Appalachia Folk Dancing

Mountain Folk Festival 2012 Berea KY

My life in appalachia - mountain folk festival

Me and the girls spent the past weekend at Berea College-we were there for the 76th Annual Mountain Folk Festival. To put it in a nut shell-the festival is dedicated to keeping the tradition of folk dancing alive in our youth.

This is the 4th year we’ve been able to take part in the festival-and I do believe it was the best year yet.

Cloggers at mountain folk festival berea

Our group of dancers from Brasstown was larger-we had 5 new dancers with us this year. So the girls got to introduce old friends from home -to old friends from the mtn folk festival. (in this case-it was clogger meet clogger)

Mountain folk festival 2012 berea ky

There were lots of twirly skirts;

Plaited hair means braided

there were girls with plaited hair every where I looked;

Sisters in appalachia

and there was more than a few secret whispering sessions between these 2.

Even though this was my 4th festival-I was blown away by the same thing I always am: no matter the hairstyle; no matter the type of footwear or lack thereof; no matter the clothes-no matter the age-the kids who attend the Mountain Folk Festival love folk dancing-and it’s a true joy to see it on their faces and hear it in the steps of their feet.

Attendees have an opportunity to learn the dances that’ll be called at the festival before they arrive. Maybe this was such a good year-because everyone knew the dances-which means we get to dance more dances instead of going over and over the required ones.

Or maybe it was the best year because our Brasstown group was full of great kids who all enjoyed the trip.

Or maybe it was because I was so proud of Chatter and Chitter. I was proud of their dancing-I was proud that they were friendly and approachable-I was proud that they pitched in to help when needed-I was proud they were respectful to all the adults-and I was tickled pink with their choice of music for our long trip-Ray Price, Hank Locklin, Kitty Wells, Hank Williams Sr., and Patsy Cline-I mean Ray Price!!!-am I lucky or what.

Come back in a day or so-I’ve got 2 videos from the festival to share with you!



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  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    April 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Can’t wait to see the videos…
    Sounds like you had a heap of fun over the weekend…and mostly good weather..
    I’ve got to try and find my Hi-Fi LP album of Ray Price…It’s here sommers’…but wait a minute, I don’t have a Hi-Fi Stero to play it on…LOL
    Well, Shucks!…
    Thanks for a great post, Tipper.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    April 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I can’t wait to see the videos either…You have two very talented and beautiful girls..

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Young people can enjoy pretty much anything but they have to be made aware of its existence. I used to lead walking holidays in the UK and part of the evening entertainment was folk dancing. One particular week we had lots of parents arrived with teenage children. How would the dancing go down, I wondered? Needn’t have worried; within half an hour of arriving they were asking Can we do some dancing tonight? Never tried em on Ray Price though!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    You have much to be proud of. What a wonderful tradition you and your family shares keeping your American heritage alive and strong.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    You are truly a good Mom! I have
    been priviledged to see you and
    the Deer Hunter in action with the
    Girls, and I like what I saw.
    Speaking of Ray Price, I have been
    watching and listening to the
    harmony in “Crazy Arms”. Chitter
    and Chatter has that kind of harmony in many of their songs.
    But my favorite of his is “For
    the Good Times.” …Ken

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I bet you all had a great time; can’t wait to see the videos. I can’t believe how fast your girls are growing up!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    April 3, 2012 at 9:28 am

    good girls — good parents — good grandparents. Some of the best traditions to pass down the generations. Eagerly await the videos!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Your girls are so beautiful and talented! Thank God they have chosen to participate in an old fashioned clogging festival rather than attend some punk rock concert. Oh, how I wish there were more girls like them in this world. I can just visualize you and the girls rolling down the interstate with the radio full blast and all passengers singing along with Patsy, Hank, Kitty and Ray. Good choice of music!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 9:01 am

    What a wonderful time together and saving memorable times. All of you will remember these times and when grandchildren come upon your life, you will have lots of fun memories to share.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Nothing better than being able to look at your children with pride. And yes! You are lucky with their choice of music!!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Oh my… Ray Price!! Now that brings back many memories, shoot, I gotta get to Amazon and order a cd or two now! LOL ( I have most of the others already) Can’t wait to see the videos! I can understand how proud you are of the girls, but just so you know, I am sure they girls are equally proud of you. Some parents are just able to bond with their children in a way that they seem to absorb our ways without really being taught. I am proud to be one of your fans, maybe someday I’ll get up your way when there is a festival or dance or something so I can see the girls dance, I used to love to dance but now ol’ Arthur has hitched to me and there is less git in my git-a-long! Take care.. thanks for sharing all that you do with us!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 8:34 am

    What fun. Looking forward to seeing the videos.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 8:34 am

    It sure sounds as though you are raising some mighty fine ladies. Can’t wait to see the videos!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I cant’ wait to come back and see the videos!

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    April 3, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Can’t be said much better than Ed’s comments! Truly blessed. Looking forward to the videos.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    April 3, 2012 at 7:33 am

    I agree with Ed Ammons’ comments. You are doing things that make a difference with your daughters and all of you are enjoying them together! I would loved to have attended the Festival in person to see and hear the celebration of mountain folk life! Thanks for goin and participating. We look forward to seeing the video! Clog on, Chatter and Chitter! And absorb as much of the “old ways” as you can from your grandparents.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 3, 2012 at 7:15 am

    You have every reason to be proud of the girls, what mother could ask for more.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 3, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Tipper, I woke up excited this morning because I knew you would post about the folk festival. I’m really anxious to see the videos.
    Remember those are my granddaughters and I’m proud of them too! By the way, just in case you don’t know it….I’m proud of you!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 3, 2012 at 5:51 am

    I started out to say how how lucky you are to have a pair of good lookin and talented teens and how lucky they are to have such an energetic mom. But, you know what, luck had less to do with it than effort. Too many mothers try to push their daughters into doing things they wished they could have done themselves. You are out ahead making their path easier to follow. You know the old saying, it’s easy to pull a rope but impossible to push one.
    We, your readers, are the lucky ones. Lucky that we are able to share in your life experiences with little or no effort on our part. Thank You!!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 5:45 am

    That list of singers the girls had just confirms my belief in their classiness. I love to hear all those singers – especially Hank Williams amd “Jambalaya”!

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