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NGI Recipient: Vielle Roby

Session Attended: Folk Arts Center of New England - FAC weekend (2018)

Growing up, I have been surrounded by folk dance and music. This fostered my love for traditional dancing. But it also exposed me to a number of great dancers who are much better than I am. When I was younger I didn’t dance. I didn’t know the dances very well, and I refused to ask for help. It took me years to accept that it was okay to not know what I was doing, and that I could learn and become better.

Learning the dances that I’ve grown up watching and admiring is my way of growing into myself and becoming more confident. Pinewoods is one of my favorite places to learn. I’ve been going to Pinewoods for years, and every time I come back knowing know more about dancing and feeling better about myself as a dancer. This year, Steve Kotansky’s workshop was especially helpful for me to attend. Many of the dances I’ve learned over the years are ones that he taught the community, and I look up to him as both a dancer and dance teacher.

I sincerely appreciate being a recipient of the NGI Scholarship. Receiving it has enabled me to learn more about something I love and become more confident in myself and my abilities. Thank you for supporting me and others in being a part of the folk dance community.