Buck Dancing, Fiddling, and the Whitewashing of Folk Traditions, with Hillary Klug
After a difficult childhood, Hillary Klug knew her ambition would be the key to building a new life for herself. When faced with the decision of pursuing buck dancing, fiddling, or singing, she chose to take on all three. Simultaneously, with the guidance of her beloved mentor and the support of her massive YouTube following, Hillary’s multi-faceted performance style has skyrocketed from its Tennessee roots to become a global sensation. And as the Black Lives Matter movement sends ripples throughout 2020, Hillary has committed to uncovering and sharing the hushed African history of the Appalachian art forms she practices with a passion. Listen to this episode to hear how Hillary refuses to be fearful of mistakes, both in her art and in difficult conversations about race.
Michelle Khouri 0:02
What does it mean to want to tell the whole story behind the art form that has been a part of your life since you were a little kid? On this episode of The Cultured Podcast, I talked to Hillary Klug, the National Buck Dancing champion of the United States of America, and a social media personality who has become famous for fiddling, Buck dancing and singing at the same time.
Welcome to The Cultured Podcast. I’m your host, Michelle Khouri. And together we’ll journey into the unknown reaches of the art world. Hello my babies! Whoa. We have quite a beautiful conversation for you today. I talked to Hillary Klug and the conversation goes to places I could have never imagined. And actually, that’s a pretty rare occurrence for me. Because typically when I’m deeply researching every single person who comes on this show, I can get a true sense of what I imagine this person is going to say or what their ideologies are, and that is not the case with Hillary Klug. She is a bright, bright light. She is a joy to talk to and we get very real about conversations regarding race and the whitewashing of the history of fiddling and buck dancing or clogging. She’s done so much research and work on her own and she brings a lot of that knowledge to this episode. And it is fascinating and frankly relieving to hear the whole history behind an art form, rather than just a tiny morsel of the history, right? So y’all this week, my inspiration has been building, but it’s through my conversation with Hillary that it solidified. My inspirations are my ancestors. And I’m very new to feeling this kind of depth of connection with my ancestors. And when I say ancestors, I’m specifically referring in this instance to the people in my lineage, in my direct family lineage, particularly on my mom’s side, which is the Colombian side. So I talk a lot about being Colombian but what many of you may not realize is I’m actually half-Argentinian half-Colombian. My dad was Argentinian and I wasn’t raised with much of that Argentinian culture outside of food and Tango. And while my sister and I lived with my dad for a few months in Argentina for a couple summers, specifically in Buenos Aires. We got to know some of our family, but very on the surface. It is the Colombian side that I was raised in and deeply ingrained in that heritage, in that culture. The music, the history, the socio political climate, everything about it. And I was raised hearing stories about my ancestors, about my grandmother, my grandfather, my great grandparents, and for better or worse, Colombian culture pays a lot of attention to last names, and that’s part of that classist system from that side of my culture, which I’ve never been a fan of, and pretty much railed against my whole life. But I grew up hearing about these people and I grew up hearing about their accomplishments or their personalities and it never really quite clicked and what I do know is that I’ve always been connected to that land. You know, every time that I go to Columbia which I grew up basically part-time in Bogota that like I went all the time with my family and we stayed there. I’ve always called that my mother-ship, right? Because that does feel like my motherland, the land that I come from. And in this year alone that I’ve been being stripped what feels like naked in 2020, just emotionally naked, I’ve actually felt that connection more strongly than ever before. And I can feel the music of my people, modern and old, permeate when the drums hit or when the voices, like I’m listening to Lido Pimienta a lot, when I hear that sort of tribal mixed with soul kind of confluence of sounds, it takes me deep into my roots. And it feels good. And it makes me realize how important it is to know where you come from, not for the sake of carrying on tradition, but rather for the sake of just knowing where you’ve been energetically, what your lineage has done, the good the bad, the ugly. Acknowledging. Accepting. Understanding. And understanding that I am both of those people and very separate from those people. And there’s a sense of power, of support, but also of innate tension in that, you know? And I don’t know, I’ve been thinking a lot about it. And I’m inspired by it. And I feel a sense of coming home to myself because of it. So that’s what I’ve been inspired by lately. And it also reminds me that there’s a lot of people who don’t know so much about their ancestry and lineage and, you know, I want to know if you know about your lineage, and if you don’t, how does that impact your sense of self? How does that impact your identity? Because I know it’s something a lot of especially black people, and part native people here in the US, their whole history has been whitewashed or erased. And I think that that can be a very innately painful thing whether you realize it consciously or not. That is what my brain is tinkering with this week. Obviously, you can always drop me a line at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you. You know those lines of communication are always open, honey. But for now, we’re about to get into some communication with Hillary Klug. Leggo!
