History of the Silverhawk Stompers

Mary Elliott
Mary Elliott

The Silverhawk Stompers got its start when Mary Elliott took over a clog dancing class in San Marcos, CA from her teacher and mentor, LaVon Thorpe. She decided that all of her students needed to be united under one name for their membership in the Southern California Clogging Association. Mary chose a name incorporating the development in Murrieta, CA where she resides, Silverhawk. However, those who know her best realize that whenever and wherever she has the pleasure of instructing or cueing is fondly known as "Mary-Land."

Two years after joining the SCCA and having traveled to and participated in many workshops hosted by other clogging groups, the Silverhawk Stompers members decided it was time to host their own workshop. At that time, the Silverhawk Stompers had access to a wonderful facility called The Barn owned by the city of San Marcos, CA. What else would they call their workshop but The Barn Dance? So in 1997 the first annual Barn Dance was held in San Marcos at the Walnut Grove Park's barn. Participants from all around southern California traveled to the park and learned dances from Mary, Melinda Leatherman, Ron Franks and Marilyn Hanson, who brought a whole busload of cloggers from the Apple Creek Cloggers club. The afternoon of workshops was followed by a dinner of hamburgers and hot dogs cooked on the grill by Mary's husband, Don Gasteiger, and homemade salads and desserts provided by the Stompers. When the dinner tables were all cleared the participants clogged off their dinner with games and an open dance until 9:00 pm.

The Barn Dance has been held every year since then in October. Each year the attendance grows, so much so that the venue changed from year to year. This year we are returning to our roots and gathering "back in The Barn". This year the Stompers are pleased to have returning guest instructor Kellee Ramirez.    Register for the Barn Dance Now!

Over the years, several members of the Stompers have also participated in performing at various venues such as the Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista, Country Fair in Escondido, Harbor Days in Oceanside, the San Diego County Fair, the Southern California Fair in Perris, countless senior communities, and the Joseph Webb Trade Show atop the San Diego Convention Center.