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NGI Recipient: Kathleen Hartung

Session Attended: Royal Scottish Country Dance Society - Scottish Session I & II (2012)

Thank you for awarding me a scholarship to attend both Pinewoods sessions this year. It was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and I am so grateful for having the opportunity.

Each morning I would wake up and want nothing more than to go to breakfast, eat a wonderful meal and laugh with my new friends. It mattered not that physically getting to the dining hall required ignoring the protestations of my legs in order to walk up the hill; nothing deterred me from enjoying every minute. Each day I looked forward to classes and the opportunity to learn something new from incredible dancers and wonderful teachers. I attended an advanced class for the first time–though I have been dancing for less than a year, I had already forgotten what it was like to truly be able to learn something in class! The country dancing classes gave me invaluable advice on how to improve my dancing, which I intend to put to use every chance I have over the many years to come.

I also had the opportunity to learn both Highland and Ladies Step. I have done a small amount of Highland in the past, but attending the classes in the first session allowed me to learn more of the form and, while I by no means perfected the art by the end of the session, I now have the building blocks to continue the study on my own. Ladies Step was a form that I had never done before, a form I had never even heard of until a fellow dancer told me about Pinewoods for the first time a few months ago. I attended the second class of the first session and enjoyed puzzling through the steps; then I attended each class during the second session and learned new steps and a full dance. This introduction to Ladies Step caused me to fall in love with the dance form, and I never would have had the chance to learn it without attending Pinewoods.

Every second of every day at Pinewoods, I was smiling. Eating in the dining hall, doing my daily jobs, floating in Long Pond or laughing at the ceilidhs, every day was blissful. My definition of the word “heaven” is now incomplete without bagpipers, violins, ponds, games on the camphouse porch, and dancing for hours upon hours a day. I am more grateful than I can express for the opportunity to attend the Scottish sessions at Pinewoods this year.