The Apple Chill Cloggers formed in 1975 as an outgrowth of the University of North Carolina Clogging Club. The team’s unusual name was taken from the Apple Chill Fair, a traditional Chapel Hill street fair (“Apple Chill” is merely a play on Chapel Hill), where the spirited folk dance troupe made their first appearance. They remain a permanent feature of the fair (now called the Apple Chill Street Fair) and dance in the event every year. In June of 1976, the Apple Chill Cloggers became a non-profit cultural corporation, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the dance traditions of North Carolina as represented by Clogging.
Since their debut at the Apple Chill Fair in 1975, the Apple Chill Cloggers have performed at well over 600 events in more than one-third of the United States and in 14 foreign countries. According to Daniel W. Patterson, former Chairman of the UNC-CH Graduate Department in Folklore, the Apple Chill Cloggers are “widely recognized as one of the very best of the precision clogging teams.
The team is listed with the Orange County Arts Commission, a group whose mission is to promote the artistic and cultural development of Orange County, North Carolina. In addition, the team was selected by the North Carolina Arts Council to be listed with their Touring Artists Directory in 1981-82, 1987-88, and from 1999 to the present.
The Apple Chill Cloggers have led audience participation dances for parties, conventions and schools, exhibited clogging for functions sponsored by arts councils and recreation departments, have offered workshops at numerous colleges and universities, and served as ambassadors at international festivals. Audiences of all ages and backgrounds enjoy the performances, as indicated by their smiling faces and tapping feet.
The Apple Chill Cloggers have performed all over North Carolina. Additionally they have performed in every state along the Eastern Seaboard and nearly every state east of the Mississippi. They have toured in Canada and in numerous countries throughout Europe. Performance credits include the Winnipeg Folk Festival in Manitoba, Canada (1978 and 1983), the 25th Festival Internacional de Danzas Folkloricas in Arequipa, Peru (1996), the Nyon Folk Festival in Switzerland (2000), the Santarem Internacional Festival de Folclore in Portugal (1984), and the Sidmouth International Folklore Festival in England (1978). They have participated in many other international events in, for example, Norway (1981), Holland (1990), Belgium (2002), Ireland (1982), Mexico (2003), Ecuador (1995), Italy (1987), and France (1997).
As part of their commitment to international cultural exchange, the Apple Chill Cloggers sponsored and organized a North Carolina performance tour by the Dutch folk dance group, “Hupsakee”. This group from Amsterdam was highlighted by the Chapel Hill International Folk Dance Concert and sponsored jointly by the Apple Chill Cloggers and the UNC-CH Carolina Union.
The Apple Chill Cloggers’ style includes patterns and steps from clogging, square dance, and Scottish traditions, as well as creative additions from the members. Their trademarks are energetic, high kicks, brightly colored, authentic costumes and their genuine love for Southern Appalachian Clogging.