We Love To Dance & It Shows!
The Hemlock Bluff Cloggers started off as a group of interested cloggers back in October of 1977. After gathering several dancers who had just started taking clogging lessons in Cary, Bryan Craddock began holding weekly practices in his basement. The group initially had 4 couples, and landed its first booking in the spring of 1998 at Capital Towers, a retirement community, in North Raleigh. The members had to build a plywood stage, and carry that with them to the booking, because the activities room was carpeted. The show consisted of several clogging routines, and also some musical entertainment by Jack Wardlaw and his "Singing Banjos."
A couple of months later, the Hemlock Bluff Cloggers decided to travel to Mecklenburg County, to compete in the dance category. That event was sponsored by the Shrine Club near Charlotte, and the team won first place in the traditional category. In addition to getting a trophy, the team received a $100 check. While at the festival, the team was given an invitation to be the featured dance team at the Pulaski Fiddler's Convention, near Dublin, VA., later that summer. That event was the group's first out of state booking.
Over the years, the Hemlock Bluff Cloggers has had over 150 members and 20 sets of outfits. Some past bookings include:
The Lizard Lick Festival, Wendell, NC
Benson Mule Days, Benson, NC
Miss North Carolina Pageant, Raleigh, NC
1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, TN
1987 Galax Fiddler's Convention, VA
Cajun Mardi Gras, Lafayette, LA
Spring Water Festival, SC
International Folk Festival in Cobh, Ireland (1989 & 1994)
Stompin' Ground, Maggie Valley, NC
Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, Asheville, NC
Shindig On The Green, Asheville
Carolina Christmas Show, Raleigh, NC
Dogwood Festival, Mebane, NC
Selma Railroad Days, Selma, NC
National Clogging & Hoedown Council Convention, Ripley, WV
Chimney Rock, Lake Lure, NC
N.C. State Fair Folk Festival, Raleigh, NC
Numerous additional bookings include various bluegrass festivals, street fairs, and retirement center shows over a span of 40 years.
The team has always been known for exhibiting traditional Southern Appalachian style clogging, but also has several precision, smooth, and line dance routines. Crowd participation dances are also a favorite of the team's members.