Hello, Hillary. Welcome to The Cultured Podcast.
Hillary Klug 6:20
Howdy. Thanks for having me.
Michelle Khouri 6:22
God, I love that. I love that howdy. I mean, listen, you and I, our backgrounds could not be more different. I think that’s what brings people together is like seeing other cultures and other ancestral lineages. At least that’s what drew me to your work. I found you on Instagram a while ago and I am super enthralled by the energy that you bring to your performances. But before I start going on ahead of myself, why don’t we level set and why don’t you tell us who you are and what your art forms are?
Hillary Klug 6:57
Well, my name is Hillary Klug and I’m a dancing fiddle player. I’m the National Buck Dancing champion and kind of a mediocre fiddle player, but I do both at the same time, and I also sing. I’m a very mediocre singer but when I dance and play fiddle and sing all three at the same time, I reckon people kind of enjoy it. And yeah, that’s my job. Dancing fiddle player.
Michelle Khouri 7:23
I mean, that’s amazing. Dancing singing fiddle player. Also, I find it really interesting that you say that they’re all mediocre. Maybe it is because you combine all of them that it’s ridiculous to think that that would even be remotely mediocre. I think we have a lot to talk about. So as a recap for The Cultured Crew, I just want to say you know, you have been dancing, you have been playing the fiddle your whole life. Basically from the age of eight, I believe you were dancing. From the age of 13, you were playing fiddle. Is that correct?
Hillary Klug 7:53
That’s correct. And then I’ve been singing for about two years now. The dancing and fiddle playing, I’ve probably been doing like five or six years, but I just added the singing two years ago.
Michelle Khouri 8:03
Yas! Well, congratulations. That’s a big deal. You seem to be really driven by joy. And you seem to dive into things headfirst, maybe fearlessly is what it looks like, on the outside. Is that how you feel?
Hillary Klug 8:20
Yeah, partially. There’s a lot of different driving forces. I have what would be considered, you know, maybe a less than ideal childhood, but a lot of that was actually kind of the driving force. When I have the fiddle, when I have the dance, I really cling to that tradition and that culture. I have all this ambition and determination and drive to you know, do something better with my life to try to get away from that to try to do better for myself. And then there’s all these emotional factors of feeling like I’m not good enough and feeling like I’m unworthy. And so I’ve never felt like what I did was good enough. There’s no amount of practice that’s good enough. There’s no performance, you know, even if it’s my best performance, it’s still not good enough. And so I am always striving to do better. And then like, at the same time, like, I also have a need for like, validation. Well, I had. I’ve worked on this recently, because I kind of realized that was a problem. But I, actually one of my first gigs, if you can call it a gig, was street performing. That was my job for two and a half years.
Michelle Khouri 9:27
Which is called busking, right?
Hillary Klug 9:29
Right. That’s where I developed my craft. It makes people happy, it entertains and then it became a job. It became my primary source of income. And it filled that need for validation. But I was always striving to, like, develop my craft and develop bigger, better. That’s why I added the singing because it’s not good enough. It’s not enough to just play fiddle and dance. So in recent years, I’ve, you know, even just as recently as you know, these past few months, it’s like, maybe the need for validation is or the need for income is no longer my purpose. That’s no longer what drives me. Now I’m just like realizing, oh my word, there’s so much, so much stuff, going on in this world that’s just out of control. I have no control over it. The one way I can contribute is I can lift people up. And I can just put positive energy out into the world. And that’s the only thing I could do in these weird times.
