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NGI Recipient: Colleen Riker

Session Attended: Country Dance and Song Society - English Dance Week (2015)

My personal experience at Pinewoods Camp during English Week was one I’ll never forget. As I look back at the time I spent there, I feel tremendously fortunate to have had such a unique experience. I’ll admit there were times when I’d think there’s no way I can do this for a week, but by the end of the week I understood why so many people return. I felt as if I were on a health retreat away from technology and its frustrations, walking through beautiful rooted paths, eating absolutely delicious meals, and dancing with such skillful, happy dancers. Just to be around such incredible talent, but not only are they talented, they’re truly lovely people. My sister and I were fish out of water and are especially grateful to the folks at Pinewoods. They were absolutely gracious in accepting “newbies”.

I also found the classes to be especially rewarding as I learned many new ways to improve myself while dancing, which ultimately improves the experience for other fellow dancers as well. Though recently I’ve been unable to attend my local ECD class due to my new schedule, I hope I’ll be able to in the near future. I look forward to sharing what I have learned, like the importance of shadowing, so the lines are more uniform (one skill we have yet to master).

I would like to thank everyone who participated in helping my sister and me┬áto have such an experience. We are so very grateful to the kindness you’ve shown in giving us the scholarships. We had such a lovely time, and if it weren’t for you we wouldn’t have made such wonderful memories.