Step-a-tune

Step-a-Tune Dance Weekend

Featuring Becky Hill, Ben Nelson, Sharon Leahy and Rick Good

Step-a-tune Dance Weekend is a rare chance for intermediate / advanced cloggers and flatfoot dancers to dig into their percussive dance practice. This weekend offers 10 plus hours of percussive dance instruction with Becky Hill & Ben Nelson, and Sharon Leahy & Rick Good. Throughout the weekend we will engage in drills that build technical facility and expand musicality, explore improvisation, discuss pedagogical approaches, try on choreography, and much more!  In addition to workshops students will get the chance to attend the Floyd Friday Night Jamboree, dance the night away at a square dance, and experience the beauty of Southwest Virginia. Scholarships are available!

Early bird price is $300 for the weekend, $325 after September 1st. Tickets on sale soon! 

Becky Hill

Becky Hill is a sought-after percussive dancer, Appalachian square dance caller, choreographer, and educator. Becky has worked with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, Rhythm in Shoes, Good Foot Dance Company, and studied with an array of percussive dance tradition bearers. Her choreography has been featured at Wheatland Music Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, and the Kennedy Center among others. She performs regularly with Jesse Milnes, Roxy King, and Ben Nelson. She was a 2018 OneBeat Fellow and a 2024 Balkans OneBeat Fellow, as well as an Artist-in-Residence at Strathmore, John C.Campbell Folk School, Loghaven, and Hambidge Center for the Arts and Sciences. She earned her MFA in Dance at University of Maryland College Park in 2022.

Becky has done extensive research into Appalachian Dance traditions alongside folklorist Gerry Milnes, where they co-created a documentary “Reel ‘Em Boys, Reel ‘Em” on West Virginia dance traditions and co-founded the Mountain Dance Trail of Augusta Heritage Center. As an avid organizer and teacher, Becky’s work is deeply rooted in the connections between music and community. She believes there is always more to learn and is dedicated to creative innovative choreography tethered to traditional music and dance. Learn more at https://www.rebeccahill.org/.

Becky Hill at the Folk School

Ben Nelson

Ben Nelson grew up in a family of old-time musicians in the Virginia mountains. A passionate educator and community builder, he has worked as an elementary school science instructor, naturalist, traditional music teacher, and square-dance caller. Ben has taught music and dance at Warren Wilson College, the Junior Appalachian Musicians program (JAM), and traditional music camps throughout the U.S. He regularly performs in a duo with Becky Hill, was a founding member of the prize-winning young string band The Moose Whisperers, and received the Thomas J. Watson Fellow in 2005.

Sharon Leahy

Sharon Leahy has spent a lifetime creating dance, theater, and music with the intent of opening eyes and spreading joy. As a choreographer, she has been commissioned to create work by Jacob’s Pillow, the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project, and many others. She was a multi-year artist in residence at the University of Dayton and has taught master classes at studios, colleges, community centers, senior centers and kindergartens across the country. As Artistic Director of Rhythm in Shoes, with her partner Rick Good, she led an ensemble of dancers and musicians, touring nationally and internationally, presenting original performance art based in tradition and heralded as “really smart, familiar, yet surprising work.”

Sharon’s dance for camera work has been screened at numerous dance film festivals including Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center, The International ScreenDance Festival at the American Dance Festival and the San Francisco Dance Film Festival. She has won the blue ribbons in clogging contests at both the National Folk Festival at Wolftrap, Virginia and the Appalachian String Band Festival in West Virginia. A committed yogi, she has been a practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga for over twenty years, studying with masters of the form in India and the US.

Sharon Leahy

Rick Good

Rick Good is a founding member of the Hotmud Family, a twenty-four year veteran of Rhythm in Shoes and a 2010, Ohio Heritage Fellow, Rick Good is recognized and respected for his driving banjo, swinging guitar, heartfelt singing and crafty songwriting. With his wife and long-time collaborator, Sharon Leahy, Rick has made a life of creating critically acclaimed performance art, rooted in American traditions. He currently plays regularly with three fine bands: ShoeFly, Good & Young and the Red Clay Ramblers.

Rick Good