Workshops

Pandemic GYKC Intermediate Clogging/Flatfooting Workshop

I hope this finds all of you safe and well. I know that many of us are in the midst of figuring out how to facilitate personal growth as Americans to become allies, and eventually accomplices for anti-racist work. Though these are important times for our country and it citizens to focus on racial equality and justice, I feel that we also need to continue with parts of our lives that have brought this community together – our love for music and dance.

That said, I will be offering the second in a series of “Get Your Kicks Clogging” classes that were planned earlier this Spring/Summer of 2020. These Zoom workshops begin on Thursday, June 18th at 7pm and will run for four weeks June 18th – July 9th.

Participants will be expected to have percussive step dance experience. I will be teaching in the Green Grass Clogger precision style. This class will focus on introducing Robert Dotson’s Waking Step – a key to becoming a great flatfoot dancer! 

After the success of my beginner workshops – over 25 participants from 9 different states – I am again offering this class as a “Pay as You Exit” workshop. It will not cost you anything to attend – but if you enjoy it and feel you are learning something of value – then I will have a “Tip Jar” for those who care to contribute. Suggested donation is $50 for the series. Please know you are welcome – whether or not you have the resources to donate.

If you are interested – it would be great if you email me at rcsutton69@gmail.com

Donations can be made through PayPal.

Click this link for this Zoom workshop, or copy and paste it into your browser –  https://etsu.zoom.us/j/99719959312  – You can use this same Zoom link to join each week.

I must admit that I am disappointed at the quality of the video on these Zoom Workshops. Percussive dancing is all about timing – staying on the beat of the music. The delay in the video from what you are seeing and what you hear is very distracting and annoying. I find that this is an issue that many of my friends are having when trying to teach “live” workshops on Zoom. I am looking into other options of sharing these dance workshops live.

I will leave these links below from my beginning lessons open until June 18th.

ZOOM RECORDINGS OF EARLIER CLASSES :

Beginning Clogging Class #1 Thursday, April 23, 2020 

Beginning Clogging Class #2  Thursday, April 30, 2020
Heads-up – I tried doing intros first – Teaching begins around the 15 minute mark.

Beginning Clogging Class #3  Thursday, May 7, 2020

Beginning Clogging Class #4 Thursday, May 14, 2020

Beginning Clogging Class #5 – I apologize for not being able to post this last class – I forgot to hit the record button when we started. The first night in my new intermediate class(see below) will be a review of class #5. I also would like to once again thank all who made a contribution to my Pay As You Exit Beginning Clogging Class. I have not been able to figure out how to access your emails so I can send you a personal thank-you!

GYKC GGC Steps

Video Links

I promised to add links to a couple of websites where you can view dozens of old-time flat/foot, buck, and clog dancers.

The first two I am listing are short videos of my mentor and one of my best friends ever – Robert Dotson – the source of the “Walking Step”!
Floating Dancer: The Story of Robert Dotson, the Walking Step & the Green Grass Cloggers    By Leanne E. Smith and M. Chad Smith

In Memory of Robert Dotson   By Rebecca Branson Jones

Here’s one that is a documentary by Mike Seeger and Ruth Pershing called “Talking Feet” filmed in 1983. I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in this historical film!  Talking Feet

Here is the link to Phil Jamison’s website – he videoed dozens of traditional percussive mountain dancers in 1993.  WNC Buckdancers, Flatfooters, and Charleston Dancers (1993)

Here are two links to the Green Grass Cloggers –

Website – http://www.greengrasscloggers.com/

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/GreenGrassCloggers/

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Rodney leading a workshop at Clifftop

Stepping Up to the Challenge

Stepping Up to the Challenge is a sneaky title of a workshop in percussive dance that Rodney designed as a way to not scare off folks who think they cannot dance. He has more than 40 years of teaching beginners how to clog, and he can teach anyone who can walk how to dance.

In 2005, Rodney was a member of an arts advisory group—consisting of professional actors, storytellers, musicians and dancers—who were tasked with finding ways to integrate traditional art forms into the curriculum of multi-day corporate team-building retreats. The initial concept was intended to place people from different levels of corporate management in a new environment—not an office or boardroom, and not another outdoor ropes course—so they could all experience trying something new for the first time together.

Rodney has continued to use his Stepping Up to the Challenge workshop to share his love of teaching traditional percussive dance, specifically Appalachian clogging and flatfooting, with professional development and team-building gatherings.

In these hour-long sessions, he is able to break down and teach a basic clogging step using recorded traditional music. No partner is needed, and he uses a very low impact approach that anyone can learn. The workshop allows participants to use their feet to become a drummer to any type of music. Though the emphasis is on teaching clogging to individuals—so that, as he says, “You only have to worry about stepping on your own toes”—he also demonstrates how dancing traditional square dance figures create ways of cooperation and trust between participants.

 

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Rodney leading a workshop at Clifftop