Eat Drink & Be Mary: Passion, Commitment, and a Lifetime of Memories


Passion, Commitment, and a Lifetime of Memories

Clogging--and no I don't mean girls in wooden shoes dancing.

There are contemporary and traditional styles of clogging.

Contemporary clogging is often danced to songs you may hear on the radio.  Hanson-MmmBop.  N'SYNC-Dirty Pop.  Nikki Minaj.  The list goes on. This style is choreographed to have all the dancers in-sync with one another and includes jazz/hip hop.  Check it out!

Traditional clogging is performed to bluegrass music.  It is the whole nine years- crinoline wearing, bow bearing, yee-haw-ing cloggin'.  "Paddle faster I hear banjos"...and when you get there, there will most likely be a group of cloggers movin' their feet as fast as they can move. Check it out!

A crinoline-- aka: the white poofy thing under my skirt.
Growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains my mom took my brothers and I to Tweetsie Railroad often.  It was a summer afternoon regular for the Bolster household and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  My favorite part by far was the cloggers.  They were driven by a type of dance I had never heard of before.  But I wanted in.  Their passion for clogging could be seen from a mile away.  You could see it in their smiles.  In their eyes.  Throughout every move they made on that stage.  I was drawn to it.   I wanted in on the action.  I wanted to begin before any more time went by.  I begged my mom for months to sign me up for clogging lessons, but every where she tried was booked.  So she continued to take me to tweetsie to see the cloggers, and join them on stage to dance.  "Heel, Heel, Toe, Toe..."

After months of trying with no success my mom finally found the High Country Cloggers.  I began clogging lessons at the age of 7 from Vanessa Waters and her daughter, Amber.  Once I began to learn, I never stopped moving my feet.  You could find me clogging in the grocery aisles, in the kitchen, and constantly while sitting at my desk at school.  I was obsessed.  I had found "my thing." And by golly, I wasn't gonna stop moving my feet no matter what.  I was determined to show everyone  and anyone that I finally knew how to clog.

Praying before going on stage -- Appalachian Rhythm

As a got older, I moved up in groups and began taking lessons from Elise Sigmon.  Elise is one of the most talented dancer and choreographer I have ever met.  She cared for her dancers and you could see her love and passion for clogging through her dancers.  I feel blessed to have been taught by a wonderful leader and friend.  In high school, Elise and Ashley created the Appalachian Rhythm Clogging & Dance Studio.  There I continued to take classes until I graduated high school.  Some of my most fond memories were made at that studio and I will never forget the people that were as close to me as family on that team.

BMC goes British -- England Trip 2013
Bailey Mountain Cloggers 2013
My compassion and love for clogging grew as I grew older.  When deciding where to go to college, I chose to attend 1 out of 2 colleges in the country that had a clogging team.  Mars Hill University.  Home of the Bailey Mountain Cloggers.  I never could've imagined the impact the team would have on me.  Through this team I have been presented with so many opportunities I never would've dreamed happening.  International trips (England!-more to come in a later post), dancing on the news, and seeing little kids light up at the sight of clogging--just to name a few.  Being a part of this team for the past four years has been a dream.  Magical.  This team is my home away from home.  The family that I could not have picked better myself.  And we are just that.  A family.  We fight, we laugh, we love, and we're there for one another when we need someone to lean on.  This team is like none other; truly one-of-a-kind.  I could not be more blessed than to spend this extra semester with these wonderful, diverse group of people I call my teammates.

The Girls of Bailey Moutain

Super Seniors
We are now preparing for what will be my final national competition.  The weekend will be full of dancing, sweating, laughter, cheering and tears.  So pray for me.  In a cabin with 20+ cloggers for a weekend.  Pray for our health and safety.   All of our souls filled with commitment and passion.  And pray for our eager hearts. All striving for the same goal.

      **I'm the brunette, that's super cheesin'

Hopefully I have changed your outlook on clogging--no longer picture the wooden clogs and only bluegrass music.  So what are you passionate about, what drives you?  What do you think of clogging?  Let me here it peeps!

To see Appalachian Rhythm six years ago, click here.
     **Second from the right; I'm rockin' the perm-a-grin but our faces are whited out.

To see the Tweetsie Railroad Cloggers, click here.


  1. That's definitely not what I thought it was - I was picturing wooden clogs and a dirndl ;D Looks like a lot of fun! I'm glad that you were able to do all of that!

  2. My passion was playing the upright bass in my sister's and her husband's bluegrass band, along with a friend. Here in Kansas clogging isn't nearly as common as in your part of, the country. My husband's cousin, Posey E-P from Silver Springs, MD brought a clogging board and her shoes when she visited us and it was so much fun to play while she clogged. If I had been younger I would have learned to clog. Thoroughly enjoyed your video. God Bless


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