Michelle Khouri 10:24
First of all, to identify that you need the validation is really important self-awareness. And I connect very much to what you said about your upbringing, your childhood, and whatever chaos was in there driving you forward to find a sense of peace or harmony or accomplishment or your own path forward. And that’s a powerful driver. I find it so interesting, this idea that your lack of traditions growing up, has led you on this quest for sort of surrounding yourself by your own chosen traditions and your own chosen heritage. So why don’t you walk us through a little bit what it is about the traditions that you engage in through your art form that really stir your soul and bring you joy.
Hillary Klug 11:14
Okay. Um, so I grew up going to the Contra dance. And you know, I was homeschooled. I was very sheltered, very isolated. But I really connected with people in the bluegrass community, the old time community. Going to festivals. Going to jam sessions. I started a band when I was just 16. And I had no idea that this world existed. But the more I got involved, the more I like, opened my eyes to see like, wow, there’s this whole world of fiddle music out there that you just don’t see if you’re just a part of, you know, just the general public. You have to really be a geek to kind of open your eyes. And really, I am the biggest geek in the world, just like I listen to old recordings from the 50s of fiddle players or old recordings from the 30s it just, uh, you know, that’s what I listened to. I watch YouTube videos. And I geek out about like older if we find an old field recording of some fiddle player that nobody’s ever heard about, you know, North Carolina or something. I think it’s so cool to look at the lineage of fiddle players and the lineage of fiddle tunes and say, like, “Oh, this fiddle tune was played by this guy. And this guy’s version is a little bit different, you know, this guy added an extra beat, or, you know, maybe these people played it more rhythmically, because their music didn’t have as much rhythm instruments. And so the rhythm had to be part of the fiddle music, whereas, you know, these people over here, like, they played more melodically but they had rhythm accompaniment instruments.” And I just geek out about that stuff.
Michelle Khouri 12:53
What is it about the fiddle that makes you connect with it so deeply? Not to mention, it takes an enormous amount of dedication and structure to be a musician and to play instruments and to dance and all that so…
Hillary Klug 13:07
Well, I didn’t get any of that growing up. My home life was completely, totally chaotic. And the reason why I clung to the fiddle was because I always had this sense of like, okay, I don’t have anything going for me to try to do with… “What am I going to do with myself? I don’t have anything.” But fiddle is a way that I can invest in myself and invest in my future. And that’s something that I can have, that nobody can take away from me. And where I got my discipline actually came from my fiddle mentor, him and his family. They kind of took me in, and man, he kicked my butt. He’s the one who taught me to be, like, that nothing I do will ever be good enough. He always gave me this sense of like, two hours of practice wasn’t enough. There was no amount of practice that was enough.
Michelle Khouri 14:01
And that’s where that calling yourself mediocre comes from?
Hillary Klug 14:05
Well, I mean, and then just comparing myself to others. He always compared me to others. And I’m like, you know, if I were just a fiddle player take away the dancing and the singing, or just a fiddle player. I’m very mediocre. But it’s the combination that allows me to have a career.
Michelle Khouri 14:21
Well, because let’s not even take the credit away from you. Like, doing all of those things at once is exceptionally difficult. So, let’s talk a little bit about buck dancing. Because we’ve talked a lot about the fiddle and I want you to describe buck dancing for us.
