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NGI Recipient: Mairead Blatner

Session Attended: CDS Boston Centre - Swing into Summer (2018)

I want to thank you for the opportunity to attend Swing into Summer this June. It was a rich and memorable experience, creating the space to spend time with this beautiful, intergenerational dancing community.

In addition to excellent contra dancing to the Faux Paws, I did my best to explore a number of exciting and new activities during the weekend. I was especially enchanted by English country dancing, which I had never done before. I found other dancers to be helpful when I got lost during the unfamiliar dances, and I loved the more mellow, meditative feel of the dance style, in contrast to the high energy of the Faux Paws.

I also loved the many opportunities for casual singing that presented themselves throughout the weekend. I am not a confident singer, but large-group singing such as the songs led by Eleanor at the All-Camp Gathering and the traditional tunes that I learned at the Pub Sing made me feel comfortable raising my voice with others.

Pinewoods is a beautiful camp, and I especially enjoyed the free time to enjoy the natural space around me when swimming, canoeing, and going for walks. In this setting, I spent quality time with old friends and made new ones, becoming more connected and immersed in this unique community of dancers and musicians. I am deeply grateful to the generosity of the NGI Committee in making this experience possible for me, and I hope that further grants will afford the same opportunity to other young dancers new to the Pinewoods community.