So many bridges, so little time. Hoedown Island has it all! Part TWO


Clearly, this is all Suzi’s fault. She dared to mention that the weather is generally blazing hot or it rains when Fancy Free Cloggers perform at Hoedown Island. This skies graciously provided both options this year!

We started with breakfast at Daniel Boone Coffee Shop and an exploratory morning drive. Discoveries included a bar/restaurant made of shipping containers (Hop’s Fork), a road with my maiden name, and a tire shop with Suzi’s last name. We are easily amused.

Teammates Eliza, Alexis, and Madison had a little trouble crossing this bridge on the way to Slade, KY. They stopped at the farmhouse to report the very free range cow.


The kiddos didn’t mind waiting for food to be ready at Fancy Free’s cookout; nature provided a fascinating playground of sand, rocks, trees, and a creek!


YUM! Food worth waiting for! Everybody brought a special dish to share. I contributed caprese salad by request. Sorry you missed it, Jordan!


Baker’s challenge: Create a birthday cake for a clogging librarian who prefers dark colors but has allergies to multiple food colorings. Clogger/culinary student Molly outdid herself with this creative and tasty treat!


The wind tried to blow out Sabrena’s candles for her! A little teamwork allowed the birthday girl to wish on at least one flickering flame.


Time to dance off that cake with a run-through of our sets, including the FFC debut of Andrew Perry’s “Ob-la-di” choreography and, appropriately, our new hoedown.


While the walkway to Hoedown Island looks serene, there was commotion elsewhere in the park, as a visitor suffered a medical emergency atop Natural Bridge and was transported to a hospital via helicopter. At the time, we weren’t sure what was going on; glad to hear the lady was able to be treated and released. Congrats and thanks to the many organizations involved in this rescue.


Our youngest dancers were on the lookout for turtles and frogs! They spotted a few, but nothing beats the year turtles hatched under Evie’s chair at Hoedown Island!


Once the dancing began, even turtles took a backseat to the thrill of figuring out a new routine. They were especially excited to dance “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” a favorite takeaway from last year.


When FFC talks about Hoedown Island, John’s name (or his nickname, ballroom-dance-guy) ALWAYS comes up. John and Jane’s elegant performance mesmerized us and the rest of the audience. Fancy Free’s favorite dance of the evening, choreographed by John himself!


…And then we got rain. Most of the crowd huddled under the shelter at the main entrance, while the rest of us took refuge with Jane and the sound system. I had no problem locating teammate Dustin across the way!


Rain didn’t keep these dancers sidelined for long! Jane had everybody back at it as soon as the shower passed.

LESSON LEARNED THE HARD WAY: Don’t neglect your clogging shoes after dancing on a wet floor! One of my teammates tossed hers into a bag for the ride home and missed the next clogging class. When she finally pulled those shoes out to dance, they were rusty and slightly moldy! Fortunately, her shoes were able to be cleaned up and saved this time.


It was a pleasure to see Hoedown Island friends from previous years and to make new ones! Bethany from Southern Sole Cloggers helped me learn several dances last year. I enjoyed catching up with Bethany and her mother, Tina! Their tiny dog is doing well, but is too frisky to attend dances these days.

Terry and Ally are Hoedown Island celebrities! They know EVERY routine, and they don’t seem to ever get tired.

Tommy is a new friend this year. He danced beside me during the “Chicken Dance” and managed to make it even more fun!


I appreciate the “no judgment” vibe maintained by the regular attendees. Everyone is welcome on the dance floor, and no one gives you weird looks for trying to watch their feet. I probably picked up a routine or step from every dancer in this picture. THANK YOU.


Thanks for another year of Hoedown Island memories! “Wagon Wheel” has already been added to our beginner class repertoire.


We also took the Virginia Reel back to Tuesday night clogging class. One dancer or another has requested it every week since. Thanks for reminding us how much fun this dance is!

If your group wants to be part of the featured entertainment one Saturday evening, contact Jane Bolin to see if she still has any dates available. It’s worth attending for the fun dance alone!

If you missed the start of this story, click here to read part ONE.

Want even more info about Hoedown Island? Click here for a previous post which includes a pic of the baby turtles under Evie’s chair.

Are YOU headed to a fun dance at the Island this year? Don’t freak out when you can’t turn at the actual Hoedown Island sign; a bridge is noticeably no longer there! Turn at the next park entrance (a campground) to take the back way to Hoedown Island’s parking lot. Easy peasy!