- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 31, 2003

FLINTSTONE, Md. (AP) — Dozens of folk-dancing families are clogging in the new year at the Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort.

The five-day Terpsichore’s Holiday camp is sponsored by the Lloyd Shaw Foundation, a national organization dedicated to preserving American folk music and dance.

More than 150 participants, mostly from the East Coast and Appalachia, are staying at the resort near Cumberland through today, learning Appalachian clogging as well as contras, squares, waltzes and other dances.

The program includes storytelling, singing and hiking in Rocky Gap State Park, which surrounds the conference center.

“It’s a wonderful, marvelous experience,” said Marilyn Melbourne, who came from Philadelphia with her daughter, son-in-law and their children.

Participants range in age from 2 to 80, said camp co-director Bob Mathis of Chevy Chase, who brought his wife, Tali, his in-laws and his wife’s brother, uncle, cousin and several of their children.

“It’s important that people share among generations. There are very few safe places today where somebody in their 80s can dance or sing or break bread with people 20 or 30 years younger,” Mr. Mathis told the Cumberland Times-News.

The camp is named for Terpsichore (pronounced “terp-SIK-ih-ree”), the Greek mythological muse of the dance. It is one of three annual dance camps sponsored by the foundation, which was established in 1964 to honor the memory of Lloyd “Pappy” Shaw, an educator and folk dance teacher from Colorado Springs, Colo. The other camps are held in Black Forest, Colo., and Nancy, Ky.

The musicians at Rocky Gap came from as far away as Frankfort, Ky., and Atlanta.

“It’s not unusual for people to use this as a gathering place from other parts of the country,” said Jeff Kenton, the camp’s other co-director.

He said he and his family started dancing four years ago.

“It was something as a family we could do together. It’s wholesome, fun and very special,” Mr. Kenton said. “In this world of violent television, computers that disconnect people, it’s an alternative to mainstream culture.”

Sylvia Malm of Falls Church said she and her daughters, Annie, 8, and Cami, 5, were attending for their third year.

“My girls really love it — the arts and crafts, the kids’ dances. It’s nice. They feel part of a community,” she said. “It’s nice for me, too — no cooking.”

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