Flat Foot Dancing

IMG_20170610_144422_907Mountain Music was filling the air the second Saturday of June! Every year on that day the Madison County Arts Council holds their annual Bluff Mountain Music Festival in Hot Springs NC. It’s just a run over the mountain from our house and we’ve gone for the last two years. I LOVE it! It’s all day with lots of traditional mountain music and ballad singing and clogging. There’s a wooden floor laid in front of the stage for people to get up and dance if they want. Lots of vendors and food tents and a silent auction to raise money for the Arts Council.

This is the music of my heritage. My maternal grandparents grew up in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee. Sadly I did not grow up with this heritage. My grandmother was deeply ashamed of being a ‘hillbilly’ and rejected everything about it. Such a loss. She only saw the poverty and the stigma of poor white trash attached to the word. But I see a rich culture of determined, strong-willed, tough, friendly, giving, joyous people who love to dance! Flat Foot Dancing is the dance of choice among these mountain people. ‘‘The music just goes in your ear, down through your soul, and comes out through your feet,’’  an old West Virginia flat foot dancer once said. It reminds me of step dancing a little and probably is derived from it as most of these mountain people have Irish and Scottish roots. I wish I was brave enough to try it! We bought a CD to come home and practice! Watch a little here and be sure to keep your eye on the gentleman in white! 

They love to waltz too! How I wish I had learned to do this when I was young. It looks heavenly! The Lover’s Waltz is just a gorgeous song. You can watch a video of the couple who wrote it playing HERE or you can watch Roger Howell play it here at the Bluff Mountain Festival. I shot this video…

There is a lovely group of cloggers who perform every year here too. You can check them out HERE. Ballads and storytelling are a big thing among the mountain people too. Sheila Kay Adams is a seventh generation ballad singer and storyteller and we were lucky to get to see her this year at the festival. You can hear her sing Barbary Allen HERE. That was a song my grandpa sang a lot. I love it! Her daughter did a really funny one, but I didn’t get it on video. I found it on Youtube by someone else though. You have to listen to this one!

Here’s some photos I took at the festival…

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This is a gorgeous Magnolia Tree!     We sat under it.

 

 

 

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