired me to keep learning.

There was so much to do in one weekend with from beginner clogging to advanced technique classes; I wanted to do everything. Maybe someday I will, but I think that the most important thing that I came away from Pinewoods with was simply the knowledge of all the possibilities out there and of the community of people I met. From this weekend I was able to make connections for future learning and dancing, as well as some new friends.

Without this scholarship I never would have been able to go to Pinewoods. It was a wonderful experience and I would love to come back someday. Thanks to everyone who made it possible.