Hillary Klug 14:38
Buck dancing is an instrument-like percussion instrument. There’s no drum that goes with fiddle music, however, there’s buck dancing. And so that’s the percussion that goes with it. And that looks different for different dancers, because each buck dancer is very unique, and it’s a very improvised dance. There’s no choreography. There’s no set of dance moves, that, “This is buck dancing. These are the steps that you have to learn to be a dancer.” No, each dancer kind of creates their own unique dance and they improvise it and they would contribute to the music, like, as if they were another instrument. As opposed to clogging which would be doing a set of choreography and it doesn’t necessarily contribute musically. It’s in time with the music and it’s done for show. Buck dancing is for music purposes, not for entertainment. So you’re not going to see as flashy dance steps. But me and my own personal buck dancing, you know, maybe I’ll do a flashy dance step every now and then, because, you know, I’m trying to entertain the audience and it’s much more fun to see like, you know, me kick my legs in the air, or do a little twist. But it depends on the song, because some songs they need that rhythm and so I can’t stray away from just doing these basic rhythmic steps. Whereas like some other songs like there’s enough rhythm in the music, that I can kind of do flashier steps with my feet. My mentor is 83 years old. He taught me how to dance and everybody in his family danced. And he doesn’t teach the actual dance steps. He teaches the concepts. They’re so abstract. You talk about, like, oh, you just find that thing that’s unique to you. And you find that music inside your heart, and you just let it out through your feet. But he’s encouraged me and he was there when I won the national championship the first time. And he actually they did the festival in his name, and that’s when I won the second time. I’m the first-ever winner recipient of the national championship that they did in his honor. And I feel very honored to have won that but I also feel like he’s passing the torch. Like okay, this buck dancing that he’s kept alive, that he’s developed, that he’s taught to others. Okay, now it’s my turn, my responsibility to keep that alive and to spread it and to teach it to others and to keep this tradition alive. So we have a video that we did together. We have 25 million views. I was able to share my platform and share my voice with him and get people to watch him. Whereas otherwise, you know, nobody would have ever heard of him, nobody would have ever seen him. So I super excited to share that.
Michelle Khouri 17:29
Holy cow. What a story and what a testament to mentorship and finding a guide who’s going to stick by your side, but also making it your own, you know? Like not feeling beholden to somebody else’s style, ways, whatever, but rather flying and helping to evolve. YouTube has been an enormous part of your journey. And like you said, your platform is enormous, millions, 10s of millions of views. What are you at like 65 million or something, like even more than that, at this point, like huge.
Hillary Klug 18:02
Well, my biggest video has like 62 million views. I have pleased the algorithm gods, they are favoring me. I figured it out.
Michelle Khouri 18:15
You really did. But also like you’re incredibly entertaining and your energy is inviting. And I loved your response to everything that’s going on in our society right now. And what we might call the Black Lives Matter movement, but I think is far beyond that right now. We’re finally waking up to, I mean, basically, mistreatment of black people in the United States has also woken us up to the fact that like indigenous people in the United States have suffered for hundreds of years. And there are just all of these injustices with immigration and just so many things, so many things are broken. But your response I mean, your art form is part of a heritage and culture that is tied to slavery, and you can’t think of Tennessee and like that old traditional culture without thinking about some of these things that are tied into this movement. And what I love about your response was that you openly acknowledged that, like, a lot of the roots of the very art forms that you’re practicing, also have been fundamentally founded or built by African American people throughout history. And Hillary, that is what you can do. And and so the fact that you’re doing that was so inspiring to me.
Hillary Klug 19:30
Oh, thanks. There’s a lot there. First of all, before I say anything about this subject, as just as a disclaimer, this is a new subject to start talking about. Normally, this isn’t talked about. And so I might not have the correct words or the correct language, but my thoughts and intents are 100% positive. I even had somebody help me edit my Instagram posts somebody said, “Well You know, you probably shouldn’t use this word, you know, because people might take that the wrong way,” even though it was intended the right way. So that being said, as a disclaimer, I have actually started delving into the history of buck dancing and fiddle playing a little bit. I don’t know how to research, fiddle playing insofar as like, African American influence, but I’ve been delving into the cultural history of fiddle playing. Now in that tradition, in my experience, I have not seen any African or Native American buck answers, or in the music world, like I’ve seen two banjo players. And then of course, if you look online, do any research then you see like Rhiannon Giddens and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. They have a huge voice in shedding light on the African influence in this type of music. However, in my research, I started really delving into the African influence on buck dancing, just to share some of those with you. If you look at the immigration patterns, the Scotch-Irish came and settled in the Appalachian Mountains. And it’s generally like thought that, okay, our buck dancing comes from, you know, Irish dancing. And our fiddle music evolved from Irish music. It’s generally thought that. It’s generally thought this is white people’s music, white people play it. Nobody’s aware of the African influence and nobody talks about it. That’s something that’s not talked about. And in this book that I’m reading, it’s actually like a dissertation put out by Phil Jamison. He’s a college professor at Warren Wilson College. It talks about blacking visibility, and it just kind of explains this phenomenon of us only remembering the white part of history. We don’t remember the African part. I mean, it’s a phenomenon that’s not unique to just fiddle music or dance. It’s many different aspects of history.
