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NGI Recipient: Samathan Wilde

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

Until I went to Pinewoods, I had never ventured far beyond sean-nos and Irish sets. The NGI scholarship assisted greatly in getting me acquainted with other styles of dance. This summer I fell in love with Appalachian clogging, Quebecois step dance, and English country dance at Pinewoods’ English and American Week. The clogging and step dance were completely new to me, but I had done a little bit of English before. Until camp, I didn’t fully appreciate English. I used to go through the motions, my main goal being to simply complete the dance. But at Pinewoods, I was able to get into character, add little embellishments on the figures, engage my partner, and really make the dance mine.

I absolutely loved the community of people surrounding these types of dance. I met so many wonderful people, all of them genuine and really good at what they do. This was my first year at Pinewoods, but I felt like I was immediately embraced with open arms upon arriving. Whether a teacher or a camper, everyone jumped at the opportunity to help me or work with me through a step.

Now I’m back in school, and I can’t seem to keep my feet still. When I’m standing in line, or even sitting in my desk at class, I’m always tapping and shuffling my feet, recalling the various steps I learned during English and American Week. I’m hoping that maybe sometime in the near future, the other Texas Tech students and I will be able to teach fellow dancers what we learned and incorporate it into a Vernacular Music Center program or concert.

Thank you so much for choosing me as an NGI scholarship recipient. I learned so much at English and American Week and gained a new respect and appreciation for different dance styles.