Flat Creek Dancers at Falls Mill

By Chrissy Davis-Camp

Flat Creek dancers in period costumesFlat Creek Dancers at Falls Mill, Belvidere, TN.

Chrissy Davis Camp by Dave PokorneyChrissy Davis-Camp. Photo by Dave Pokorney.Editor’s note: Chrissy submitted this article to the CDSS News late last year, just before she unexpectedly passed away on January 1. Chrissy was a much-loved caller and dancer, and the impact of her leadership was felt throughout the Southeast. We send our love to her family, friends, and community.

November 13, 2021

It’s a cool, breezy morning as we arrive at Falls Mill and Museum in Belvidere, TN. We are set to do our first performance in 23 months due to COVID-19.

Flat Creek Dancers, led by Chrissy Davis-Camp, was started in December 2001. Some folks in the community wanted to learn a few English country dances to perform at the “Dickens of a Christmas” festival in Franklin, TN. One practice turned into two, which turned into a whole lot more. After that first showing, we decided to make it a regular gathering. At first we met twice a month for contra dances with live music provided by local musicians. That turned into wanting more English dances, so we started meeting every Tuesday night. We also have a rapper team, led by Anna Claire Camp, and a morris team (a group of students from Libertas tutorial that meets in Decatur, AL), led by Chrissy.

When COVID mandates hit in March of 2020, we stopped meeting. We tried to start back a few months later, but dancers were skeptical of gathering, so we took another break. In July 2021, we came back together, smaller in numbers, but strong, with a spirit of togetherness.

On this November day, we have seven couples total to perform six English country dances: Geud Man of Ballangigh, Heartsease, Fine Companion, Dancing Across the Atlantic, Pear Blossom, and Waterfall Waltz. Our dancers range in age from a 9-year-old to several couples in their 70s. This is the first of four performances our group will do during this Christmas season.

We start rehearsals in August. For our biggest performance, “Dickens of a Christmas” in Franklin, we will have about 12 couples. This will be our 20th year of dancing there—one of the biggest street festivals in the world, according to Travel Magazine. (One year we had 125 people, all in costume, dancing with us!)

Though our numbers are smaller this year, we are determined to keep the group alive. We know, if we remain steadfast and open, folks will eventually come back and dance with us again. And that’s a good thing!

     
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