JOIN THE WAITING LIST

COMING FALL 2021

A step-by-step process for beginner and intermediate dancers that teaches tons of steps plus how to combine them to become a smooth, musical dancer.

Appalachian Flatfooting & Clogging Academy

In just eight weeks, you'll go from feeling dance overwhelm and confusion to feeling confident and comfortable in your body, as you build your Appalachian dance vocabulary and learn specific techniques for becoming a fluent dancer and improviser.

The fall semester will begin on September 6, 2021 with 8 weeks of coaching by me,  plus lifetime access to the 8 self-paced digital modules and more than 90 video lessons, which you can complete on your own schedule and refer to again and again. Read on for more details....

 

Before I tell you all about this comprehensive new program that will transform your dancing, let’s talk about who it’s really for:

You’re someone who loves Appalachian music, dance, and culture, and you’re ready for an accessible, thorough, and FUN course that contains EVERYTHING (yes, everything!) you need  to become a great dancer, at your own schedule, pace, and location.

Whether you're...

→ A beginner who’s always wanted to learn more about the style but hasn’t had access to the right teacher or community

→ Someone who’s had some classes here and there but wants to level up so you can feel comfortable dancing at jams and concerts without looking like a durn fool!

→ Someone who knows a bunch of steps but needs some extra support and a proven formula for putting it all together to improvise with fluency

→Someone who wants to learn the style but doesn't have huge blocks of time to devote to it and needs the lessons delivered in manageable chunks that will fit into your busy schedule

→ An experienced dancer in another genre who’s always wanted to learn some clogging and flatfooting.

→ A clogger or flatfooter who’s hit a wall in your dancing that you’re ready to move past

→ A performer or musician who regularly finds yourself in jam sessions and attending festivals where you want to make real “music with your feet” or even showcase your dancing onstage as part of your set

You’re in the right place and I’m going to tell you exactly how Appalachian Flatfooting & Clogging Academy will give you the tools, inspiration, and unparalleled support on your journey to become the dancer you’ve dreamed of being!

If we haven’t met at an old-time jam session before…

Hey, I’m Carla --- banjo picker, singer, die-hard Kentucky mountain dancer, mama to three delightfully weird and musical young’uns, and chief cornbread-maker in my household. 

I’ve been told I’m annoyingly enthusiastic, but I just love sharing the traditions of my family and community with folks far and wide!

Let me share a bit about why I do what I do...

As a kid growing up in Eastern Kentucky, I faced a lot of stigma, shame, and embarrassment about my accent, my culture, and my people. Like so many Appalachians, I internalized the media stereotypes and narrative about what it meant to be from the mountains (aka a hillbilly) and I felt that if I wanted to “make something of myself” I would need to separate from my place and people.

But also, I was surrounded by talented, creative, resourceful, hard-working people who taught me more than I could ever type on this page. I soaked up the music, the stir-offs, the hymns, the family reunions,  the gardening, the quilting, the canning, the soap-making, and all of the incredible culture around me. Including the DANCING!

When I went away to college, I began to understand the misrepresentation my culture experienced, and the way our region had been exploited, economically and culturally. I realized how, for centuries, folks who weren’t from here had created the stories told about us AND taught about our culture to others, on our behalf.

A passion was born within me then, to spend my life sharing the beauty, richness, and dignity of my home and to encourage others from here to do the same. I’ve used my art as a platform to share MY Appalachia and my Kentucky, and now I’m stepping up to offer a dance course that is fully informed by this place, this people, and this music. 

It's an honor and a privilege to teach, and here are a few reasons why I feel confident that I can be a great teacher for you:

→ I’m an 8th-generation Kentuckian from a musical family, and I’m seriously stoked to share that heritage with my students. 

→Since I’m a musician, I bring musical knowledge and awareness to my dancing and teaching, to help you get inside the fiddle tunes and crush your improv game.

→I have a MA in Education and all the detailed attention to pedagogy and thoughtfully-structured teaching practices that come with that.

→I have 27 years of experience teaching mountain music and dance, so I’ve learned the teaching techniques that work best for this material. 

→I spent 3 years as a consultant designing digital courses for kids at our Kentucky PBS station, so I know how to deliver digital content in an engaging format. (I even won an industry award for one of the courses I designed!)

Now, while the fiddler rosins up her bow, let me tell you more about what’s shaking inside the Academy...

