Annual Bob Holt Jig Dance Competition

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Past Event

Part of the Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival, this competition is named in honor of the late Bob Holt, a long-time Ava, Missouri, resident renowned for his old-time fiddle playing for square dancers. He received a National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1999 for his music and was a master artist with the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program.

Within the southern folk tradition, there are several styles of solo, freestyle dances. Flatfooting and buckdancing are two of the most common forms. In the Ozarks, the term “jig” is frequently used to describe this style of dance. Although these dances are all loosely related, they also are distinctly different. The word “jig” dates back at least to 1500 AD and is probably somewhat older in usage. It describes a solo dance that originated in the British Isles where it consisted of repeated hops on one foot while the free foot pointed patterns in the air – heel and toe, front, side or back.

The Ozark jig draws not only from British tradition, but also from American Indian and African cultures. It basically consists of movement from the hips down while the upper body is held erect, organizers explained. Emphasis is on leg rather than body movements, and the steps are individualistic and virtually limitless. The feet serve as a rhythm instrument, and the sound of the shoes striking the floor beats the time of the music.

Experienced string band musicians from south-central and southwest Missouri who are familiar with regional square dance traditions provide live musical accompaniment for the dancing.


West Plains Civic Center Arena
Saturday   12:30 pm —
110 St. Louis St.
West Plains, MO 65775

Additional Information

Travelers With Disabilities Information
ADA Fully Compliant
Smoking Policy
No Smoking
Activities On-site
Historic District
Activities Within 10 Miles
Biking / Walking Trails
Cost Of Admission
Free Admission
Suitable For These Age Groups
Family Friendly