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Introduction to Appalachian Flatfooting and Clogging with Carla Gover

January 14, 2021 @ 3:00 pm

The Handmade Music School presents Introduction to Appalachian Flatfooting and Clogging with Carla Gover on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 3:00 EST. The workshop will be presented via Crowdcast as part of our Handmade at Home online series. Cost is $1 to $100 (suggested donation of $15).

Introduction to Appalachian Flatfooting and Clogging with Carla Gover

Appalachian flatfooting and clogging are interrelated percussive dance styles that evolved in the mountains as musical and dance traditions from Europe, Africa, and Indigenous Cultures blended to create new forms. The style is highly individual and varies between regions and dancers, and is frequently a solo style of social dancing perfect for square dances, jam sessions, and those occasions where a fiddle tune is so good that it moves the spirit to dance!

In this class, students will:

  • learn some basic steps that will allow them to dance along to fiddle tunes and old-time string band music.
  • explore some of the nuances that define the style
  • come away with a series of moves to practice and play with

No prior experience necessary. Students should wear smooth-soled shoes that make a sound on the floor. Options include boots, tap shoes without the taps installed, character shoes, leather-bottom wingtips, or any other shoe that is comfortable and resonant and allows for sliding. (Taps are not recommended at this level, although they are sometimes worn for performance).

About the Instructor

Carla Gover is an eighth-generation Kentuckian who hails from a small coal town in Eastern Kentucky, and her rural sensibilities permeate her art and activism. Onstage, she sings, plays guitar, and showcases the rhythms of Appalachia through flatfooting and clawhammer banjo. Her performances include a mix of the traditional tunes she grew up with as well as her socially-conscious originals. She shares her passion with hundreds of students each year at schools and events throughout the US, where she teaches Appalachian music, dance, and culture. She has released 6 albums of music, and has toured nationally and internationally, performing at such venues as The Kennedy Center and The Glasgow Royal Hall.

As a dancer, she learned the mountain styles of her home in Letcher County through attending community hoedowns and square dances at the renowned Carcassonne Community Center. She furthered her study of clogging, flatfooting, and American percussive dance in the well-known percussive dance ensemble Footworks, led by Eileen Carson Schatz. Carla was recently selected as a Master Artist in both Traditional Appalachian Dance and Appalachian Music by the Kentucky Arts Council. She is also the Artistic Director of Cowan Creek Mountain Music School.


Please consider a donation to today’s teaching artist and The Handmade Music School (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization). Thanks!

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