In the bleak Pittsburgh midwinter, CDSSP made it possible for me to dance in the sunshine of St. Croix from January 28 to February 4.  George Marshall, dance impresario, holds annual English Country and contra dances in both St. Croix and the Big Island of Hawaii.  George has a gift for creating a welcoming and accepting community of dancers.  With calling by Joanna Reiner-Wilkinison and David Millstone and music by Bare Necessities, this was my dream team.   One night included a local caller who shared traditional quadrilles of St. Croix with directions in French.  Very different and very fun.

Upon learning that there was room at the English Week and funds available through the Albert Goldsmith Memorial Traditional Dance and Music Scholarship, I applied.  Having known and danced with Albert for many years prior to his death in 2008, I was particularly grateful to be reminded of his generosity and kindness.  I attended camp in that spirit.  The day started with optional yoga at 7am under the tent facing the ocean, followed by breakfast and a morning dance at 9am.  By 10:15am, the sun encroached in the tent making it too hot to continue.  Then it was swimming, snorkeling right at the beach front, going into either of the 2 small towns, game-playing, etc.  The day ended with dinner at 6pm, an evening dance from 7:30, and an after-party of tropical fruits, healthy snacks, sweets, and drinks.  As you might expect, it was a glorious break to the winter!  Although I can’t export the sunshine, I hope to bring all that I learned home.

Please know that there continue to be monies available for camps, music or dance study  I encourage you to consider, apply and enjoy.    ~Jo Schlesinger


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