Rodney will be teaching workshops at various festivals and dance camps this spring and summer.

March 1, 2023 – East Tennessee State University Old-time Square Dance 7-9 pm
The Down Home – 300 West Main St. Johnston City, Tennessee
Caller – Rodney Sutton
Live music by ETSU Old-time Program Students
No experience needed- Easy Squares and Big Circles

March 11, 2023 – Swannanoa Valley Museum Winter Workshops 1:30 – 3:30 pm
Introduction to Flatfoot/Clogging Workshop
The Community/Education Room, Black Mountain Public Library
105 N Dougherty St., Black Mountain, NC 28711
Cost $45
phone: (828) 669-9566
Smooth soled(leather is best), low heel shoes – NO TAPS, please.

April 28-29th Upper East Tennessee Fiddlers Convention – Flag Pond, Tenn
Square Dancing and Green Grass Cloggers Friday –
Flatfoot Workshop (Phil Jamison) Saturday
Old-time Instruments, band and flatfoot contest – Good prize $

June 10th Bluff Mountain Festival, Hot Springs, NC
Green Grass Cloggers perform in the afternoon!

July 16 -19th Finger Lakes Grassroots Cultural Camp
Trumansburg Fairgrounds, 2150 Trumansburg Rd
Trumansburg, NY 14886
Rodney will be teaching flatfooting and 2-step classes

August 2 – 6, Appalachian String Band Festival, 1277 Washington Carver Road, Clifftop, WV 25831
Free Flatfoot workshops daily – Square dancing nightly!

September 14 – 16, Hoppin’ John Fiddlers Convention
1439 Henderson Tanyard Road Pittsboro, NC 27312
Green Grass Cloggers annual Reunion – performances and workshops


Video Links – helpful for any current or future percussive dancers!

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

This next video was discovered last year “by accident” by Zoe Van Buen, Folklife Director of the NC ARTS Council. It is an amazing video filmed in 1981 by Margaret and Wayne Martin when they were first working for the NCAC. It is the only video where you can both see and hear the sound of Willard Watson Sr.’s feet. Willard is dancing to the most famous of all Round Peak fiddlers, Tommy Jarrell at Tommy house, in Toast, NC. Tommy’s sister Julie dances some also. The banjo player is Heath Curdts, who helped with the video editing.

This is the oldest video of old-time flatfooting/buckdancing that I have found –  This silent film was recorded for Elizabeth Burchenal, the noted folk dance leader and researcher. It was on a reel of film labeled “Square Dancing in Southern Mountains 1919-1931” that also includes footage of southern Appalachian square dances.

This video has old footage of Bascom Lamar Lunsford, the dancer is not identified.

More video of Bascom filmed by David Hoffman, 1965. This is some of my favorite flatfooting/buckdancing – Bill McElreath – “knocking out a tune” as Bascom called it. Both Bascom and his friend Freda also dance.

This video will be moved to a new page with other videos listed below. This is some of the only footage of Willard Watson with audio. He and zydeco musician Bois Sec Ardoin are flatfooting to the fiddling of Clark Kessinger with Gene Meade on guitar! Willard will not face the camera – thinking it would be impolite to turn his back on the music! When Willard is dancing to “Chicken Reel” he does all of his barn-yard steps! This was filmed at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival at a huge mansion that was used to house the performers. Willard Watson at 1965 Newport Folk Festival

These are two more recent 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 –

Facebook Page –

Rodney leading a workshop at Clifftop
Rodney leading a workshop at Clifftop
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 experience 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.

Rodney leading a workshop at Clifftop