Dance

Dance has been an integral part of the Folk School since its founding. From clogging to square dancing, you’ll learn the steps, feel the rhythm, and connect with others.

Explore The Studios

Keith House Community Room

Built in 1927, this spacious room was the cornerstone of the Folk School and continues to be the beating heart of our campus today. Outside of class time, students gather here for Morningsong, instructor demonstrations, evening concerts, and so much more. The building’s all-wooden dance floor is considered one of the best in the country.

Music Studio in Davidson Hall

Comprising the second floor of Davidson Hall, our Music Studio is a wonderful gathering space for musicians of all kinds. It’s a light-filled room overlooking a deck with long beautiful views of the herb garden and rolling hills. The spacious studio, with room enough for everyone to gather in a large circle, also has several private practice rooms. A fireplace is a special treat in this welcoming space.

Open House

An open-air pavilion allowing the garden breeze to flow through, Open House offers a way to enjoy the outdoors while dancing and playing music together. Shaded from the sun, and offering a beautiful panoramic view of the valley, Open House was built in 1947 and became the original site of the Folk School’s annual Fall Festival.

News & Stories: What's Happening in Dance

Posted:

Winter Dance Week 2022

We’re very happy to welcome...

Posted:

Online Classes Return This Winter

The Folk School is excited...

Posted:
Posted:
Posted:

Welcome to Our New Website

Our new website is here!...

Posted:

A Look Back at Folk School May Day Celebrations

Wishing you a happy May Day! We’re looking forward to dancing around the May Pole together again, but until then, we put together this post filled with photos of years past, a video from 2011, and an excerpt by Nanette Davidson about May Day from The Folk School Cookbook. Enjoy!

Posted:

Thank You for a Wonderful Friends & Family Day

We had a wonderful time at our first-ever Friends & Family Day on May 11! Community members of all ages toured our open studios, participated in hands-on making, watched demonstrations, enjoyed music & dance performances, savored local food, and learned all about the Folk School.

Posted:

Charlotte Crittenden on Dance Calling

I stopped by the Yarn Circle to speak with Charlotte Crittenden to talk about calling and dancing. Charlotte, a Brasstown local, is a regular caller at the Folk School on Tuesday and Saturday night dances. She is a popular regional caller who has recently called at Old Farmer’s Ball, River Falls, Grey Eagle, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Sautee and more! Enjoy our interview…

Posted:
Posted:

If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out with Aubrey Atwater

Using clogging, music and storytelling to charm Folk School audiences since 1996, Aubrey exudes a talent, grace, and humor unique to only the most tenured and talented of performers. Aubrey returns to the Folk School this September to teach two dynamite classes: Singing with Clawhammer Banjo (Sept. 8-13) and Clogging (Sept. 13-15 – Weekend). She is also scheduled to perform in special Thursday night concert, Sept. 12, 7 p.m. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn to play, laugh, sing, and dance with Aubrey this fall!

Posted:

Interview with Annie Fain Liden-Barralon

The Folk School is so happy to welcome Annie Fain Liden-Barralon to the position of Music and Dance Coordinator! I sat down with Annie Fain to find out about her experience growing up in the Folk School community and what it’s like to return as the Music and Dance Coordinator.

Posted:

Brasstown Dancers greet Olympic Torch, win the Wickham Cup

Brasstown Morris Dancers greeted the Olympic Torch in Kenilworth, England, and brought home the “Gold” of West Yorkshire Morris Dancing. Except it’s not gold and they didn’t bring it home. The Wickham Cup, actually a silver plated mug, remains in its place of honor in England, but newly inscribed with the name Dame’s Rocket.

Posted:

Many Fine Tunes: A Brief History of Dancing at the Folk School

The stories of our lives where dance and song are called for, go back to faraway lands where kings and villagers alike danced for joy.  Dance as a way to express joy that cannot be contained is part of many legends across the globe.  I know that you understand what I am talking about.  The many threads of our Southern Appalachian story can be seen beginning with the Singing Games or Play Party Games, which are a long time part of a vibrant mountain culture.  Almost any occasion where the earliest settlers and pioneers gathered, there was time to sing, clap, laugh,  and stomp in time with the music they created.  Not too different from what we do now, whenever we are together!

Posted:

Dance Musicians’ Week 2010

Here we are at John C. Campbell Folk School for another week of music and dancing.  This is the seventeenth year of this fantastic class, with dancing every night for everyone, and dancing and playing every day for the 21 instructors and students participating in the class.

Posted:

Calling Class: Learning by Doing

Summer is here and so is Little/Middle Folk School.  While the campus is taken over by kick ball, card games, picnics, and the fire truck that stopped by on Tuesday to spray the kids off – there is still one adult class happening, and that’s Dance Caller’s Week.

Posted:

Folk School Friend: Norman Kennedy

You meet the most interesting people here.  Over the years, I’ve learned from and enjoyed talking to some of the world’s great characters right here in Brasstown.  Shortly after I became the Director of the Folk School, I asked some of my musical and crafts friends to tell me great people we should try to get to teach at the Folk School.  A trusted musical advisor, Beth Ross Johnson, said “Get the great ballad singer Norman Kennedy.”  My weaving advisor (spouse Nanette) said, “Get the great weaver Norman Kennedy.”  These two turned out to be the very same ponytailed Scotsman.  So for the last eighteen years or so, he has made visits to Brasstown which are always memorable for us here, jazzing up weavers and spinners, slamming tweed on the table to the beat of the ancient waulking music, where the singing and the weaving come together, as the song propels the cloth sunwise around the table while all the hands of the people lift it up and slam it down and pass it on to the next waulker.  In this way, the wool is preshrunk, softened, bonded and unified.  The people likewise, except they are not preshrunk.

Charmaine Slaven headshot

Music & Dance Coordinator

Charmaine Slaven

Originally from western Montana, Charmaine has worked for over 16 years as a Seattle-based professional musician, flatfoot dancer, dance caller, instructor, and administrator specializing in traditional American roots music and dance events. She takes great joy in sharing her passion with people of all ages and abilities and has gained a great reputation for her fun methods of engagement. Charmaine has a knack for teaching and organizing and became an anchor in the Pacific Northwest old-time music and dance communities. She hopes to bring diverse music, dance, culture, and joy to the Folk School.

T-Claw headshot

Music & Dance Coordinator

T-Claw Crawford

T-Claw Crawford is a dance caller, musician, and community organizer. He grew up in Nashville, TN and played punk rock and jazz until he heard old-time string music. T-Claw has toured by bicycle across eight states and New Zealand with Fiddle Pie, and old-time variety show band. He is the “Johnny Appleseed” of square dancing, having instigated his enthusiastic brand of community music and dance get-togethers far and wide. T’s favorite foods are pie and biscuits, and he enjoys river sports, honky tonkin’, yard games, wildcrafting, and cribbage. He bops around Brasstown with his beloved wife and delightful daughters.

Images from the Studio

Interested in Attending?

You can find more information about the many aspects that make up the Folk School Experience using the menu below.