Rebecca Unger’s 1st impressions

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Rebecca’s first impressions

(We thank Rebecca for sharing this heartwarming tale…)

I used to dance (modern and jazz) and I had started to play the guitar. I was stuck in the “base-strum” phase of the guitar. I played “Ashokan Fairwell” as a venture out of the base strum thing, and I loved it. I bought the sheet music and on the backside it said, “For Jay Ungar’s Fiddle and Dance Camp, call…”


So I thought about returning to dancing, not knowing anything at all about old time music, clogging, fiddle tunes, contra dancing, etc. I thought it was cosmic that Jay had the same last name as me (except for one letter) and I took that as a sign and inquired about the camp. It was too late at that time, but I got in the next summer.

I did not know what I was doing! This was not my style! To dissipate my anxiety, I had gotten a list of names of people who had been there in past years. Several days before my departure I called some of them to get more information and understand a bit more. One guy said, “Let me put it to you this way. At the end of a week there are 200 more people who you love…ya know, back scratches and everything!”

Once again, I knew nothing about anyone I was going to see or anything that I was going to do. To say the least, I was really nervous as I prepared to go to the Ashokan camp. I was SO nervous that after I said goodbye to my daughter, I visited the bathroom to toss my cookies!

I can’t remember if talking to the former participants made me feel better or not. But once I got there, it felt SO good to take a Band 101 class (with caller John Krumm) and to play music with other people for the first time. I was hooked! And I was in a band!

As for the dancing, I loved the feeling of the mathematical flow around me. It felt really good to dance again. You know the rest…I am about to leave for my 4th year at the camp.

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