MHU’s Bailey Mountain Cloggers Dance Their Way to National Championship

Dancers brought home major awards.

The Bailey Mountain Cloggers
The Bailey Mountain Cloggers hold posters representing the championships won at this year’s America’s Clogging Hall of Fame National Championships.

The Bailey Mountain Cloggers, Mars Hill University’s precision dancing team, is a national champion for the 31st time.

The team won the title for its 8-Couple Southern Appalachian Hoedown in the Young Adult Team category. The America’s Clogging Hall of Fame National Championships were held October 20-21, 2023, in Sevierville, Tennessee.

The team also was first-runner-up in two other national championship categories. Over the course of the championship weekend, the Bailey Mountain Cloggers won eight Grand Championships and scored ten first-place team dances and three second-place team dances.

Individual dancers also brought home major awards:

  • Sammy Locklear won National Champion in the Contemporary Male Soloist category.
  • Keyshawn Sanders was Grand Champion in Choreographed Solo.
  • Samuel Evans took second place in Traditional Male Solo.
  • Halea Baker placed second in Traditional Female Solo.
  • Lauren Freeman and Rachel Sealy were named to the All-American Team, and Philip Starck, parent of team member Christina Starck, was recognized as “ACHF Dad of the Year.”

The Bailey Mountain Cloggers were organized in 1974 by students at what was then known as Mars Hill College, and were influenced by an older championship team, the Bailey Mountain Square Dance Team, which began performing in 1950. The Bailey Mountain name is derived from the mountain adjacent to the college campus. 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 ambassadors of goodwill for the college and the dance traditions of the Southern Mountains.

During their history, the Bailey Mountain Cloggers have performed throughout the United States and internationally in countries including Italy, Greece, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Austria, and Ireland. The Bailey Mountain Cloggers dance company has established a national and international reputation for American clog dance excellence.

The Bailey Mountain Cloggers are led by managing director Danielle Buice Plimpton and assistant director Dallas Moffat. Both were standouts on the team during their Mars Hill University dance careers.

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