Mars Hill, NC (Feb 23, 2018) Mars Hill University offers our sincere apologies for those offended by the recent social media advertisement for our Bailey Mountain Cloggers’ event. It was never the intent to culturally appropriate on any level. However, we take responsibility for how those images have been interpreted and commit to using this incident as a learning opportunity for our campus community.
Mars Hill University is unwavering in our pursuit of becoming a university that is diverse and inclusive at the very core of who we are. We value our rich student diversity and are committed to educating our faculty, staff, students and community about our diverse world. In addition, we are dedicated to seeking further training to assure that we learn from this incident.
Every spring, The Bailey Mountain Cloggers present a huge production celebrating the history of clogging and dance. This year, the theme, “Legends in Music”, was chosen as a way for students to represent artist who have inspired them to dance. Inspiration came from a variety of genres including country, pop, hip-hop, rock, and the blues. Students were required to do extensive research on the artist of their choice in order to understand that artist’s influences, passions, and dedication to the arts. The students will have the opportunity to pay tribute and honor these legends and the contributions that they have made to American culture. The spring production is a fundraiser that will support the team to travel internationally to folk and dance festivals. To date, the team has traveled to 11 different countries where they have had the opportunity to share with and learn from local dancers about their culture and traditional dance. BMC is committed to paying homage in a respectful manner and only wish to share the artistry learned.
We are proud of the hard work that our students have put into this production. We are working with our Diversity Office to assure that students are properly honoring the immeasurable contributions of all our musical legends. We celebrate our commitment to diversity, recognizing that our success depends on our ongoing willingness to learn and evolve, as we become a premiere liberal arts institution that engage learners into ethical citizens and successful leaders in an ever-changing world.
The Bailey Mountain Cloggers were organized in 1974 by students at Mars Hill College in the mountains of North Carolina, near Asheville. The Bailey Mountain name is derived from the mountain adjacent to the college campus.
This college clog team carries influence from an older championship team in Mars Hill called Bailey Mountain “Square” Dance Team. Comprised of young adults from the college and town, these dancers in the spring of 1950 toured the Southwest with Bascom Lamar Lunsford, who is credited for giving the name Bailey Mountain to the team. By the late 50’s, precision clogging entered the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in Asheville with James Kesterson and the Blue Ridge Mountain Dancers. Until then, only Smooth Big Circle Dance, called Mountain “Square” Dance, and freestyle clog dancing were part of the folk festival. One such precision clog team influenced the Bailey Mountain Cloggers in their early years; the Green Grass Cloggers.
During the 1980’s Bailey Mountain began competition clogging and expanded its clog repertoire to include more than precision clog routines: Big Circle Smooth, Freestyle, Country Hoedown, Kentucky Running Set, Line Dance, Show, and Percussive dance routines Today, the students who comprise the dance company, 45+ from 12 different states, come from various dance traditions, representing a number of ethnic and religious backgrounds. Each student clogger becomes a unique part of the Bailey Mountain tradition, blending the old with the new into a larger mosaic for the future. Each year this long championship tradition recreates itself anew, and showcases its traditional and contemporary dance routines in an annual clogging concert each spring.
Being one of a few college-based performing clog teams in the nation, with art performance grants and college credit courses, the Bailey Mountain Cloggers serve as ambassador of goodwill for the college and the folk dance traditions of the Southern Mountains.
During their 40-year history, the Bailey Mountain Cloggers have performed throughout the United States and internationally in Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Austria, and Ireland. From the Kennedy Center in 1996 to the Austrian Alps Performing Arts Festival in 1997; from the world premier in 1998 of “Mountain Legacy” in Asheville, North Carolina to the Ulster-American Folk Park’s Appalachian Festivals in 1998-2001; from the “Making A Difference” performance for the BBC from Belfast, Ireland, viewed by over 5 million throughout Europe to a performance on Broadway in 2000; Palma Mallorca Folk Festival 2007 & 2009; International Judenfestwoche Paderborn Germany 2011; Billingham International Folk Festival 2013; Chambery France International Folk Festival 2015; Billingham International Folk Festival 2015; Lefkas International Folklore Festival Greece 2015; Poland & Czech Republic 2016.
The Bailey Mountain Cloggers Folk Dance Company has established a national and international reputation for American clog dance excellence.
The Bailey Mountain Cloggers are comprised of 31 students from over 7 different states. BMC is an American Folk Dance Ensemble. They are a performance and competition team and love traveling and performing for audiences of all ages!
In order to be a member of the Bailey Mountain Cloggers, you must be a student at Mars Hill University. Group auditions are held twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. You may also request a private audition with the Director at other times.
Keep up with BMC:
And learn more at baileymountaincloggers.com