Russ and Barb Childers like to put traditional Appalachian music and dancing back in the hands and feet of old and young. The artists demonstrate fiddle, banjo, dulcimer, and limberjacks (wooden dancing toys). They engage audiences in storytelling and old-time songs familiar to early residents. They also teach Appalachian style square dancing.
The Childers live in Batavia on the edge of Appalachia in southwestern Ohio. Russ’s parents migrated north from Eastern Kentucky and settled in Cincinnati, then Latonia. Russ is a traditional artist with the Ohio Arts Council and works with Creative Aging, Cincinnati Arts Association, the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition, and the Appalachian Community Development Association. His wife Barb is a retired children’s librarian and past flatfoot dancer. They have been sharing Appalachian traditions for over thirty years as Bear Foot, and also perform in an old-time ensemble called the Rabbit Hash String Band.
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