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Heart and Soul of the J Creek Cloggers

The J Creek Cloggers team evolved from a little girl’s dream (Kim Campbell Ross) of becoming a flatfoot dancer at the tender age of 10 in the small, unincorporated community of Snowflake, located in Scott County, Virginia. Growing up, she watched her father flatfoot and loved the seamlessly floating style of the dance. 
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As Kim got older, she headed to the popular Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, VA to watch some of the best dancers on the floor showcasing their moves. Kim mimicked their steps, adding several of her own, as well.  As the years went by, Kim moved to Waynesville, NC, got married, and had two boys, each sharing their mom’s passion for the old-time dancing style. Kim’s desire, above all else, was to preserve the heritage of flatfoot and buck dancing, thus becoming the founder of the J Creek Cloggers. Kim, to this day, enjoys ‘freestyle’ clogging. Under Kim’s guidance for 14 years, the J Creek Cloggers boast 25 members currently, ranging in age from 12 to 78, performing across the United States showcasing the vibrant diversity of these dance forms.

Educational and Interactive Performances

The J Creek Cloggers are not just performers; they are educators and storytellers. They engage with their audience, offering insights into the history and techniques of different dance styles, and often invite spectators to join in their routines. This interactive approach clearly shows the art of clogging and other dance forms, making them accessible and enjoyable for people of all ages.

The Influence of Modern Media

The digital media has brought new avenues for traditional arts to showcase their expertise. Zeb Ross, dubbed the “blue shirt guy” for the group’s signature teal shirts, and the J Creek Cloggers, as well, saw their dance team flourish and excel on social media. Zeb Ross followed in his mom’s footsteps, literally, by becoming an overnight success with fancy footwork added to his basic flatfoot and clogging skills.
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With a simple 22 second clip of Zeb dancing with the clogging team, caught on tape by an individual in the crowd and uploaded to TikTok, Zeb was ‘discovered’! His combination of moves, fast footwork, easy smile and long hair all came together on that magical night at Darnell Farms in March 2022. Zeb was a sensation overnight, as well as giving the J Creek Cloggers the exposure due them. Epic Games licensed Zeb’s moves for Fortnite, Google licensed the viral video for their 2022 #YearInSearch compilation video, and Peacock licensed the viral video for their year-end wrap-up with Kevin Hart and Kenan Thompson. The J Creek Cloggers were in many music videos, showing how traditional dance can find a place in contemporary popular culture.

The Importance of Community in Dance

For the J Creek Cloggers, dance is an art that goes beyond mere performance. It fosters community bonds, celebrates diverse cultures, and brings people together in a shared experience of joy and artistic expression. The team exemplifies how dance can bridge gaps, unite generations, and create a sense of belonging. No matter what language you speak or where you are from, music and dance can bring people together.

The Role of Dance in Storytelling

While watching the J Creek Cloggers dance, you become part of a story that unfolds with each and every step, making it a powerful tool for expression and emotions that words alone cannot tell. Through their performances, this team tells the story of their heritage, Appalachian culture, and the mountains they call home.

Participating in Workshops

The J Creek Cloggers also organizes fun workshops for those interested in learning the art of mountain dancing. These workshops are designed for dancers of all levels, providing hands-on experience in clogging, flat-footing, and square dancing. The dance team’s main goal is to educate and preserve mountain dancing, as well as to put a smile on people’s face through the art of dance!