Instructional Workshops

2023 Information posted this summer!

Last year:

Flatfooting Dance Workshop with Ruth Pershing, Friday 4:30pm

You’ve heard the saying, “If you can walk, you can dance,” right? In this flatfooting workshop, you’ll learn to walk a little differently, using your whole foot and differentiating every sound it can make. With that springy lilt in your walk, you’ll learn to imitate the rhythm of an old-time tune with your combination of steps and improvise right along with the musicians. We’ll start at a beginning level and add variations and techniques for intermediate dancers as well. Wear smooth-soled shoes that can slide at least a little. Ruth is an experienced and delightful teacher flatfooting/clogging and has been dancing with the Cane Creek Cloggers for nearly four decades. Singing and playing banjo is her meditation after her day job teaching high school science in Saxapahaw. Located in the Dance Tent.

Kids Clogging with Tampa Enoch-Reese, Saturday 10am

Suggested for ages 5 and up, this workshop provides a basic introduction to clogging, just for kids! Participants will learn fundamental clogging steps through fun, confidence-building exercises. They’ll also have opportunities to express themselves creatively with this energetic dance tradition. Comfortable, closed-toe shoes are recommended. Tampa Enoch is an educator, dancer and musician from Mebane, North Carolina. At an early age, she learned to flatfoot and buck dance from her grandmother, and she carries the tradition forward by teaching percussive dance to children both in her family and in the wider community. Tampa has been a member of Chapel Hill’s Cane Creek Cloggers since 2014 and has worked in public libraries as a youth services librarian for 18 years. In her free time she enjoys playing banjo and sharing about the rich and complex history of the instrument.  Located in the Dance Tent.

The Art of Old-Time Fiddle with Wayne Martin, Saturday 11:30am

Wayne Martin has spent decades visiting and documenting with elder musicians, studying archival recordings, and mastering the art of old-time fiddle. In this workshop, Wayne will help participants understand the “old ways” and demonstrate his approach to old-time fiddling. The workshop will include brief overviews of the fundamental principles of bowing, phrasing, and interpreting old-time fiddle tunes. Located at the Coffee Barn.

Appalachian Ballads with Cary Fridley, Saturday 12:30pm

Cary Fridley is an Appalachian singer, bassist, and innovative educator. Born in the Virginia mountains, her style is rooted in tradition and has evolved to embrace all styles of traditional country, blues, folk, and jazz. Cary will be teaching songs and ballads originating from the mountain regions of North Carolina, drawing from early source recordings and oral traditions.  Singers covered include Dellie Norton and Berzilla Wallin from Madison County, NC, Tommy Jarrell, Gaither Carlton, and others.  We will sing each song in two keys, low and high, and practice using the old full voice style.  Songs we will sing are Pretty Polly, A Roving On A Winter’s Night, My Love Has Brought Me To Despair, My Dearest Dear, and others. Located at the Coffee Barn.

Storytelling Blues with Big Ron Hunter, Saturday 3:30pm

Big Ron Hunter describes his guitar style as “red bank squirrel scratching blues.”

He was born and raised in a log cabin on a sharecropping farm in the countryside near Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As a kid he wanted to be a cowboy. He often donned a cowboy hat and practiced country-western songs while riding a make-believe horse. Later in life Hunter found a deep connection with the stories he can tell through the blues, and has gained recognition for his unique style.

He has performed his version of Piedmont Blues all over the world including France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austalia, and Guatemala, as well as performing at both the Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in the U.S. He is the 2019 recipient of the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society’s prestigious “Keeping the Blues Alive” award. Located at the Coffee Barn

Country Blues Fingerpicking & The Carter Family with David Hughes, Saturday 5:30pm

David Hughes will teach a guitar workshop on the basics of country blues fingerpicking and the Carter Scratch. He will demonstrate several songs using each technique and show how to use these picking styles in both standard and open guitar tunings. David is a teacher, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose sound is steeped in old American music. From an early age, he was captivated by the Piedmont blues, mountain string bands and ballad singers in his native state of North Carolina. Today, David continues to build from these influences — playing, singing, teaching and writing music rooted in the rich tradition and stories of those who came before him. Located at the Coffee Barn


Twanging & Plucking: Clawhammer Banjo with Jake Owen, Friday 6pm

Jake is a banjo player from Madison County, NC. He has won awards at Clifftop and Flag Pond, and has been playing banjo for most of his life. He will use his experience teaching in the JAM program to share some techniques with workshop attendees. Learn from scratch, or brush up on your drop-thumb, hammer-ons, pull-offs, thumb-cocking and other “banjo nonsense.” C’mon down and make a racket! Located at the Coffee Barn

NC Banjo Styles with Travis Stuart, Saturday 2pm

Join Travis Stuart for this workshop covering picking and two-finger banjo styles of North Carolina. Demonstrating a tune from each Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Etta Baker, Samantha Bumgarner, and Bill McElreath, he’ll discuss differences, answer questions and share the general joy of the banjo!  Along with teaching music camps in the US and abroad,  Travis currently teaches in the old-time music program at Warren Wilson College and taught at ETSU for a several years . In 2019 he received the South Arts Master fellowship award. Close to home Travis is a founder and Artistic Director at the Haywood County JAM program. Located at the Coffee Barn


Kids Intermediate Fiddle Workshop with Lillian Chase, Friday 5pm

Eighteen year-old fiddler Lillian Chase is a native of Western North Carolina, a young woman whose family has been in the mountains for generations. Her early love for traditional mountain music led her to take up the fiddle at the age of six. She eventually became a student of fellow Weaverville resident Arvil Freeman, one of the legends of Blue Ridge Mountain fiddle traditions, and has studied with old-time fiddlers Michael Ismerio, Bruce Molsky, Brittany Haas and Kalia Yeagle. Lillian will be teaching an intermediate workshop for kids of any age, focusing on one or two Western North Carolina tunes from Arvil Freeman. Located at the Coffee Barn

Clogging with The Green Grass Cloggers, Saturday 10:45am

Inspired by traditional mountain-style clogging teams, but more influenced by older flatfoot and buck dancers, North Carolina’s premier clogging group, The Green Grass Cloggers, has been kicking up their collective heels for OVER fifty years now! Together they have developed an original, eclectic style. Unlike the traditional “big-set” mountain square dance figures, they use choreography based on four-couple western square dance figures in short energetic routines. Stop by and learn some basic clogging steps, as well as more advanced moves from these intergenerational dance pioneers. Located in the Dance Tent.


Thank you to our WONDERFUL sponsors! We couldn’t do it without these folks:

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