Michelle Khouri 21:59
Absolutely. I mean, listen, I wouldn’t call it so much a phenomenon as I would the White men in charge told the white man story, right? And what we’re realizing is in doing so, there were a lot of like, not white, not men, people who, like, did a lot of stuff that was left out of the history books. So yeah, that’s okay, keep going. I’m fascinated by this.
Hillary Klug 22:21
Okay, so everybody knows that the banjo is an African instrument, right? But we kind of just like disregard that knowledge. We stop there. We don’t talk anymore about it. But it’s so interesting to start learning about. First of all, this southeastern style fiddling is actually unique and completely different from Northeastern fiddling, Canadian fiddling insofar as our fiddle music is more rhythmic and less melodic. So it has to do with evolving with dancing, but not necessarily the solo dance that I do. All this music evolved with square dance and Contra dance and English country dance. So the English came over, and the French, and all these different type of European dances, they came over and they were practiced by the settlers. But then they got their influence from the African culture. And the European dance was always done in groups and couples. And they would be in lines or they would be in squares. But then you had the Africans, they were generally like in a big ring, and everybody’s like, gathered around and you have like a solo dancer in the middle, and everybody’s on the outside clapping and making percussion, or singing. And then the person in the middle is like improvising and doing a solo dance, and each person takes a turn in the middle. And then you have the Native Americans. And they’re all like dancing and doing their dance around a big fire. And so you have these rings, formations, and you start to see that like in the early dance figures that the white people were doing, but you can like trace, “Okay, there’s this figure that has to do with putting one person in the middle and everybody’s dancing around.” And that’s definitely like, influenced by the Africans and so cool to talk about the history of it.
Michelle Khouri 22:47
It’s fascinating. And also, it’s like, it sounds like every wedding I’ve ever been to. We all end up dance circles.
Hillary Klug 24:20
Well, exactly, we still have that today. But the music was put on by Africans. The music that went with these dances was considered like a slave’s job to do the music. And it was solo, like, fiddle player, or banjo player. And the banjo was an African instrument. And the combination of putting a banjo with a fiddle? That was done by Africans and then it was later adopted by Europeans. But then, like this book, it talks about like, Native American fiddle players and like African fiddle players, they would learn these fiddle tunes and they would play the fiddle to entertain the white folks, like, that was a slaves job was to play music to entertain the white folks and to dance. And they would dance on these riverboats that floated down the Mississippi River. And, you know, I can’t go too much into detail because I don’t like fully grasp. But I just, I’ve been trying to like, learn as much as I can and try to like, understand what that means. Now, I haven’t actually shared it with anybody yet shared what I’ve learned. But it’s because this isn’t a conversation that people have these days. Like, we don’t talk about this type of stuff. So it’s like, it’s hard for me to even talk about I’ve never had this conversation.
Michelle Khouri 25:49
Well, I’m amazed. I’m amazed because you’re clearly passionate and you’re doing the work. The thing that I love about this period of time is that it is pushing us to start telling the whole story about things. There’s a reason this is called the Cultured Podcast and it’s that arts is just fundamentally a part of human self-expression. And humans invent culture and culture is an invention of our own desire to express who we are in a tribal way and in an individual way. And I think it’s fascinating how we do that. And the very many diverse ways we do that.
Hillary Klug 26:23
Dude. I love I love, love, love all the African influences in our culture, and like, white people take all this music and they say, “Oh, this is this is our music like rock and roll.” They like take all this like blues and all this Motown and they say, “Oh, this is our white people music,” and it’s like no!
Michelle Khouri 26:43
Hillary Klug 26:44
No! Stop taking credit for it, like all the coolest stuff.
