The Last Practice Before Fall Festival

John C Campbell Folk School Cloggers 2

On a dreary wet Monday afternoon the John C. Campbell Folk School Cloggers had their last practice before fall festival. The rain came down so hard-beating like a drum on the metal roof-that you couldn’t even hear the music at times.

I thought I’d share my favorite routine with you-I’m sure you’ll notice-but just so you know-the 2 girls in the video are Chatter and Chitter. (*Before you watch the video you need to stop the music player-the music controls are along the top of this page on the far left side-just above the Blind Pig logo. Click the center round button to stop the player)

You might have noticed a bobble here and there-but I’m betting they have it all worked out by this weekend. If you want to come see for yourself-The JCCFS Cloggers will perform on the festival barn stage at 12:00 p.m. both days of the festival (October 6 & 7). If you live close enough- don’t forget to come out and watch the Blind Pig Gang this Friday night as we kick off the festivities with a concert starting at 7:00 p.m.

Now tell the truth-could you ever move your feet that fast? I know I couldn’t!



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  • Reply
    October 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Love watching the girls dance!
    When I was their age I may have been able to keep up. But now? No way! LoL

  • Reply
    Lonnie Dockery
    October 5, 2012 at 3:58 am

    I hope everything goes really, really, well this weekend–and Friday night-and I know it will! It’s always great.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    A splendid display of youth, vitality and talent. “FALL(!) Festival” – that’s an unfortunate name!

  • Reply
    Ron Perry
    October 3, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Tipper, you must be so proud of your daughters. The are great. By the way, some video cameras have a setting for backlight that will let you see the faces of the dancers. But even without the clear faces, it was a great display of talent. With their dancing and singing abilities, they should go far.

  • Reply
    C U Daily
    October 3, 2012 at 11:20 am

    So, Tipper, you have a commentator now. I hadn’t noticed. Is it a has-been clogger or something? Like they have has-been athletes as commentators at ball games. Do you have to pay your commentator like the TV people have to pay theirs? Does this mean you are moving into the big time? Please don’t leave me behind!
    Is it better to have never been at all than to be a has-been? Is it better to be what you is than to brag about what you wuz?

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Wish I could be there also. The whole festival sounds awesome. I also was impressed with the bigger boy’s leaps.
    Speaking of festivals and music, my husband and I are going to singer/songwriter workshop in the Ozarks at the end of the month. Dale was invited by a couple–Still on the Hill–who stayed at our house after their New Bern concert for the DownEast Folk Arts Society. He’s so excited he’s written two new songs and bought himself a new Taylor guitar. I’m so proud of him.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I couldn’t move my feet that fast if that train was chasin’ me…

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Wow! What talented daughters you have there!

  • Reply
    Sallie aka granny Covolo
    October 3, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Tipper, I really wish I could watch them perform in person. They are amazing. No! I was not that fast or that talented ever! I am 76 years old but was never fleet of foot like those wonderful youngsters..Thanks for this happy post.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Yes I could! I am an old tapper and with some practice I probably could move my feet that fast again. How long I could maintain it in an upright position is the question. 🙂 I loved tap when I was young. I studied dance and performed on stag for over 10 years. I started my “lost” career in dance at age 6 or 7 and I dearly loved ballet, tap, jazz and acrobatics (what they call gymnastics now). I call it my lost career because I blew out my ankle just months before a ballet internship in Chicago when I was 18. I know full well the joy of dancing and I want you to tell the girls that I am envious of all their fun and I hope they break a leg! 😀
    A little tip we used that they might like to try and which your filming into the light demonstrated pretty well: Group practice in front of a full wall mirror in a darkened room with a back light behind the dancers, to create black silhouettes in the mirror, so the dancers can see the subtleties of their movements. That way they can see much better the “off” movements that individual dancers always have and it will help them to get in perfect sync. The hardest part of performing for me was to remember to keep my head up and connecting with the audience. The effort in dance requires a lot of concentration, but the trick is to not look like it.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 3, 2012 at 9:44 am

