Dear Apple Chill Cloggers,

I had just graduated from college when a motley group of then students, graduates, and townfolks began learning some clogging steps from Greengrass Cloggers. As an Asheville native, the dancing was like coming back home to the honey hive. I remember that starting was easy but steps like the Indian, the cross-over took a while to feel natural. I danced in the first Apple Chill festival and had a good time, but that overwhelming joy of dancing came later, at a festival in Georgia. I remember that suddenly I was dancing without pondering each step; it was like flying. I danced all through the night. I was determined that not only would I dance, but I would even call, and a few months later, I became a caller. Administratively, I was very involved in setting up bookings. I believe that it was Susan Grambling and I who made the first brochure…. I remember being totally excited about people opening the brochure and still seeing the cloggers’ feet on a separate page. I traveled to the first jobs in the state, then to the Liberty Bell Celebration, to some event where we met Jessie Helms (my NY friends love to tease me about that photo), Galax, Fiddler’s Grove, and I traveled to Ireland for one of the Cobh Festivals.

I left 2 years later for Georgia for a Masters Program in Psychology. It was so hard to leave. I formed a small team there, and we even performed in a couple of Georgia Festivals. Later, when moved to New York, I tried out for a clogging team up here, but the woman who ran the team was over 6 feet and she only wanted tall cloggers over 5’10”. That was so typical New York!!!!

I now perform circus-style entertainment. I have a show called Why Read… where I perform my plate-spinning, bubble tricks, some juggling, stilt dancing and relate it to books. I teach circus skills in schools and I perform for all kinds of fun events from Mayor Bloomberg parties to Scholastic Magazine openings for Harry Potter books. I also work two days a week for The Big Apple Circus in hospitals and in the tent for special events. Do look at my reading show website.

I’m married (10 years) to Arthur, and we have a 9-year old son, Devon who plays violin and some fiddling. Devon and I went to Maine for a fiddler’s week-end. I was so happy to hear the Maine/Canadian fiddling.

I was also beyond happiness to be back in North Carolina with all of you – old friends and new, sharing our stories, looking at old and new photos, dancing for as long as possible (Ron Raxter and I were shocked that after one song, we were out of breath!). I watched some of the “young” cloggers doing some steps that seemed to incorporate clogging and hip hop. It was thrilling to watch!!! I hope that we will see each other again before another 10 years pass.

Click here to send me email.