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Boot "Scootin", Barn Yard Shuffle, and Dancing in the Hills

Updated on October 23, 2014

Dancing in the Mountains

Are you one who enjoys dancing? When we were kids in elementary school our 5th grade teacher, Mrs Ruth Bell Irving introduced us to square dancing. Most all of us young boys thought it very funny and maybe down right mean of us but and when promenading our partners to the Virginia Reel, we would give the girls an extra little bit of pull and laugh as they stumbled to regain their position to continue through the dance. I hope Barbara Gordon has forgiven me for pulling her so hard. Of course our teacher quickly put a stop to our foolishness by threatening to use the "board of education she would enforce on "our seat of learning" if we didn't straighten up our act.. We later got all dressed up and performed our newly learned skills at a PTA meeting.

As we entered junior high we were taught more cultured forms of dancing in our PE class but at that awkward age and being a pimply faced boy who was also very shy, I couldn't picture myself ever being that close to one of my girl classmates. Some were even very pretty and had been in my dreams. Most of the guys in my class wouldn't admit it but they would jump at the chance to get that close to these girls.

It was as a junior high student that I learned some of my classmates were involved in clogging. Some were on local teams and were going to England on tour to perform for the Queen. In one of our student body assembly programs they performed and I was amazed at the skills and foot work all choreographed to some good old bluegrass music which I dearly loved.

Clogging at that time was a popular dance and even today clogging and clogging teams are commonly seen in the mountains of Appalachia. I haven't studied about this mountain tradition but I assume clogging began with the buck dancing that was so common among the Scot-Irish emigrants to the Blue Ridge and the Appalachian Mountains. As a youngster while sitting and listening to some of my relatives play music, some would soon be buck dancing to the tunes. It was always an individual dance where the person dancing kept time with the feet. Clogging combined with square dancing and added intricate high kicks with metal taps on the shoes and done on a hardwood surface usually with at least two people choreographed with intricate patterns typically seen in square dancing.

The dancing of the mountains is a part of our heritage and more than a "barn yard shuffle" I was never able to learn clogging but I have enjoyed watching those who can clog.With the more modern River-dance, a version of an old skill ,has become popular.


Buck dancing and lots of fun

Cloggin to some great fiddle work Ragtime Annie


Blue Ridge mountin Dancers and some of the kids I went to junior high

Square Dancing

Square dancing has long been popular here in our mountains and is normally comprised of eight people. Although not as intense as clogging many of the patterns are incorporsted and oftentimes a caller is used. The caller's job is to keep the dance flowing until the routine is completed.

Some years ago ai attended the freshman indoctrination at Furman University and the square dance was used to allow the new students opportunity to interact. Randomly, square dance teams were formed on the grassy green of the campus and the students quickly learned the simple steps and were merrily dancing and getting acuainted with one another.

Dancing with the Stars

A popular television program in recent years is Dancing with the Stars. An eclectic group of people are chosen to participate. The dances are more formal ballroom type tht require stamina and agility. The styles vary with each performance and participants are rated by judges who have expertise in dance.

Each week a preview is given as the participants train to perform their routines and it is easy for one to surmise how difficult the dances are. In the end, all seem to do very well but as the show progresses, some sdaly are eliminated and have to go home.


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    • lucybell21 profile image

      Bonny OBrien 5 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

      Cool Hub. I really like the videos! Voted up!

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      What what an Interesting Hub read, Cousin Fudd. I truly Enjoyed the Wonderful Videos, Loved the "Buck Dancing"...such Fun, and looks like a Good Workout! I've seen the "River Dance" done before.The rest of the Videos were also Entertaining. Thanks for sharing!

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