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Dancing Activities 

Dance Activities at the Minnesota Bluegrass August Festival 

Dance traditions are an important part of old-time and related styles of traditional music. The Minnesota Bluegrass August Festival has been offering a rich variety of social dance programming throughout its history. Dance activities take place at the Dance Tent, located just outside the mainstage area. 

Typical activities include community style square dancing with live music and callers, country two-step dancing, clogging/flatfooting, Cajun two-step and waltz dancing, and sometimes other styles such as polka, schottisches, or waltzes. 

Square dancing will take a brief hiatus in 2021 in order to keep things safe in relation to covid-19, but there will be a lot of other great couples and solo dance activities happening, including the first ever MBOTMA Jigging/Clogging Contest! Read below for more information on 2021 Dance Tent activities!

Dance Activities 2022 To Be Announced

First Annual Jigging* Contest!

Saturday, August 7th at 11:00 AM

Danielle will host an open hour for dancing where she'll break down some of the fundamental moves found in most percussive dance forms from Irish, to Scottish, to Quebecois, Metis, and flatfooting. This workshop is for all levels. 

Saturday, August 7 at 2:00PM

*What is jigging? For the purposes of this contest, jigging means any type of percussive dance that you want to do, such as clogging, flatfooting, step dancing - all styles are welcome. In other words - make sounds with your feet? Then come compete! 

The contest is open to people of all ages and is designed to have a fun, supportive atmosphere. 

Sign up will be at the Dance tent from Friday at noon - Saturday at 1:30pm. 

There will be a live band featuring rip roaring danceable music. 

Contestants can sign up for one of the following brackets:

 Category  1st Place award Amount 2nd Place award Amount  3rd Place award Amount
 Junior (0-15 years old) $25 + shirt!  $10 + shirt!  Commemorative T-shirt!
 General (16-64 years old) $50 + shirt!  $25 + shirt!  Commemorative T-shirt!
 Senior (65+ years old) $50 + shirt!  $25 + shirt!  Commemorative T-shirt!
 Never Jigged Before this weekend (any age first timers) $50 + shirt! $25 + shirt!  Commemorative T-shirt!

Contest Rules: 

  • Contestants may only compete in one bracket

  • Contestants must register during the registration period and be ready to dance when their number is called. 

  • Contestants should be prepared to solo freestyle dance to one tune (90-120 seconds) for preliminary round and another tune (180 or so seconds) for final round if selected

  • In the preliminary round, contestants will be called up in small groups. For the final round, contestants will dance one at a time. 

  • Contestants should not wear metal taps on their shoes. Wooden taps or no taps are fine. 

  • Live old time music will be provided. Contestants may request a jig or a reel or can default to the band’s choice, however contestants cannot bring their own music. 

  • Contestants in the Never Jigged Before This Weekend category may take a lesson or seek advice the day of the event, but shall have never otherwise received formal dance instruction prior to the day of the contest. :) 

  • Contestants will be judged on the following criteria: 

    • Rhythm (10 points)

    • Creativity (10 points)

    • Confidence/Commitment to Presentation! (10 points)

  • For questions, please reach out to info@minnesotabluegrass.org

Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association
P.O. Box 16408, Minneapolis, MN 55416



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