We’ve got dance performances and workshops, good old-fashioned squares (and new-fashioned rowdy squares), and a little COUNTRY two-step this year to keep you dancing the whole festival!
Thursday in the Dance Tent
7pm – Square Dance with House Band, The Hoppin’ Johnnies &
Caller, Carol Thompson
Our house band is an eclectic mix of available folks who love and contribute much to the whole Hoppin’ John scene. The core group includes Tim Wells, Gil McNeill, Ben Riesser, Steve Fagan, Greg Hanson, Jim O’Keefe and Katy Shoemaker taking turns on various instruments, but you never know who might drop in for a tune or two! Carol Thompson will call the dances.
Friday in the Dance Tent
4:30pm – Freestyle Flatfooting Dance Workshop
Come ready for fun and exercise! Flatfooting is a percussive dance form – your feet beat the drum. In this workshop, we will explore freestyle flatfooting to old time music, practice finding the rhythm of a tune, learn some simple flatfooting steps and practice “playing the tune” with those steps. Jan Gittelman leads this instructional workshop to live music. Wear smooth-soled shoes if you can, and bring a towel and water bottle, because we are going to sweat!
8:30pm – Square Dance with the Pilot Mountain Bobcats & Caller, Rodney Sutton
Based in Surry County, North Carolina, The Pilot Mountain Bobcats have been entertaining folks with their infectious brand of Appalachian old time string band music since 1989. Whether at a dance, show or fiddlers’ convention, the driving sound of the Bobcats has become legendary! The band features Nancy Sluys and (new to the band) Randy Johnson on Fiddle, Bill Sluys on Upright Bass, Jacki Spector on the clawhammer banjo and Allin Cottrell on guitar. Rodney Sutton calls the steps and entertains you with possum lore.
Saturday in the Dance Tent
12pm – Clogging Workshop with the Green Grass Cloggers
For forty-six years (!) now, the Green Grass Cloggers have been kicking up their heels with their own style of clogging in their home state of North Carolina, and around the world. Inspired by traditional mountain-style clogging teams and influenced by Appalachian flatfooters and buckdancers, they developed an original, eclectic style of dance, which was a radical departure from traditional team clogging. Today’s Green Grass Cloggers include dancers from multiple generations continuing that Green Grass style!
6pm – Family Dance with the Hoppin’ Johnnies & Caller Sarah Owen
Everyone gets the chance to square dance this year, even if their bedtime is before 8pm! Join in this family dance for all ages, followed by the cake walk. Our family band rendition of the Hoppin’ Johnnies plays the tunes and Sarah Owen joins in this year to call the steps, providing instruction for each dance beforehand. Sarah has been playing music and teaching it to kids her whole life, supporting local community events and her county’s JAM program with her fiddling. She and her family live and play music together in Madison County, NC, from whence she joins us.
8pm – Cliff Hale and the Grand Ol’ Osprey, Country Dance
9:30pm – Rowdy Square Dance with the Five Points Rounders, Caller Aaron Ratcliffe
This band was formed specifically for rowdy square dancin’ — fast, loose and fun. The Five Points Rounders feature David Bass on fiddle, Colin Booy playing banjo, Tracy Lafleur on guitar and Jim O’Keefe on bass. The “rowdies” have developed a cult following (well, of sorts) here in the Triangle! Trying to keep up to this thrashin’ old-time music is the bulk of the fun. Aaron Ratcliffe calls the steps, and don’t worry… he’ll provide lessons before each dance.
Saturday on the Main Stage
1pm (following Youth Instrument Contest) – Youth Dance Contest
The competition is getting tough with the young dancers! Stop by the main stage and support the next generation of flat-foot, buck dancers and cloggers.
7pm – Clogging Performance with the Green Grass Cloggers
End of the Band Contest – Adult Dance Contest