Category: Dance

If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out with Aubrey Atwater

Using clogging, music and storytelling to charm Folk School audiences since 1996, Aubrey exudes a talent, grace, and humor unique to only the most tenured and talented of performers. Aubrey returns to the Folk School this September to teach two dynamite classes: Singing with Clawhammer Banjo (Sept. 8-13) and Clogging (Sept. 13-15 – Weekend). She is also scheduled to perform in special Thursday night concert, Sept. 12, 7 p.m. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn to play, laugh, sing, and dance with Aubrey this fall!

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Interview with Annie Fain Liden-Barralon

The Folk School is so happy to welcome Annie Fain Liden-Barralon to the position of Music and Dance Coordinator! I sat down with Annie Fain to find out about her experience growing up in the Folk School community and what it’s like to return as the Music and Dance Coordinator.

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Brasstown Dancers greet Olympic Torch, win the Wickham Cup

Brasstown Morris Dancers greeted the Olympic Torch in Kenilworth, England, and brought home the “Gold” of West Yorkshire Morris Dancing. Except it’s not gold and they didn’t bring it home. The Wickham Cup, actually a silver plated mug, remains in its place of honor in England, but newly inscribed with the name Dame’s Rocket.

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Many Fine Tunes: A Brief History of Dancing at the Folk School

The stories of our lives where dance and song are called for, go back to faraway lands where kings and villagers alike danced for joy.  Dance as a way to express joy that cannot be contained is part of many legends across the globe.  I know that you understand what I am talking about.  The many threads of our Southern Appalachian story can be seen beginning with the Singing Games or Play Party Games, which are a long time part of a vibrant mountain culture.  Almost any occasion where the earliest settlers and pioneers gathered, there was time to sing, clap, laugh,  and stomp in time with the music they created.  Not too different from what we do now, whenever we are together!

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Folk School Friend: Norman Kennedy

You meet the most interesting people here.  Over the years, I’ve learned from and enjoyed talking to some of the world’s great characters right here in Brasstown.  Shortly after I became the Director of the Folk School, I asked some of my musical and crafts friends to tell me great people we should try to get to teach at the Folk School.  A trusted musical advisor, Beth Ross Johnson, said “Get the great ballad singer Norman Kennedy.”  My weaving advisor (spouse Nanette) said, “Get the great weaver Norman Kennedy.”  These two turned out to be the very same ponytailed Scotsman.  So for the last eighteen years or so, he has made visits to Brasstown which are always memorable for us here, jazzing up weavers and spinners, slamming tweed on the table to the beat of the ancient waulking music, where the singing and the weaving come together, as the song propels the cloth sunwise around the table while all the hands of the people lift it up and slam it down and pass it on to the next waulker.  In this way, the wool is preshrunk, softened, bonded and unified.  The people likewise, except they are not preshrunk.

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Our new website is live and this blog has moved to folkschool.org/stories

Please visit and bookmark the News & Stories page as all new content will appear over there and blog.folkschool.org will soon head to the archives. We’ll continue to bring you tales about the Folk School experience from the perspective of teachers and students, along with the latest news from our staff and Resident Artists. We’re in the process of transferring our blog archive over to the new website, but there are plenty of interviews and anecdotes to dive into today.

Current Catalog

Embrace your creative potential, and join us for a life-changing Folk School experience. Our new January–December 2022 Catalog is now available. View the eCatalog online. To receive a printed catalog in the mail, complete our Request a Catalog form on our website.

Online Craft Shop

Our online Craft Shop is now live! Support our vision, mission, and values by purchasing handcrafted items. Our online selection of items will continue to grow, so check back regularly for new items, interviews and more.

Class Subjects

Our new website is live and this blog has moved to folkschool.org/stories

Please visit and bookmark the News & Stories page as all new content will appear over there and blog.folkschool.org will soon head to the archives. We’ll continue to bring you tales about the Folk School experience from the perspective of teachers and students, along with the latest news from our staff and Resident Artists. We’re in the process of transferring our blog archive over to the new website, but there are plenty of interviews and anecdotes to dive into today.

Current Catalog

Embrace your creative potential, and join us for a life-changing Folk School experience. Our new January–December 2022 Catalog is now available. View the eCatalog online. To receive a printed catalog in the mail, complete our Request a Catalog form on our website.

Online Craft Shop

Our online Craft Shop is now live! Support our vision, mission, and values by purchasing handcrafted items. Our online selection of items will continue to grow, so check back regularly for new items, interviews and more.