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NGI Recipient: Lili Hanft

Session Attended: CDS Boston Centre - ESCape (English-Scottish-Contra) (2018)

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend ESCape week at Pinewoods this summer, made possible by the New Generation Initiative scholarship.

I first heard about Pinewoods while I was a college student studying abroad in England, where I got involved in Scottish Country Dancing. A dancer there told me, “When you’re back in the States, be sure you go to Pinewoods!” So I had the name in the back of my mind, and when I heard some of the other dancers in my local Scottish group talking about the camp this spring, I was inspired to look into it. The whole application process flowed very smoothly: I read about the NGI scholarship on what turned out to be the final day to apply, applied, and received the scholarship!

Throughout my time at Pinewoods, I was so delighted by how friendly and welcoming everyone was. Despite not knowing anyone prior to arriving, I quickly struck up wonderful conversations with people, whether over meals, at the lakeside, or between classes in the dance pavilions.

What a pleasure to dance with so many talented and passionate dancers! The teachers were fabulous; thank you Terry Harvey and Joanna Reiner Wilkinson! I loved that I could sample dancing from all three traditions, and I definitely feel that my dancing has improved as a result of the camp.

My days at Pinewoods were a pleasant balance of activity and rest, with times to dance until I was drenched in sweat, interspersed with times to swim and read by the lake. I enjoyed living in the cabins, with the cool breeze off the lakes blowing through the curtains at night, and being able to step outside and be surrounded by the warm, earthy scent of the pine trees and sunlight streaming through the branches. The food, too, was excellent, and even with my dietary needs there were plenty of delicious options.

Thank you so much for this wonderful experience! I returned home with fond memories, new friends, (somewhat sore feet!), and the desire to come back next year!