Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Occupation: Have worked as a field botanist but am currently disabled and three years into my battle with Lyme disease. I have been bedridden much of the time for the past two years. I applied for a scholarship when going through a good period. Once about every 10 months I get about two good weeks; fortunately for most of the week of camp I was pain free and able to engage.
Connection to Balkan music/dance: I have set up monthly lessons on piano accordion.
Number of times at Balkan camp: This was my first time.
Studied at camp: All accordion: Kalin [Kirilov]’s Bulgarian ornamentation class, Raif [Hyseni]’s accordion class and Albanian ensemble.
Memorable moment at camp: I was trying to a little dancing and had never done any before. But one of the really powerful dances that’s doable for beginners, I was able to get into that muscle memory. Dancing the odd meters, feeling it corporally in your body, really helps you as a musician. Another enjoyable thing was seeing Kalin just playing outside his cabin on the porch in the early evening; he was playing with some guy playing gajda from Northern California. There was another guy playing some sort of percussion. It was very memorable.