 

By the end of this program,

you will have…

  • Solidified your muscle memory for all the foundational steps, so they feel natural and automatic in your body

  • Learned TONS of versatile steps

    (Instead of just the same 3 steps over and over)
  • Mastered a formula for improvising like a boss with fiddle and banjo tunes

  • Learned a process for diving deeper into the steps so that you can create unlimited combinations

  • Developed your own stylistic elements to personalize your dancing

    (Even if you're a complete beginner!)
  • Gained a massive toolkit of steps, stretches, dance-worthy tunes, practice routines, and historical and cultural tidbits to keep you dancing for years to come!

    (And best of all, all this material is yours FOR LIFE!)

"I like how, as a dancer and string-band musician, you understand how to adjust steps for improvisational settings and to perform with a band. And you’re just such a nice and accessible teacher!

Your dance classes have seriously brought me so much joy! I can't wait until we can gather again and I can show off my new moves--I'm going to tear up every bar from Juneau to Fairbanks!"

Annie B. Alaska, musician/performer

Carla Gover’s flatfooting class is the real deal. She is a thoughtful and knowledgeable teacher since she herself grew up in the music and dance traditions of Kentucky’s Appalachian mountains. Besides learning to clog, I enjoy learning the history of the dancing.  

- Haydee Canovas, Nurse Practitioner/Playwright

 

"I was apprehensive about switching from Irish dancing to flatfooting, but Carla made my transition easy! She is passionate about sharing what she knows. She breaks complicated steps down into bite-sized chunks and builds on that until before you know it, you've got the step! If you want to learn to flatfoot, I can't think of a better, more caring teacher than Carla" 

- Eileen O'Connor-Ramsey, musician/dancer/artisan

 

"For a long time I looked for a fun, non-threatening way to learn flat-footing. I am not a dancer, but I have always loved watching people do this; I wanted to be a part of the fun and to learn something new.  Carla's classes fit the bill perfectly. She is a wonderful dancer and a patient, fun and easy-to-follow teacher. Five Stars! *****"

- Lee Atkinson, Singer/Mother/Lifelong Learner

 

What’s Inside

Appalachian Flatfooting & Clogging Academy

 

Module 1

Foundations

Here’s why it pays to learn from someone who’s gone before you: I know exactly where most students get stuck in the learning process! In this module we're going to make sure you have all the background you need to succeed in the course and on the dance floor.

We’ll start at the beginning with cultural and historical tidbits and background knowledge about the style.

You’re also going to get a complete road map for the course, plus ALL the information you need to get started, like tips about dance floors and dance boards, the best, most dance-able tunes, and info about the good shoes and where to find them.

We’ll set you up for success with a thorough review of clogging basics, flatfooting basics, chugs, slides, and other building blocks to make sure that you know and have the muscle memory to rock the foundational steps, which is what will allow you to CRUSH YOUR IMPROV GAME.

Module Highlights:

  • Flatfooting & Clogging Basic Steps
  • Chugs & Slides (single and double foot)
  • Walking Step with practice tips
  • Practice sequence videos with PDF cheat sheet for easy reference
Module 2

Heels & Toes

In this module, we’ll explore steps that utilize the heels (scuffs, rocks, and drops) and toes (touches, brushes, and flaps), and ways to transition from side to side between steps. 

The module also features some popular steps that showcase various combinations of these movements to liven up your dancing and help you think creatively about putting elements together!

Module Highlights:

  • Brushes, touches, and crosses with heel drops
  • Pitty Pats and variations
  • Charleston, Rocking Chair, and Cowboy steps
  • Practice sequence videos with PDF cheat sheet for easy reference
Module 3

Shuffles & Slides

This module focuses on the steps that really add some pizzazz to your dancing, whether you love clogging or flatfooting or both (like me)! We’ll learn steps with syncopations, slides in every direction, and some smooth moves to use for transitions and endings of tunes. 

These are the steps that will make you the coolest dancer on the floor, as other dancers watch and wonder, “How do you DO that?”

 

  • Back-step  & Side Slides
  • Barnyard Slides
  • Flea Flickers
  • Samantha, Turkey, Felix, and Marvin steps
  • Practice sequence videos with PDF cheat sheet for easy reference

 

Module 4

All About the Legs

Of course ALL dancing is about the legs, but in this module we’ll focus on those steps that make the crowd go wild, and make onlookers wonder if you have any joints! 

