Come hang out at the Lilly Pad, a podcast created to spotlight local talent and the people who are making a difference in their communities. Hosted by Jason Lilly: English teacher, Shakespeare enthusiast, and book nerd.
Holly Medley is a baton twirler, a twirl coach, and one of the owners of local area twirl competition team, The West Virginia Mountainettes. For this episode, I talk to Holly about her challenges and successes as a twirl coach and about what she feels is most important to her as a coach and what she expects of her students, as well. I also talk to my daughter, Aryanna Lilly, who was a twirler, a student of Holly's, and a Mountainettes team member. She talks about her time learning from Holly and shares how she feels she has grown both as a twirler and as a person because of her time as Holly's student.
Holly Medley resides in Pinch, WV. She is happily married to her husband, Clay, with 2 adorable boys, Reed and Hayes. She earned Bachelors and Master’s degrees from West Virginia University. While at WVU, she was a member of The Pride of West Virginia, Mountaineer Marching Band color guard. Holly is a Social Worker at Oak Ridge Center nursing home and has a strong passion for working with the geriatric population.
Holly started baton twirling at the age of 5 at Donna’s School of Baton and Dance. She took dance and baton classes for 8 years before starting private baton twirling lessons. Holly was the feature twirler at South Charleston High School. Holly met Michelle Elmore-Wooton while at WVU and began taking private twirling lessons again, as she was not quite ready to hang up her batons, just yet. Holly started competing locally and nationally, earning many state and regional awards. Holly placed in the top 10 in the beginner pageant at Notre Dame. She competed in modeling, 2 baton, strut, solo and duet.
Holly and Michelle had a strong connection, and with their passion for baton twirling, they decided to start a baton twirling team in the Charleston area. The idea behind the team was to build baton twirling in the area. Together, they created The WV Mountainettes. Holly enjoys seeing her students grow and develop. It has been more exciting to watch her students learn, improve, and perform well at contest and football games, than to earn awards and titles herself. The sport of baton twirling continues to bring enjoyment and pride as a coach.
You can find out more about Holly and Michelle's twirl team by finding the West Virginia Mountainettes Twirling Team on Facebook.
Kelly Chapman is the owner and teacher at Kelly's Dance Studio in Cross Lanes, WV. Kelly has had over 41 years experience in the dance field. She started dancing when she was about 6 years old, started shadowing her dance teacher when she was 12, and began as an assistant instructor when she was 16. Kelly taught at a Charleston studio for 10 more years before moving on and opening her own studio.
Kelly teaches all of her classes, choreograph all of her dances, and constantly tries to better her skills. She uses instructional DVDs, manuals, and videos to stay current on dance trends and to brush up on old skills. When possible, she even takes a class or two herself. She tries to always give everyone she works with the very best she has to give. She stays in the classroom with her dancers because she believes that is where she belongs, and she wants the dancers to know how much she appreciates them and how much she wants to be with them.
Aaron Fisher is a musician from Sissonville, WV, the former owner of 101 Productions/The Fishbowl Recording, a current partner at 7 West Recording Studio in Charleston, WV, and singer/songwriter for the group Aaron Fisher and Ghost Fleet.
You can find more information about Aaron, his production work, and his group at his website AaronFisher.com.
Willow Hess is a local artist from West Virginia who creates unique art through different medias. Working towards her bachelors degree in Graphic design, Hess hopes to give back to her community with her ideas.
For this episode, I interviewed Charleston area entrepreneur & athlete KeyKey Dudley. Keymonisha “KeyKey” Dudley is a Charleston native. She is a Capital High School and WVU Tech student-athlete graduate. Although all odds were against her through her lifetime, that never stopped her from reaching her highest potential. She is now a young business owner, still striving to be the best version of herself.
For this week's Monday Motivation, I talk about gratitude. This episode features messages from listeners like you who share what they are grateful for. For more information about how you can also be featured in episodes like this one, message me on Instagram @thelillypadpodcast.
