good foot

Good Foot Logo

“…Winning… my favorite dance among the 12 performed… the audience gets a kick out of their performance.” -Cville Weekly

“…high-energy traditional Appalachian song and dance!” -The Boston Phoenix

“Good Foot Dance Company is Rock-N-Roll on feet.” -Ray Snably

“…They made it hard to look away with their lightning footwork. Pete Seeger himself was hanging out backstage and reveling in the show… If you get a chance to see them, they’re unlike anything we’ve seen so far at Newport, and you won’t be disappointed.”  -WERS Music

“We really loved the performance, and we were impressed with the quality of the work. Thanks for a great evening!” -Audience Member

“Purveyors of the most sensual clogging this dance afficianado has ever seen” -Christian Breeden of American Dumpster

We are excited to be launching our collaboration with Maivish! To check us out, head on over to

Good Foot Dance Company explores the complex cultural twinings of the root-system of American vernacular dance, from Appalachian flatfooting, to tap, to contemporary urban dance. By mixing and remixing traditional dance and music and bringing a critical and historical inquiry to the shared history of American dance cultures, they raise questions about connectivity, continuity, and social responsibility.

Past Performances:

Performatica festival in Cholula, Mexico

The Newport Folk Festival (With The Seeger Clogging All-Stars)

The Washington Folk Festival

The Live Arts Dance Festival in Charlottesville, VA

Saint Mary’s College with the Chesapeake Symphony Orchestra

The tap-dancing Vampirates in Wunderkammer and Shentai.

Wheatland Music Festival, Remus, MI.

At the core of Good Foot Dance Company is the partnership of Emily Oleson, Matthew Olwell and Meg Madden.  They began working together in 2004, and have continued to perform and teach at festivals, theaters, schools, arts carnivals, and camps. Their own mentors and teachers include Donny Golden, Eileen Carson, The Fiddle Puppets, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, Ann Kilkelly, Urban Artistry, Baakari Wilder, and Dianne Walker through The School At Jacob’s Pillow.  Good Foot brings to the floor over 30 years of combined experience, not just as performers, but as advocates of dance culture.

Between them, the members of Good Foot Dance Company hold an MFA in Dance from University of Maryland College Park, a diploma from the School at Jacob’s Pillow Tap Program, a burgeoning degree in Exercise Science, professional music recording credits and technical theater experience, and indie film, modeling and television experience.  Their combined list of performance highlights includes the Performatica festival in Cholula, Mexico, The Wheatland Music Festival, The Newport Folk Festival (As the Seeger Clogging All-Stars), Boxwood Festival in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Eileen Ivers’ Beyond the Bog Road, Dance Place in Washington DC, Song of the Mountains for PBS with James Leva, and the London production of Riverdance with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble. They have made guest artist appearances with The Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Chieftains, Lunasa, Uncle Earl, Corey Harris, Tim O’Brien, and Bassekou Kouyate, and participated in community dance projects with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, PEARSONWIDRIG Dance Theater, and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane. They also performed in the 2013 Peace Ball at the Arena Stage in Washington DC, and appeared as the tap-dancing Vampirates in Wunderkammer and Shentai in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Matthew Olwell and Emily Oleson are co-program directors of the Augusta Heritage Center’s American Vernacular Dance Week, and founders of The Beat Retreat and Smiling Mountain. Oleson is pioneering a new major in American Vernacular Dance at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia with her network of dance allies.

We delight in sharing our passion for dance with audiences and students of all ages, anywhere… And yes, we do weddings.


5 Responses to “good foot”

  1. […] Olwell and Emily Oleson are Good Foot Dance Company and will soon be at Davis & Elkins College to kickstart a new Dance […]

  2. You are so cool! I do not think I have read something
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    Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up.
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  3. […] The theme for the conference this year was “Voices from the Misty Mountains: Diversity and Unity, A New Appalachia.”  There were many sessions and numerous tours during the conference. A showcase concert was held on Saturday Night. Frank X Walker, noted Affrilachian poet, gave the keynote address.  Other noted Plenary Speakers included Lloyd Arneach, a native American storyteller; Adam Booth, a local musician and storyteller; John Lilly, musician and former editor of Goldenseal magazine; Builder Levy, an Appalachian photographer; and the Appalachian dancers Matthew Olwell, Becky Hill, and Emily Oleson. […]

  4. […] Irish step dance to Appalachian clogging, Good Foot Dance Company explores the complex cultural mix of the root system of American vernacular dance. At their core is […]

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