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NGI Recipient: Jessica Kittel

Session Attended: Royal Scottish Country Dance Society - Scottish Session I (2014)

To RSCDS, Pinewoods and the NGI Committee Chairs:

Thank you so much for making it possible for me to take part in the Royal Scottish Country Dance weekend session. It was a remarkable experience and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to attend.

I hadn’t danced at all – minus the occasional ceili at celebrations – for a few years and had not done Scottish Country dance since childhood. Camp was an irreplaceable crash course in the style. Experienced dancers were more than welcoming and willing to demonstrate a figure or be my partner. The teachers broke down steps, prepared me for the evening dances, developed my technique and attempted to rid me of bad habits. It was decidedly challenging and a little bit painful, but very encouraging.

As for the rest of camp – ridiculous, fun, delightful. Every social hour was a unique success, the céilidh was complete with talent, and my only regret was that classes and dances had me too exhausted to stay until the party’s end. The camp itself is utterly beautiful.

Since the dance weekend I’ve attended several classes in Cambridge and a couple dance parties and am enjoying it all. I have Pinewoods and the NGI scholarship to thank for my excellent introduction into such a wonderful community… and cannot wait until next year.