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April 16, 2024

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Cripple Creek Cloggers Enter Their 56th Year

A free community event in February and a festival in June.

Cripple Creek Cloggers are entering their 56th year of teaching and performing authentic Appalachian-style square dancing with a clogging step — a strong and ancient tradition of the Middle TN region.

They will welcome new members and begin teaching on Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Senior Activity Center of Smyrna (100 Raikes St., Smyrna, TN 37167) at 4:30 p.m. There is no charge to participate and no special gear is needed to attend.

The troupe, originally organized as a 4-H activity at Kittrell School in Readyville, has traveled and performed and taught internationally, nationally, statewide and locally. They wear homemade costuming of the early-to-mid-1800s and use metal tips on their shoes to accentuate the stepping. The music accompanying their performances includes the banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle and/or dulcimer.

Clogging around the world

Cripple Creek Cloggers made their first international trip to Romania in 1973 and represented the U.S. for their first international folkloric festival experience in 1977. By 1982, they had performed in festivals in France, Spain and Puerto Rico and were organizing, along with many community volunteers, their own International Folkfest in Murfreesboro.

Since then, they have continued to represent the U.S.A. in festivals in most all the countries of Western Europe and several in Eastern Europe. They have also traveled to Central America, Puerto Rico, Morocco, Canada and all 50 of the continental United States. This year, June 4 – 11 will be the 40th anniversary edition of International Folkfest, featuring fellow troupes from France, Poland and Italy.

For more information about Cripple Creek Cloggers, their Feb. 19 event, or the June festival, see the websites, or, or contact Steve Cates, Director, at 615 896 3559 or



About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.