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NGI Recipient: Jenna Simpson

Session Attended: CDS Boston Centre - English Scottish Session (2012)

I’d like to thank you wholeheartedly for the NGI scholarship, which allowed me to attend ESS this summer. I had a really wonderful time, and picked up a lot of skills and ideas to take home with me, both as a dancer and as a teacher.

From the beginning to the end, everyone was so very friendly and both the musical and instructional staff were fantastic. With music like that, how can you help but dance your best? I was delighted to actually get to hear in person so many musicians whose recordings I’ve long admired and danced to back home.

On the Scottish side of things, I enjoyed attending Ron Wallace’s advanced Scottish and ladies’ step dance classes. Not only did I learn a number of new and interesting dances, but I gained confidence in my own skills and picked up new tips and techniques to improve my dancing. Ron also provided a great example to follow as I begin to dip my feet into the waters of SCD teaching. His clarity in giving instructions, friendly and upbeat personality, and patience with dancers of varying skill levels are a model for us all.

Melissa Running offered another great session with her experienced English class. She provided an interesting variety of dances with great music. (In just the last week I’ve already introduced my group back home in Williamsburg to two of the dances she taught in her session, both were quite well-received!)

I also particularly enjoyed attending Judy Erickson’s longsword class. It was such a treat to get to learn about and participate in a genre of dance I don’t have access to at home. It was a lot of new information for me, but she made it easy to assimilate, low-pressure, and a lot of fun! (And she didn’t disappoint in her promise to teach us a really cool hey!)

The only problem with the session was that the time passed so quickly! It was a fantastic experience, and I’m so grateful for the scholarship that made it possible for me to attend!