    If there ain’t no bobbles in practice then they ain’t trying hard enough.
    The last time my feet moved like that was when I parked my lawn mower on a yellow jacket nest.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

    That is some lively legwork! Whew!
    I hope the weather is fine on the weekend, and everyone has a wonderful time.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 9:16 am

    The video is great, just a prelude
    of what’s to come. I’m excited and
    can’t wait for the weekend. Looks
    to me everybody is getting better
    and better…Ken

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    October 3, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I’m exhausted; I need to sit down in my rocker and rest a bit. What a robust routine! Love it! Such wonderful bursts of energy! You go girls!

  • Reply
    Gary Miller
    October 3, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Hey Tipper –
    Chitter and Chatter have a great routine and without a doubt their feet are as fast as lightning. I certainly wish I could make the fall fest, especially to see the Blind Pig Gang on stage and watch Chitter and Chatter clogging. You have yourself two very talented girls as musicians and dancers. The only time I ever moved my feet so fast was as a kid running from the police. I’ll have to make it a point to get down your way fall of 2013 for sure.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    October 3, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Tipper–I’m tired just watching. At 70 years of age I ain’t as catty as I once was, and seeing this simply makes me look back with longing. However, I did “cut a rug” for a full four minutes (according to someone in in the audience who timed it)this past week while attending a writers conference in Johnson City. East Tennessee State University, which is located there, has a degree program in bluegrass music (the only one in the country, I understand)and some of their students played at our opening night get together.
    In company with the executive director of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (a woman who is much younger than me, I might add, and who is a regular visitor and sometime commentator on this site) the temptation for a bit of impromptu clogging was irresistible. I think I’ve recovered after the passage of a week, but I’m not totally sure!
    At any rate, those girls of yours are as limber legged as a willow switch. Great fun.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 8:06 am

    What a talented – and energetic – group of youngsters!
    It does my heart good to see the young people carrying tradition forward, and your heart must be bursting with pride!
    If I lived closer I would certainly attend, as it is I will have to content myself with wishing you a very good time!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 8:05 am

    They are great!!!!!! If I tried that I would have to have knee surgery (especially on the left side). You all will knock’em dead!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 3, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Nope, I can’t move that fast, not even close. It take more than speed though, these kids are committed and spend untold hours practicing and preparing. Congratulations!
    I’m really looking forward to this weekend!!

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    October 3, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Nope, and I don’t think I could move them that fast when I was a youngster…Weelll, maybe once when I saw a wet footprint on a rock and then saw the bear on the other side of the creek that made it!…I was so “skeered” that I had to talk my feet into movin’ up that rocky bank…Only if I could’ve had “clogging legs and feet” back then…I thought I was a goner…
    The girls are wonderful, I love to watch them clog. I wish we could be there…I know all the kinks will be worked out, and personally I didn’t see that many.
    When I was in school, we used to have traditional folk dance as part of our gym schedule..No clogging, unless there happened to be someone there that could..
    I think a little dance would be a wonderful thing nowadays…The boys usually “balked”, but finally got to having fun as time went on.
    I would rather see the feet move than the fingers pushing buttons so much with strings hangin’ and knobs in their ears!..Laughing Out Loud, and By the Way…
    Could you get a big lantern or flashlight so we could see them better…when you film next time?
    Tipper, thanks for a great wake-up…Orange you glad it’s “over-the-hump” Wednesday?. Maybe by the weekend the weather will blossom into a Fall Festival of color for you all…
    Enjoyed this morning, Tipper!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Wow! Good luck this weekend, ladies!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Oh to be young again and be able to move like that! They are really good and will probably do well in the contest.Wish I could be there to see it.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 3, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Never in a million years could I move that fast. I’ve had the pleasure of watching this group perform and it is not to be missed. If you can possibly get there, do. Wish I could.

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