The moves in this module will ensure that you have a few tricks to pull out when you need a sprinkle of “wow” in your dancing!

Module Highlights:

  • Fancy Step & Fancy Ankles
  • Old Fashioned Step
  • Kentucky Loop & Wagon Wheels
  • Practice sequence videos with PDF cheat sheet for easy reference
Module 5

Smacks & Chugs

In this key module, you’ll learn the building blocks to master the arts of chugging on one foot and two, finding your “chugging sweet spot," and using smacks to kick things up a notch.

We'll also address some of the ways to modify chug-oriented steps for those times when you want to coddle your knees.

Module Highlights:

  • Smack-Heels (with and without chugs)
  • Eddies
  • Clogging Basic with chugs
  • Dudleys (aka Indigenous)
  • Practice sequence videos with PDF cheat sheet for easy reference

Module 6

Moving Steps

With moving steps, we add energy and life to our freestyling and improv sequences. Here, you’ll learn steps full of turns, jumps, and lively rhythms for those moments that need extra punch when you’re dancing a tune.

And if you ever decide to play with choreography, these are also some of the steps that are most fun to do with other dancers!

Module Highlights:

  • The Lone Ranger

  • The GGC Jump

  • Earls and Triple Earl Turns

  • Dudley Turns

  • The Sideways Step

  • Practice sequence videos with PDF cheat sheet for easy reference

Module 7

Bits and Pieces

This module is where you’ll learn some of my best secrets for pulling all of your new knowledge together to improvise with fluency and grace. 

We'll start by learning how to include sequences that work perfectly with a variety of fiddle tunes in your dancing. We’ll break some tunes down line-by-line to see the anatomy of improv in action, and then we’ll learn some ways to end a tune in perfect time with the music!

We’ll also discuss how you can practice your freestyling with some strategies for developing your “improv muscles”.

Module Highlights:

  • Steps that emphasize the beginning of the fiddle line

  • Steps that emphasize the ending of the fiddle line
  • The Darlin Boy
  • The Punch Step
  • Granny Does Your Dog Bite
  • Have You Ever Seen the Devil
  • The Front Cross
  • Tags & Endings
  • Practice sequence videos with PDF cheat sheet for easy reference

Module 8

All Together Now

Yay! In this exciting module you'll get three mini-routines to practice which incorporate many of the steps we’ve been working on. It’s a great way to really solidify that muscle memory on your path to becoming a better improviser and offers yet another (concise) way to practice the course material.

Module Highlights:

  • Uncle Joe/Hop High Ladies Mini-Routine

  • Martha Campbell Mini-Routine
  • Practice sequence videos with PDF cheat sheet for easy reference

AFCA includes:

Appalachian Flatfooting & Clogging Academy

(An $800 value)

  • 8 Modules

    These modules contain over 90 lessons full of  tips, tricks, and stories that relay my lifetime of accumulated knowledge. They will teach you ALL the steps you need to become an incredible dancer and improviser.

    You’ll be given access to one module per week for EIGHT weeks so that you have ample time to dive into each lesson BEFORE moving on to the next. 

    We do this to protect your time, attention and focus AND so that I can provide personalized attention and instruction as you progress through the course. It also means you’ll have a bunch of other students doing the course at the same time as you, for support, inspiration, and community

  • A complete step-by-step formula

    I'll help you put the movements together with the tunes to unlock your inner musician and really dial in your dancing to a tune or a band.

  • The total toolkit for your dance needs

    With so much more than just the steps, this course has information you'll need about shoes, tunes, and playlists, printable practice guides, dance party videos, and other fun goodies!

Plus These Bonuses to Help You Generate Unstoppable Momentum During the Course and Beyond!

Bonus 1

8 weeks of Live Members-Only Group Coaching Sessions with Carla (via Zoom)

The community experience is invaluable in this style of dancing, which is why we'll meet weekly. You’ll also have the option to send questions in advance and watch the replay on your own schedule!

(A $200 Value)

What you'll get:

Each week of the course, you'll get the chance to participate in a live session and receive:

  • answers to your questions about the course and the steps
  • feedback on your dancing
  • motivation/inspiration from Carla!
Bonus 2

Stretching & Body Care Class for Dancers

This class, taught by Movement Therapist and Personal Trainer HanaKyle at HanaKyle Holistics, will help you stretch and strengthen your body before and after your dance sessions.

