MHU’s Bailey Mountain Cloggers dance their way to 31st National Championship

Press release from Mars Hill University:

The Bailey Mountain Cloggers, Mars Hill University’s precision dancing team, is a national champion for the 31st time. The team won the title for its 8-Couple Southern Appalachian Hoedown in the Young Adult Team category. The America’s Clogging Hall of Fame National Championships were held October 20-21 in Sevierville, Tennessee.

The team also was first-runner-up in two other national championship categories. Over the course of the championship weekend, BMC won eight Grand Championships and scored ten first-place team dances and three second-place team dances.

Individual dancers also brought home major awards:

Sammy Locklear won National Champion in the Contemporary Male Soloist category.
Keyshawn Sanders was Grand Champion in Choreographed Solo.
Samuel Evans took second place in Traditional Male Solo.
Halea Baker placed second in Traditional Female Solo.
Lauren Freeman and Rachel Sealy were named to the All-American Team, and Philip Starck, parent of team member Christina Starck, was recognized as “ACHF Dad of the Year.”

The members of the Bailey Mountain Cloggers are:

Halea Baker of Laurinburg, North Carolina
Lauren Canady of Corapeake, North Carolina
Tykasia Davis of Union, South Carolina
Samuel Evans of Bostic, North Carolina
Lauren Freeman of Greeneville, Tennessee
Keaira Griffin of Zephyrhills, Florida
Celia Hernandez of Forest City, Florida
Grace Kanarr of Mars Hill, North Carolina
Allyson Kirkman of Pleasant Garden, North Carolina
Samuel Locklear of Laurinburg, North Carolina
Grace Mayer of Raleigh, North Carolina
Malia McAmis of Church Hill, Tennessee
Madison Price of Benson, North Carolina
Kayla Rice of Marshall, North Carolina
Zac Rumley of Pleasant Garden, North Carolina
Keyshawn Sanders of Union, South Carolina
Rachel Sealy of Fairmont, North Carolina
David Sharp of Marshall, North Carolina
Ashley Snodgrass of Newton, North Carolina
Christina Starck of Inman, South Carolina
Gracen Vaughn of Simpsonville, South Carolina
Leah Wilson of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee
Kiara Zeliski of Rochester, New Hampshire

The Bailey Mountain Cloggers were organized in 1974 by students at what was then known as Mars Hill College, and were influenced by an older championship team, the Bailey Mountain Square Dance Team, which began performing in 1950. The Bailey Mountain name is derived from the mountain adjacent to the college campus. Being one of a few college-based performing clog teams in the nation, with art performance grants and college credit courses, the Bailey Mountain Cloggers serve as ambassadors of goodwill for the college and the dance traditions of the Southern Mountains. During their history, the Bailey Mountain Cloggers have performed throughout the United States and internationally in countries including Italy, Greece, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Austria, and Ireland. The Bailey Mountain Cloggers dance company has established a national and international reputation for American clog dance excellence.

The Bailey Mountain Cloggers are led by managing director Danielle Buice Plimpton and assistant director Dallas Moffat. Both were standouts on the team during their Mars Hill University dance careers. For more information, visit or email

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