October 27, 2022
Mars Hill University’s Bailey Mountain Cloggers (BMC) have won their 30th national title at the America’s Clogging Hall of Fame (ACHF) National Championships, held October 22-23 in Sevierville, Tennessee.
The team won a total of five Grand Champion Awards in both contemporary and traditional categories. A number of team members won individual awards as well, including BMC senior Samuel Locklear, who won the individual national title for Grand Champion Male Dancer of the Year. He will have the opportunity to dance at the Grand Ole Opry later next spring.
Locklear was also one of two students to win national titles in specific categories: he won Grand Champion Contemporary Male Dancer, while junior Keyshawn Sanders won Grand Champion Choreographed Solo (for the second year in a row). Sanders also won first place in his age division in the same category.
First year student Zac Rumley won both Grand Champion Traditional Male Solo and first place in his age division in the Traditional Male Solo category. Halea Baker, MHU Junior, won first place in Traditional Female Solo and Samuel Evans, MHU Sophomore, won first place Traditional Male Solo in his age division.
Two students, senior Naomi Jack and junior Christina Starck, were accepted onto the elite America’s Clogging Hall of Fame All American Team. They were nominated by the directors of BMC and chosen by the ACHF board. Only a few dancers from all the qualifying teams are chosen for this honor each year.
Danielle Buice Plimpton, Director of the BMC, said the dance team gave a top-notch performance at nationals.
“I am so proud of the way that BMC represented MHU this weekend. They danced incredibly hard, and as well as I have ever seen them perform at nationals. The competition was very tough, but BMC put their absolute best on stage and came away with their 30th national title. I could not be more proud and honored to be their director and coach.”
America’s Clogging Hall of Fame (ACHF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the old time square dance and clogging. ACHF sanctions many competitions throughout the year where teams and dancers can qualify to compete in the ACHF championships in October. Any team finishing first or second in two sanctioned competitions qualifies to compete at the national level. BMC competed against 37 teams at the national level.