“…Winning… my favorite dance… the audience gets a kick out of their performance.” 

-Cville Weekly

“…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

Good Foot Dance Company explores the richly textured root-system of American vernacular dance, with special attention to Appalachian flatfooting, tap dance, clogging, and step dance traditions. We bring a critical and historical inquiry to a remixing of traditional dance, and explore themes of connectivity, continuity, and social responsibility.

Good Foot Dance Company creates innovative “trad dance theatre” from the percussive dances of the United States, Ireland, and North America. The company formed in 2004 with the collaboration of Matthew Olwell, Emily Oleson, and Meg Madden to make work at Live Arts Theater in Charlottesville, VA. In their first few years together, they appeared with powerhouse musical ensembles including Lunasa and The Chieftains and were presented in Mexico through international dance festival  Performatica. They began making work that combined traditional and social dance sensibilities with a playful sense of experimentation for local performances, including Wunderkammer, and Shentai, (two “arts carnivals” which brought together regional dance, music, and visual artists for acclaimed collaborative multimedia performances) and continued to perform in local and regional music and dance festivals from 2005-2009. 

Matthew Olwell and Emily Oleson went on to found Smiling Mountain Dance Intensive (a multi-genre summer camp for children) in 2006, the Beat Retreat (a collective percussive dance exchange in 2010 and 2011), and served as co-coordinators for the Augusta Heritage Center’s American Vernacular Dance Week from 2012-2016. They toured with The Carolina Chocolate Drops in the summer of 2014, appearing at Red Rocks Auditorium, the Chicago Blues Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Bonaroo. They were featured in The Lost Tribe of County Music with James Leva, Cedric Watson, Matthew Gordon, and Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton at the Aulney-All-Blues Festival by Aulney-sous-Bois, France, and appeared with Becky Hill and Matt Kupstas as Seeger’s Clogging All-Stars at the Newport Folk Festival in 2011, as well as performing regular appearances at the Augusta Heritage Center’s evening concerts for many years. In 2013 and 20014, Good Foot collaborated with master tap dance artist Baakari Wilder and DC-based company Urban Artistry in The Meaning of Buck Dance, which received the Kennedy Center’s Local Dance Commissioning Project award and was presented as a State Department Arts Envoy production to Russia in 2014.


Good Foot frequently performs and collaborates with Adam Broome and Jaige Trudel under the Name Maivish:Good Foot, and with featured guest artist Becky Hill, with whom they performed at the Wheatland Music Organization's Traditional Arts Weekend in 2015 and 2016. Most recently Good Foot  was featured on Jacob’s Pillow’s Inside/Out Stage with special guests Becky Hill and Graham DeZarn.