Update: Currently we are offering performances by the dance ensemble as
well as a music, song and dance solo performance about the history of the banjo from its African roots to present day, by
Steve Levitt. Please see Akonting Poem Performance for details. We are not currently offering the
show "Journey To the Mountain-A Roots Tale."
following are performance options for the entire ensemble. For Performance Options for the School Show click on School
go to School Show
Dueling Shoes enjoys performing for
all kinds of audiences. We love to make people feel happy and joyful through our music and dance. When thinking
about the Performance Options we offer, it is helpful for you to understand why we dance.
One of our shared goals is to help support and perpetuate
this living dance tradition of Southern Appalachian percussive dance and the music that drives it.
It is part of a long and deep American heritage with roots that reach back to Northern Europe, Africa and Native
As these diverse cultures came together in the Southern
Appalachian mountains and surrounding regions, they brought with them their music, songs, dance and rhythms. This cultural
melting pot ultimately gave birth to a newly created and original American music and dance tradition.
This tradition has survived and has been passed down over the years, and continues to flourish and evolve in today's society.
We are very proud to be a small part of this folk process
and we hope that our work will inspire others to enjoy and participate in a cultural movement that in some ways truly
defines where we've come from, who we are, and where we're headed. Come join us!
Dueling Shoes performs in the following
types of venues:
colleges and universities
schools of music and dance
all types of celebrations
corporations and corporate events
anywhere people want to feel good
* Go to School Shows
Dueling Shoes has the capability of putting on
a production that can be flexibly designed to meet the needs of its clients. Our performance can be tailored to be shorter
or longer, and can involve audience participation, and in some cases a full theater production.
We do a variety of original solo, duet and quartet routines usually to old time music,
but also a cappella. We have routines that have educational value, offering insight into some of the
roots of this dance form. We have routines which explore and combine the music and rhythms from different cultures.
For example, combining West African drumming rhythms with old time fiddle and banjo tunes to illustrate the musical
connections between different cultures. We enjoy performing a square dance with the Tomato Cage Dancers,
a dance group of 4, life-sized mannequins that we created. This unusual routine always produces lots of smiles and laughter.
We always attempt to create an interesting and varied production with dance routines
at times separated by tunes. The pace and mood can vary from very high energy, upbeat and foot stomping to slower,
more mellow and laid back. At times we have created a theme show, such as our original theater production
"Twas the Night Before Christmas-A Dance Comedy."
When desired, we can provide an interactive experience for the audience
such as organizing and calling a square dance, circle dance, or Virginia Reel. In certain venues, usually schools, we
may be asked to teach some percussive dancing to those interested. This can be at a beginner level
or more advanced depending the needs of the client.
A typical combination performance might include 30-60 minutes of dance performance,
followed by an audience participation event of 30 minutes to 1 hour. This usually creates lots of excitment and audiences seem
to become highly energized by our music and dancing and want to get up and become active.
Finally, we always attempt to maintain our sense of humor. The purpose
of our dancing and performances is to have and create fun both for our audiences and for ourselves. If we
perform for you, you will find that we do not attempt to be slick or gaudy, and we try to keep the mood of our performances
friendly, low key, very connecting and never overly rigid or hung up on avoiding errors at all costs. Part of our excitment
comes from the unknown while attempting to be creative and taking some chances. This excitement gets transmitted to
our audiences and helps build a bond between you and us.
Our performances are a form of communication, an opportunity to explore and grow, and a community
building experience for all of us. And most of all,........they are fun!