Tennessee Folklife Heritage Award (2011)
Photo by TN State Photo Services
Thomas Maupin (1938- ) was raised in a farming family in Eagleville known for dancers, in a time when community square dances were still common. As an exceptional dancer from an early age, he had a special love for the rhythmic flat-foot steps that accompany the social group figures of square dancing. It was not until middle age that Thomas gained notoriety for his buckdancing talent and innovations, when he began entering dance competitions at traditional music events, beginning in the 1970s. Over the next 30 years, he won over 60 championships throughout Tennessee and the South. More recently, Thomas has been less concerned with titles than with inspiring more appreciation for his dance heritage through exhibition performances, workshops, and teaching, often accompanied by his grandson Daniel Rothwell, who’s developed into a fine old-time banjo player.
To see Thomas Maupin’s profile in the 2011 Governor’s Arts Awards program, click here. [correction; need to link to “Maupin 2011 GAA text”]
For more on Thomas Maupin, go to:
Youtube addr for 2011 Gov Awd
For further reading, see:
Cogswell, Robert, Tradition: Tennessee Lives & Legacies (Nashville: Tennessee Arts Commission, 2010), pp. 90-95.
Gunderson, Linda, “Thomas Maupin: When I’m A-dancing,” Old Time Herald 10, no. 2 (Fall, 005): 8-10.
Let Your Feet Do the Talking, by Stewart Copeland (film, 2008; DVD distributed by Dust-to-Digital, 2010).