«Back to all NGI Letters

NGI Recipient: Amber Dockery

Session Attended: Country Dance and Song Society - English & American Week (2012)

Dear CDSS and Pinewoods Camp,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the wonderful experience I encountered this summer. Due to being on a college student’s budget, going to Pinewoods Camp would have been just a dream. However, my NGI scholarship made that dream become a reality, and I was blessed to be able to attend the English and American Week of August 2012.

Having no previous formal dance training, being a member of the Texas Tech Irish Set-Dancing team has been a great learning experience drawing me into the fascination of old world dance. That interest dramatically expanded at Pinewoods as I discovered contras and percussive dancing such as Appalachian clogging, something you would never see in West Texas! A highlight for me was during clogging class when I was finally able to add the tap at the end of the drag step without lifting my foot up. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to reproduce this with my left foot but I am working on it.

Despite the humidity and bugs, the atmosphere at camp was so incredible! I loved dancing from dawn to dusk and interacting with amazing people whose love for music and dance was remarkable. The collaboration of people from diverse backgrounds merged like a symphony. I was fortunate to meet an extraordinary gentleman there that taught me the proper way to waltz, how to be more comfortable with the basic step and showed me all these cool new waltz moves.

I also gained a new confidence at Pinewoods, not only in my dancing abilities but as a leader in assisting others and expanding their talent. I am excited about this coming year and having the opportunity to share my experience with others. I plan on returning to Pinewood and taking advantage of all the workshops I can. Thanks again for a fantastic opportunity!