Folkmoot 2016 features our own mountain dance, too.

Folkmoot 2016 features our own mountain dance, too

When you think of Folkmoot you certainly think of international folk dance but Folkmoot 2016 features our own mountain dance, too. Just has it has for the past 32 years, Folkmoot will feature the very best dancers and musicians from right here in Western North Carolina – unique dance, unique music which springs only from … Read more

The Sam Love Queen Auditorium at Folkmoot!

The Same Love Queen Auditorium at Folkmoot!

It was a stellar night of music March 19 as Folkmoot formally recognized its renovated performance venue in the historic Hazelwood School as The Sam Love Queen Auditorium at Folkmoot!

Sam Love Queen was among the most famous and most beloved figures in Haywood County history, known around the world as the premier mountain dance caller and ambassador of mountain culture and heritage. Known as, “Sam Love Queen, the square dance king – the dancin’-est man in the land,” Queen presided over the mainstay of Haywood County social events, the frequent dances at Moody Farm in Maggie Valley beginning in the 1930s.

“You danced in the front yard, in the barn or in the middle of the parlor floor,” said Joe Sam Queen, a grandson of Sam Love and current civic leader and Haywood representative to the North Carolina General Assembly. “It was the genuine folk dance. It was a social institution of the day. It’s where you courted, socialized with your neighbors. It was an art form.”

Sara Queen Brown
Sara Queen Brown

Sam Love was also among those early supporters and organizers of the Folkmoot Festival of traditional folk dance and was immortalized in song by Buddy Melton, Milan Miller and Mark W. Winchester.

At the request of President Franklin Roosevelt, Sam Love took his Soco Gap Dance Team to Washington in 1939 to display the unique Haywood County style of dance and perform before King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England.

Sara Queen Brown, daughter of Sam Love and herself a revered and venerable Haywood County figure, was part of that 1939 Soco Gap Dance Team and together with her nephew, Joe Sam, made possible the endowment for the restoration of the old Hazelwood School auditorium and its transformation into the Folkmoot performance venue, the Sam Love Queen Auditorium.

“Tonight we take the opportunity to honor a woman and a family who has made a contribution that will have a meaningful, positive impact on Haywood County,” explained Folkmoot Executive Director Angie Schwab at the March 19th event. “Over 90 years of positive influence from this person, Sara Queen Brown, and now she has insured at least 90 more years because she has contributed the money to improve this space in which you are sitting right now.

“Sara Queen Brown has been a teacher in Clyde, has directed Mountain Projects, has been on the board of the Haywood Community College and is the only surviving member of the Soco Gap Dance Team. Clogging is important here. Sara’s father, Sam Love Queen was very passionate about folk dance. He believed, and surely passed on to his children and grandchildren that when you holding hands, in one big circle, there is no reason to fight. Dance contributes to peace and harmony in the world. Sara Queen Brown and the Queen family have helped to define Haywood County and Waynesville as a folk dance hot spot, the center of Appalachian dance in the US. What better way to recognize the Queen family than to dedicate this space as the Queen Auditorium in the name of her father, Sam Love Queen.

“The programs in the space, from here on out will be in his name.”

Folkmoot’s founding director, Jackie Bolden, introduced Sara and Joe Sam to the crowd and here is a video of her presentation and remarks from Joe Sam Queen and Sara Queen Brown:

And with the Queen Family gift the circle will remain unbroken: (video by Patrick Parton)

Other performances from March 19…

The Darren Nicholson Band:

Whitewater Bluegrass Company with special guest, Dr. Marc Pruett:

Appalachian dance at Folkmoot!

Appalachian dance at Folkmoot!

Experience the beauty and history of Appalachian dance at Folkmoot.

Appalachian Dance Class 101 features instruction in square dance formations and basic flat-foot and clogging styles unique to the Haywood County mountains.  


Kim Ross, Appalachian Dance Classes at Folkmoot
Kim Ross

Kim Ross, Director of the J. Creek Cloggers, is the instructor.  Classes are from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the multi-purpose room of the Folkmoot Community Center, 112 Virginia Avenue in Waynesville.  

Each 4-week class costs $40.00.  Soft shoes with slick bottoms are preferred for easy movement, but are not mandatory.  

The dates for classes are:

  • Ages 16 and up: March, 22, March 29, April, 5, April,12
  • Ages 6 and up: April, 19, April, 26, May, 3, May, 10
  • Ages 16 and up: May, 17, May, 24, June, 31, June, 7

Register by telephone at 828-452-2997 or fill out this form, requesting registration for the classes

 Kim Ross was born and raised in Scott County Virginia in the tiny community of Snowflake, a few miles from the home of A.P. and Mother Maybelle Carter and the Carter Family.  Kim grew up in a family of dancers and learned at a young age traditional flat-foot dancing.  The famous Carter Fold in Hiltons, Virginia was – and still is – Kim’s favorite “hoedown place” to perfect her various steps in buck, flatfoot, clogging, and free-style while meeting up with her dancing friends in her hometown.  

She moved to Haywood County North Carolina in 1992 and raised two boys, Zeb and Levi Ross, who today, make up The Ross Brothers & Terry Woody Bluegrass/Old Time Band. Kim’s boys inherited her love for dance and music and when Kim formed her own clogging team, the J. Creek Cloggers, her boys naturally became a part of the group.  

The J. Creek Cloggers are busy fulfilling their obligations at various events during the year, as well as being the regular attraction from May to October at the well-known Stompin’ Grounds in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.  J. Creek Cloggers have performed in Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and are honored to adhere to the ‘old style’ square dancing, keeping it alive for the next generation.  They were recently honored with the 2015 Bill Nichols Heritage Traditional Dance Award.

Thanks to Best Western Smoky Mountain Inn and the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina for supporting Folkmoot’s year-round programming initiatives.

Appalachian dance classes for teens!

Appalachian Dance at Folkmoot!

Our dance classes for young children were so successful Folkmoot will offer, beginning February 16, Appalachian dance classes for teens! (And adults will be welcome, too!) Appalachian Dance Class 101 will feature instruction in flat-foot dancing, buck dancing, clogging and square dance styles unique to the Haywood County mountains.  Winter term classes will be focused … Read more

Kids can learn Appalachian Dance!

Folkmoot 2016 features our own mountain dance, too

Kids can learn Appalachian Dance, its melodic and mesmerizing flow, at Folkmoot in January! Folkmoot is offering Appalachian Dance Class 101 beginning January 5 for kids in the 6th grade or younger at the Folkmoot Friendship Center. Classes feature flat-foot dancing, buck dancing, clogging and square dance styles unique to the Haywood County mountains. Kim … Read more

May Day at Folkmoot – Dance, Music, Food!

Applachian Dancers

May Day at Folkmoot: Western Carolina dance, Scottish music, Mexican food and much more will be part of the line-up! It’s all on tap Saturday, May 2, at the Folkmoot Friendship Center, 112 Virginia Avenue (the historic Hazelwood School) when Folkmoot USA celebrates May Day and delivers to our community the new vision for a … Read more