From local festivals to the Grand Ole Opry: These Mississippi youth dancers have won the hearts of Chapel Hart

Published 9:40 pm Thursday, July 27, 2023

For several years, the young ladies of Step It Up Clogging have entertained audiences at local fairs and festivals, winning some awards along the way. Little did they know just a couple weeks ago that they would gain the attention of Mississippi’s own Chapel Hart, a group that has taken American music fans by storm after a successful run on “America’s Got Talent.” This group of smalltown Mississippi youth has grown to a national name in just a matter days.

Based in a tiny community in southeastern Mississippi, the group features Kyndall Freeman of Laurel, Aly Edwards of Richton, Brayley Mayo of Richton, Keeli McDonald of Sandhill, Alli Grace Rigney of Richton, and Kaylee Anderson of Sandhill. They’re led by Coach Adrienne Hartley.

Reflecting on their own success on the contest television show, Chapel Hart held their own national contest via TikTok. The winner received some money and an appearance with Chapel Hart on the Gulf Coast, but the rewards have been so much more than imagined.

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“They came to dancing with Chapel Hart by winning a nationwide clogging contest they put on that the public voted,” Lindsey Carr Freeman, mother of member Kyndall Freeman, explained. “The girls submitted a clogging video by dancing to Chapel Harts ‘Fist City’ song and won! The team actually went down to Gulfport last week and danced with the group. They presented them with $1000 prize money for winning the contest.”

A shock for Step It Up and their families, the group was invited by Chapel Hart to perform with them at the famous Grand Ole Opry in Nashville where they performed Wednesday night. Chapel Hart has also embraced the youth through their social media pages, promoting them frequently.

“Chapel Hart’s manager, Derrick, promised the girls that night after watching them that he would get them on the Grand Ole Opry stage … and he did!

“With a child that’s grown up as an old soul loving the older generation of music stars such as Dolly, Reba, and Johnny Cash, this was a big dream of hers! She’s always wanted to make it to the Grand Ole Opry. Little did she know she would make it at 11 years old. Definitely a proud moment for us all.”

Hartley said it’s quite an honor for the group to perform on such an historic stage.

“As coach of the Step It Up Cloggers, I am extremely proud and blessed that Chapel Hart gave us the opportunity to perform in concert and on stage at the Grand Ole Opry,” she said. “What started as a TikTok contest has turned into an adventure that we will never forget.”

Freeman also offered her extreme appreciation to Chapel Hart.

“We want to say what a blessing Chapel Hart has been to our team,” Freeman said. “Winning their Fist City Clogging Contest has opened more doors for them than we could’ve ever imagined! They’ve welcomed our girls with open loving arms and treated us all like family! We will be forever grateful to all they’ve done!”

Chapel Hart has also invited Step It Up to perform with them at the Keath Killebrew Memorial Rodeo in Jackson Friday.