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January 2021

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High Country Cloggers: Local Dance Group to Represent North Carolina at Presidential Inauguration | Watauga

BOONE – Showcasing a wealth of talent and enthusiasm, an ensemble of High Country dancers will represent North Carolina on the national stage during the presidential inauguration on January 20.

The High Country Cloggers participate in “Parade Across America,” a virtual celebration that takes place during the Presidential Inauguration and will feature performances from communities in all 56 US states and territories.

According to Amber Hendley, director of High Country Dance Studio, the cloggers are thrilled to be able to share their talents on such a big stage, unlike any other they have performed on before.

“They’re so excited they can’t believe they can be a part of something like this,” Hendley said. “It’s not so much a question of political position, it’s that we like to obstruct ourselves. So now we can show the world what we love to do on a national platform, which is great. “

Dubbed North Carolina’s oldest tourist attraction, Watauga County’s famous Blowing Rock served as the backdrop for the High Country Cloggers’ pre-recorded performance. Working with the producers of the events via Zoom, a videographer from the College of Art and Design of Savannah and a little help from Blowing Rocks Mayor Charlie Sellers, the dance group captured on film the essence of the High Country by combining the musical culture of the Appalachians with the natural beauty of the region.

“I was trying to figure out where our best location would be and everything worked out. I went and asked Charlie if we could play and sure enough he said ‘absolutely’, ”said Hendley. “He made his team clear so that we could have this magnificent setting. “

Founded over 25 years ago by Hendley’s mother, Vanessa Minton, the High Country Dance Studio has served not only as a creative outlet for the region’s youth, but also as a vehicle to build trust and create links with the community. The tradition of patching has been passed down to Hendley from her mother and is a legacy she hopes to continue to share with others in the future.

“It’s much more than performing on stage; it’s building their confidence, it’s building relationships, it’s building lifelong friendships. Some of my best friends are girls I danced with when I was 5 or 6, ”said Hendley. “Clogging being the dance of the state of North Carolina and also the High Country and the Appalachians, it’s such an art that few can say they know how to do it. But I was fortunate enough to learn how to do it thanks to my mother and this commitment.

The High Country Cloggers will share their bit of High Country culture alongside other virtual performances by groups such as the New York Fire Department and EMS Emerald Society Pipes and Drums representing New York State, the Chinese Cultural Arts Center representing Delaware. and the MA Foreign War Veterans Honor Guard representing Massachusetts.


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Dance crew

Parris Goebel manager defends $ 200 audition fee for dance team

Brett Goebel is the manager of his daughter, Parris Goebel, and also manages the Palace Dance Studio.,

Peter Meecham / Stuff

Brett Goebel is the manager of his daughter, Parris Goebel, and also manages the Palace Dance Studio.,

Brett Goebel, director of the Royal Family Dance Crew, charges eager dancers $ 200 to audition for a job with the company – and says he has no qualms about politics.

“Those who want to be successful and who are talented will know that the auditions are in January, so they will save for it. It’s not a surprise cost, ”said Goebel, who is Parris Goebel’s father and manager. Thing.

Although he said the fees would come as no surprise to longtime company watchers, dance experts and others in the industry called the hearing costs “unpleasant.”

New Zealand School of Dance principal Garry Trinder said he believed the audition fees were preying on desperate young dancers and was unjustifiable.

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“Personally, I find it unpleasant and it’s not the best introduction to the organization,” he said.

“Some charge. Sadly, dance is one of those environments where there are unemployed dancers looking for work, and for this one chance alone they will take the risk.

Garry Trinder, Principal of the New Zealand School of Dance, has been named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for service to dance.

kevin stent / stuff

Garry Trinder, Principal of the New Zealand School of Dance, has been named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for service to dance.

Goebel declined to say how many dancers he expected to audition this year. The Royal Family are holding auditions at Palace Dance Studios next week.

When asked how many positions they were looking to fill on the dance team, he also declined to answer.

“Ah, how many people audition? Nope. No need to discuss this, ”he said.

The auditions take place over three days, and longtime dance experts said 100 was a conservative estimate of how many people might show up, meaning the fees could easily reach $ 20,000.

There was no information on the number of roles up for grabs on the studio’s websites.

The Royal Family, led by Brett and Parris Goebel, charge $ 200 for dancers to audition.

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The Royal Family, led by Brett and Parris Goebel, charge $ 200 for dancers to audition.

When asked about the chances that someone would get a job through these auditions, Goebel replied, “I don’t need to explain myself to people. I don’t need to justify myself.

“This is our hearing. If people don’t want to pay the fees, then don’t audition. It is very simple.”

He said the royals have been charging for auditions for the past 10 years.

Trinder said he was concerned about the dancers paying not only to appear at the audition, but also to travel across the country.

The expense could not be justified, he believed, as the auditions were to take place in Goebel’s own studio and therefore would have relatively low overheads.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Parris Goebel at Palace Dance Studios (file image).

Phil Walter / Getty Images

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Parris Goebel at Palace Dance Studios (file image).

Angel McKellar, who has worked in dance for more than 20 years, warned dancers against paying for auditions.

“If you are asked to pay for it, don’t go. It’s not an audition. If you went to a job interview, are you asked to pay to be interviewed? It’s the same thing.

“You’re auditioning for a job, why would you pay $ 200 to be seen by someone who could possibly offer you a job? “

She also criticized that the ad did not provide more information. He didn’t say who would audition, or what the ideal candidate looked like.

One concern, McKellar said, was that someone would pay $ 200 and be cut in a matter of hours.

“For some, they will take a day off or travel. They pay to lose money, and they could be eliminated in the first round – from there at 11 a.m. “

Parris Goebel is one of New Zealand’s best-known dancers and choreographers. She has worked with stars such as Rihanna and was named a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2019.


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