Linda Block dances with the Green Grass Cloggers and teaches all levels of Appalachian clogging and flat foot dance classes for adults, seniors, and elementary students in group lessons, privately, and through Air BnB experiences. She has worked as an instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, and the Handmade Music School in Floyd. VA. She has performed with numerous Appalachian clogging teams and occasionally as a busker on the streets of Asheville, NC. Since 2009, dancing with the Green Grass Cloggers has taken her to festivals throughout western North Carolina and east Tennessee to perform and teach. Over the years, she has placed 1st or 2nd in several solo clogging competitions. Linda also created clogging choreography for western North Carolina author Kiesa Kay’s original play Love Makes a Home (2018).
As a career environmental educator, Linda prides herself in her interactive and varied teaching style and receives high praise from her students. She enjoys passing her life-long passion for dance to her students. All of Linda’s performances and many of her classes are conducted with live old-time dance music that evolved in the Appalachian mountains. The driving tempos inspire her free-style improvisational dancing, which she performs on her wooden step-a-tune – a portable dance platform. Her dance style focuses on the intricate musical rhythms, and her feet and dancing becomes the accompanying percussion.
Linda’s early clogging teachers were Bob Dalsemer, who went on to direct the dance programs at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Tom Hines from Virginia, and Eileen Carson, who was previously with The Green Grass Cloggers. Linda joined Crabtown Cloggers around 1984, followed by the Cub Hill Cloggers from the mid 1980s to mid 1990s, and then The Stump Jumpers in 1994. The Cub Hill Cloggers, which started in 1975, was one of the very early off-shoot groups of the Green Grass Cloggers and used many of the steps and types of choreography developed by – and sometimes named after – the members of that original team. Most of her growth as a dancer came through the folk process of watching, imitating and questioning older dancers at rehearsals, dances, and the many festivals she attended.
Linda’s dance and music habit started in the early 1980s with Israeli, contra, and square dance styles. Her repertoire soon grew to include the varied rhythms of international folk dance, clogging, Scandinavian dance, swing/Lindy Hop, zydeco, Cajun, country, and salsa. In addition to clogging, she has performed with the Keren Ohr Israeli Dance Troup, Penn State International Dance Troupe, Undecided String Band, and Jazz Action Figures (Lindy). She placed 3rd in zydeco dance at the SW Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival. She has won awards for her clogging at Hoppin’ John Fiddler’s Convention, Appalachian String Band Festival (Clifftop), Happy Valley Fiddler’s Convention, Arkansas Jig Dance Contest, and the Prince George’s County Fair.