(A $50 Value)

What You’ll Get:

Included is a brief warm-up sequence and a more robust anytime practice that helps you with these key areas

  • Lower back openers
  • Knee and ankle strengtheners
  • Foot care and stretching
  • Spinal decompression
Bonus 3

Carla's Banjo Slow Jams

You'll get a selection of 3 tunes we work with in the course, played at the perfect speed for practicing your steps and solidifying muscle memory.

(A $15 Value)

What You’ll Get:

You'll get slow recordings of some of my favorite banjo tunes aligned with the steps and sequences in the course.

  • Uncle Joe (Hop High Ladies)
  • Pretty Little Darlin
  • Soldier's Joy

Risk-Free 14-Day Guarantee

Let me say this up front. 

AFCA is the most comprehensive, step-by-step program available for dancers learning Appalachian flatfooting and clogging. You’ll have access to my expertise and coaching, as well as a great community of fellow dancers. When you join, you’ll be part of this special group, and you can expect to see real progress in your dancing if you're working through the modules.

And here’s the kicker. 

If you don’t feel totally satisfied by the course experience after the first two weeks (when you’ve already had access to two full modules of material and two coaching sessions), simply reach out, and we’ll refund your money.

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to take a moment to respond to some of the most common questions and concerns I hear about The Appalachian Flatfooting & Clogging Academy.

Click the button at the top of this page to join the waiting list now! You'll be the first to receive information when the course offers, including a special bonus!

Still thinking about it?

Appalachian Flatfooting & Clogging Academy is PERFECT for you if you're… 

  1. A beginner who wants a resource that will help lay great foundations and keep you learning in the future.
  2. An experienced dancer who wants to learn more steps, or learn to be a better improviser
  3. Someone who enjoys learning in a community of like-minded people
  4. An experienced dancer in a different style who wants to add Appalachian dance to their repertoire
  5. Someone who wants to dance at jams and festivals without looking like a durn fool!
  6. Ready to take a joyful journey of Appalachian Music, Dance, and Culture!

A final, personal, message from Carla...

I cannot wait to guide you over these next 8 weeks! 

If you’re here, I know you must love Appalachian dance. 

Maybe you love learning all the different steps and rhythms. Maybe you just love moving your body and getting some good exercise without having to, you know, actually go JOGGING or something. 

Or maybe you’re like me, and you love old-time music so much you want to be able to move to it and express it with your body.

In six months or a year, where do you want to be with your dancing? Events and venues will (hopefully!) start to open back up, and the good times and jam sessions will once again roll. Will you be ready?

This is your opportunity to take a risk-free dive into these steps and take your dancing to the next level!

I deeply believe that there’s something special to be gained by studying with someone who is part of a living tradition--a tradition I can’t wait to share with you. You’ll get more than just the steps in my course--you’ll also get the stories of the events, the musicians, and the old-timers who shaped me so profoundly growing up. 

If you’re seeking permission to invest in your learning, give yourself a little something to look forward to each week and allow more joy and yee-haw into your life and your dancing. Give it to yourself. 

I believe that you can become the dancer you dream of being, and I’ve taken the same journey you’re on, learning steps and figuring out how to “put it all together” in a musical way that perfectly complements the tunes. Over the years, I’ve worked out shortcuts and formulas for how to do that, and more importantly, how to teach that. 

More than anything else, I want to share that with you today. 

Should you choose to accept my invitation, I promise to be your cheerleader, guide, and coach over these next 8 weeks and I know that your dancing will be transformed. 

I look forward to meeting you personally inside Appalachian Flatfooting and Clogging Academy. I’ll be with you every step of the way (no pun intended) and I couldn’t be more excited to kickstart (again, not trying to be punny) this journey with you!

With leather-soled shoes and LOTS of yee-haw!

Carla

 

All The Tools You Need To Become the Dancer You've Dreamed of Being...

I've poured my heart and soul into creating this course, and I'm so excited to share it with you! It's truly one-of-a-kind in the world of online dance instruction. In the past, you'd have had to travel to the mountains and find a teacher, then study with them for years to get this material. I've put it all together for you so that you can experience this rich style (and our dance community) no matter where you are!

"I've taken a few flat footing workshops and had impromptu lessons over the years but never quite got it until I attended a workshop with Carla. She broke it down to simple steps for us and then helped us string those steps together so I could actually dance."

-Joe Burdock, fiddler/dance caller