Brandon Corns is a photographer in Charleston WV. He went from posting snapshots on Instagram to starting a small photography business. Capturing the moment isn’t just a lifestyle for him; it’s his business model. Brandon Corns is also one of my running buddies who I met during my first 5K race, which he beat me in, although I redeemed myself the following year by beating him in a 4k trail race. He also is a self-proclaimed meme lord. Please support his photography page https://www.facebook.com/brandoncornsphotography/
Elaine Abdalla is a visually-impaired entrepreneur who has supported her mother, Mary Case, throughout their journey into the food service industry. She is the operator of Cafe Crema, a cafe in Dunbar, WV that serves coffee, tea, sweet treats, ice cream, and a variety of unique sandwiches. Elaine lives in the Charleston, WV area with her best friend: Clover the Rat Terrier. Find out more about Cafe Crema at the links below: cremawv.com Instagram: @cafecremawv Facebook: CafeCremaWV
Autumn is a special education teacher, dog mom, wife, and photographer! She picked up photography as a hobby because she loves to capture all the beautiful moments of life. She enjoys it so much that she decided to start her own photography business. Whether it’s capturing family photos, a romantic engagement session, or simply some fun best friend photos, Autumn is eager and excited to create some magic for all of her clients! Autumn is located in Morgantown, West Virginia, but she travels to the Charleston area quite frequently.
Website -- Autumn Collette Photography, LLC
Social Media -- Instagram: @autumncollettephoto, Facebook: autumncollettephotography
Brandon Perry is an ultra runner who started running to lose weight but quickly fell in love with it. Before he began running, Brandon was 300+ pounds until he decided that he wanted to lose weight. This started his running adventure, which has grown to include multiple races and events, including multiple marathons and ultramarathons.
Brandon is from Cross Lanes, WV. He attended Cross Lanes Christian School and West Virginia State University with a background in Psychology. He has participated in the Marshall University Marathon (5 times!), the Haulin in the Holler 25 and 50k trail races, the Frozen Sasquatch 50k trail race, the Kanawha Trace 50k trail race, the Charleston Distance Run 15 mile road race, the Poca River road run 15k, and the Highland Sky 41 miler in Davis, WV.
In the second episode of #TheLillyPadPodcast, it was my pleasure to interview musician and author Tony Harrah. We talked about his journey as a musician and about his new book, Boxing With God. But more importantly, we talked about family, about fatherhood, and about how to stay determined, how to make hard decisions when necessary, and to find a way out when struggles come.
Below is a bio taken from Tony's website, which you can find at http://www.tonyharrah.com
Based out of the small town of Nitro, West Virginia and steeped in blues and traditional folk sounds, Tony Harrah is a voice of Appalachia that begs the attention of the hardest heart string. Gritty and true, his songwriting speaks to the life of blue collar society and forgotten America. Since the 2016 and 2017 albums "Two Dollar Suit" and "Oklahoma Blues" done with the Putnam Prohibition, Harrah has been showcasing his widespread instrumental and writing talents. Being billed alongside artists like Tyler Childers, Jeremy Pinnell, Nicholas Jamerson and many more, Harrah is breaking out of his regional coverage and spreading his fan base nationally. With musical influences ranging from Guy Clark and Tom Waits, to Springsteen and Ryan Adams; Harrah has perfected his own unique sound and has been described as "like Ray Charles and a hippie had a child and it came out sounding like Muddy Waters." - J.A. Outlaw Resurgence.
This is a short, solo episode where I talk about how I am a "special kind of crazy" because I actually enjoy getting up early Saturday mornings and running trails with my buddy Rick, who is also a "special kind of crazy." Why do we do it? Listen to find out.
For the first episode of #TheLillyPadPodcast I interview Cathy Pleska, author, editor, professor, teacher and born-and-raised West Virginian. We talk about her origins as a writer, the struggles and blessings of writing, and how to start telling your own story. Her bio below is taken from her website, which you can find at http://www.catpleska.com
Cat Pleska is an author, editor, educator, publisher, and storyteller. She often leads writing workshops in the community and is an essayist for West Virginia Public Radio, and a book reviewer for West Virginia University Press. She edited the anthology Fed from the Blade: Tales and Poems from the Mountains (Woodland Press 2012), and her first book, Riding on Comets: a Memoir was published by West Virginia University Press May 2015. Riding on Comets was short listed for the 2015 book of the year in the memoir category by Foreword Magazine. Cat is the 2016 recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award for Support of the Arts. Her cookbook, One Foot in the Gravy—Hooked on the Sauce: Recipes You’ll Relish was published by Mountain State Press in April 2017. She is working on a novel, a collection of short stories, and a collection of essays. She holds an MFA from Goucher College in Baltimore (2004), as well as an MA in Humanities (1998) and a BA in English (writing emphasis, 1994). She taught in the graduate humanities program for Marshall University and was a full time Instructor for Arizona State University’s Master of Liberal Studies Program. She now teaches full time for the English department at Marshall University.
The first season of The Lilly Pad Podcast is called "Authors, Artists, Athletes, and Entrepreneurs." It will feature interviews with authors, musicians, artists, athletes, and small business owners from West Virginia who have made an impact on their community.