Cabin Fever 2019: You'd better (ripple x 3) put on your cloggin' shoes!


Buckeye Country Cloggers know how to host a fun workshop AND pack it up into cute prize baskets! (More on that later.) I suspect they possess some ability to control weather, as their workshop weekend ushered in a welcome relief from sub-zero temps.

OFFICIAL COMPLAINT: If they control the weather with dance, the cue sheet is noticeably absent from my syllabus. Bummer!


I made the drive to Mansfield, Ohio early Friday evening and realized I have been left behind by television technology. It should not require this many buttons to watch HGTV.


After hitting most of the buttons at least once, I managed to find the Blizzard Channel! No big deal; listened to a podcast on my phone during dinner instead.


ABOUT THAT DINNER: Last year, an unfortunate series of events foiled my attempts to try Besta Fasta Pizza, a local joint. This year, a pepperoni pie was promptly delivered to my hotel room in all its melty cheesy glory. Yum!


Absent from the workshop circuit lately due to a family member’s health issues, Naomi Fleetwood-Pyle returned to the teaching stage at Cabin Fever. HURRAY!


In addition to teaching routines on her own, Naomi joined forces with Trevor DeWitt to teach an easy intermediate routine they co-choreographed to “Make It Sweet” by Old Dominion.


Andrew Perry brought a burst of energy to the room in his debut as a Cabin Fever instructor. He made a video of each routine to show his mom. Aww!


Andrew’s enthusiasm had even the most staunch arm movement haters putting their hands together (and pointing down and raising them up high) in his “Prayin’ Shoes” routine. My personal fave of Andrew’s routines was “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” by the Beatles. A happy dance paired with a happy song!


Instructor Jeff Driggs showed how much of a pro he really is; he managed to teach with an injured ankle! Fortunately, he already had Brian Dion teaching with him on “Burning Man,” a routine they choreographed together, so Brian handled most of the demonstrating while Jeff handled the bulk of the speaking. Other dancers filled in as feet substitutes for Jeff throughout the day. Thanks, everybody!


LESSON LEARNED: Never bet against Jeff Driggs! I casually made a bet with some of the Wildfire Cloggers standing near me that Jeff would miscall the “bass ackwards” step when we got to full speed. Nope, not a single mistake!

Wildfire Cloggers did not make me pay up the quarter we had on the line, so I suppose it should go to Jeff when I see him at Smoky Mountain Encore next month.


With all this dancing going on, cloggers still found time to make new friends. Barb chatted up the young lady behind her in the lunch line, only to discover that she is a fellow Pennsylvanian AND Barb knows several members of her family.


These dancers from Electric Impulse Cloggers (Indiana) were among the brave volunteers who took the stage to try a new routine at full speed.


Just learned this routine a few minutes ago, and they’re already performing it with pizzazz! Great job by everyone who put themselves up there.


The teaches at Cabin Fever included many catchy song choices, including Jeff’s routine to “Dance Dance Dance” by Appalachian Road Show and Naomi’s “Hard to Handle,” a bluegrass version by Possum Creek.

Jeff’s routine involved a small amount of partner work, so he called on a few folks to get up and demonstrate. Thank you for becoming impromptu instructors!


Someone standing near me commented that they really get it right at this workshop regarding the level of routines they teach. I thoroughly agree.

A one-room workshop is a different animal than a workshop with 6+ rooms going all day; the floor is shared by dancers of varying experience/skill levels.

Only the dancers in front get a decent view of the instructors’ feet. Those farther back must rely on verbal instructions and watching the cloggers in front of them. With 130-something participants, there’s a whole lot of us in the “farther back” category!

Cabin Fever does a fine job of choosing routines that work in this setting, keeping dancers on the floor instead of in the chairs.


…With a few exceptions, ha-ha. Hey, we all need a break from time to time!


Hallie Spreitzer, Ana Fisher, and Grace Spreitzer from 8th Count Dance Center (Garrettsville, Ohio) put on an exhibition of their “Hanging Tree” routine. It was a big hit with the crowd!


A group of instructors and their associates donned matching cat shirts to exhibition a “parking lot hoedown” where no one actually went out to the parking lot.


They managed to make it look good! Or maybe it was the wardrobe.


New Towne Cloggers of Bolivar, Ohio brought 13 dancers to Cabin Fever, winning the award for most attendees.


Hannah from New Towne Cloggers was recognized as the youngest workshop dancer. She also helped draw names for the raffle prizes.


The oldest workshop dancer got the loudest cheers as he made his way to the stage.


After some debate over who actually traveled the most miles to attend Cabin Fever, the award went to a dancer from Canada.


Buckeye Country Cloggers raffled off several prize baskets at the end of the workshop.

Hannah Elhard’s new nickname is Lady Luck! This dancer from Yellow Rose Cloggers (Columbus, Ohio) actually won THREE times. She chose this garden-themed basket, graciously declining her other prizes so that others could win. Shirley Lipps from Wildfire Cloggers (Columbus, Ohio) took home a basket with good-smelling bath stuff. I won a basket of cleaning supplies.

The workshop wrapped up with a fun dance. I hit the road at that point to enjoy dinner at Der Dutchman buffet before driving home. I’m willing to bet another quarter I wasn’t the only dancer with sore legs the next day!

Big thanks to Buckeye Country Cloggers, the instructors, kitchen workers, and everyone behind the scenes who made Cabin Fever workshop run smoothly!

Which clogging workshops are YOU attending this year?