With the arrival of 2015, exercise, learning, and self-improvement are on all our minds right now. A clogging class at the Folk School is a great way to learn something new, all while getting your heart rate up at the same time. Clogging is unique because you move to the rhythm and also interpret the music to create percussion with your feet… we like to call clogging “old-time aerobics” up here in the mountains.
Come learn more about these traditional percussive dance styles in three exciting weekend clogging classes scheduled in 2015:
(February 27-March 1)
Start a joyful hobby that is great exercise, too. Join Emolyn, who has been dancing her entire life, to learn a variety of percussive steps and short group routines to wonderful, live fiddle music. You’ll soon be dancing to your heart’s content! The only requirement is a basic level of fitness to stand and be active for a couple of hours at a time.
Emolyn is a Brasstown native. Exposed constantly to traditional music and dance, she started clogging and contra dancing at a very young age and has not stopped pursuing her love of different forms of dance. She has danced with the Cane Creek Cloggers of Chapel Hill, the Green Grass Cloggers of Asheville, with fiddler Jamie Laval, and with Cape Breton step-dancing team, The Twisty Cuffs. Enjoy her blog at www.emolynknits.blogspot.com.
Ellie Grace and Emolyn Liden in Asheville, NC (video courtesy of David Winkle):
Continuing Clogging – Appalachian Flatfooting
If you have already taken beginning clogging, or have previous percussive dance experience, this class is for you. The driving rhythms and beautiful style of Appalachian flatfooting will be our focus. Learn specific techniques and steps that will allow you to make crisp sounds and forge a strong connection to the music. The footwork will be made highly approachable, so have no fear – we will have a grand time marching towards clogging greatness!
Ellie was born into a deep musical tradition and began her lifelong love affair with Appalachian clogging at the ripe-old age of 5. She has spent her life performing professionally as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and dancer. She has toured nationally and internationally with her sister duo (Leela and Ellie Grace), The Grace Family (in her childhood), Dirk Powell, old-time trio Blue Eyed Girl, and several percussive dance companies. Ellie is an experienced and passionate teacher who has taught at camps, schools, and festivals over 20 years. Visit Ellie’s website
English Waltz Clog
Annie Fain Barralon
A beautiful form of percussive dance, waltz clogging dates back to American clogging’s earliest roots in the British Isles. Danced in wooden-soled clogs or tap shoes, the most distinguishing characteristic of this style is emphasis on 3/4 waltz time. We will build a vocabulary of traditional waltz-clog steps and practice stringing them together to create routines to live music.
Annie Fain is a native of the crafts and music/dance community of Brasstown and is now the Folk School’s Music & Dance Coordinator. She teaches a variety of classes at the school including book arts, clawhammer banjo, Appalachian clogging, and waltz clogging. Annie Fain plays banjo and banjo uke for the all-woman string band, Blue Eyed Girl, and has danced with both Loafers Glory Clog Morris and the Green Grass Cloggers.
See an example of English Waltz Clog :
Cory Marie Podielski is a freelance graphic designer, photographer, and writer for the John C. Campbell Folk School. She has been writing for the Folk School Blog since 2012 and enjoys interviewing artists, musicians, and craftspeople. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the banjo, dancing, printmaking, playing in clay, and assisting in Folk School bread baking classes. podielski.com