Michelle Khouri 26:49
I love that you care. I mean, listen, you are doing so much work very clearly. I mean, for me, you know, you have been an example in a few ways. First of all, to engage in this conversation so openly. And to start by saying, look, I may say things that are wrong and I welcome corrections. It’s okay to be wrong and I’ll learn from that. But I’m going to engage in the conversation anyway because it’s important. Second of all, you’re reading all of this. You’re like having the conversations, you’re reading the materials, you’re reading the history, the whole story.
Hillary Klug 27:21
And I’m talking to people. I’m asking my mentors, I’m interviewing. I’m like, looking for resources. And even like, like, last night, I for the first time saw an African buck dancer. And it was on this video online. Like I was just researching this fiddle tune I was working on. And like, there’s a there’s an African buck dancer, like the first time I’ve ever seen one and I was just like, geeking out, I had to show my boyfriend. And it’s not like I was never trying to purposefully ignore that or like, suppress it or repress it. But dude, part of learning and growing just recently, just this whole Black Lives Matter, it’s starting to open my eyes to, like, how much that black invisibility…that’s the thing. Like, it’s part of our culture to like, repress and suppress, like, all the African influence. I don’t mean to but by accident, you know, maybe I was just you know, not remembering that, you know, oh, yeah, the banjo comes from Africa. Oh yeah, we have black influence in, you know, buck dance. You know? It’s so easy to, like, just not talk about it or just, you know, forget about it or repress it, suppress it, because that’s just what’s always been done. That’s just the culture that was handed to us.
Michelle Khouri 28:37
It’s learned behavior. It’s learned that we’re taught that.
Hillary Klug 28:41
It’s time to actively be anti-racist. Is that is that a good way to put it? It’s not enough to just not be racist. Of course, it’s easy to just not be part of the conversation, but to actually take that step and actively research, actively talk about things and actively learn about the history and put the information out there and encourage others. That’s the next step for me. I have seen, like, racist comments on some of my videos. Some people will be like, “Yeah, ‘murca. Yeah, white folk.” And you know, I’ve said like, “I don’t want to be a part of that conversation.” But you know, I just haven’t said anything. I should have actively said, “No, hey, actually.” I should have stepped in and said something. And from now on I am. I’m going to actively step in and say something. And you know what? I’m gonna lose followers, but I’m okay with that. If there’s somebody who is racist and doesn’t want to hear the history, I am fine with losing racist followers or, like, white supremacist followers.
Michelle Khouri 29:50
You’re not here for that BS anymore, right? Like none of us are.
Hillary Klug 29:53
Michelle Khouri 29:54
And it is time for all of us to bust the dang door open and to usher all those who the door has been closed again. And to have the tough conversations. And part of why I really wanted to talk about this with you is because I think it’s easy with your art forms being fiddling, like you said, white people have sort of taken them, or the white people who are proud of these art forms have taken them as their own. And I figured there would be a lot of nuance for you as a performer of these art forms, when it comes to our ongoing conversations as a country about race, and arts and race. I love how you approach everything with so much gusto. You know? Like, when you like something, you approach it with your whole self. And I think that is a beautiful, powerful thing. And so I just want to thank you for bringing that energy, that gusto, to this conversation, because it’s been an enormous pleasure getting to know and your story. Thank you for that. And now that we’ve had that incredible conversation, I want to sort of focus it on you.
Hillary Klug 31:01
Michelle Khouri 31:01
And I think what we’ll do is we’ll just ask you to share where The Cultured Crew can learn more about you. And then we’ll do performance.
Hillary Klug 31:10
Cool. Well, I have a website, hillaryklug.com. And I have a Facebook, facebook.com/fiddleanddance. I have my little Instagram it’s @Hillaryklug. And I have my YouTube. If you search for Hillary Klug, /ch/HillaryKlug. I have my music on Spotify, Apple Music, anywhere where you can stream music.
Michelle Khouri 31:32
Hillary Klug 31:33
Yeah, that’s it.
Michelle Khouri 31:34
Hillary Klug 31:35
Oh, yeah. Oh yeah. Don’t forget Patreon. If you would like to support my music and get a little behind-the-scenes footage, see things that the general public doesn’t get to see, you know, there’s some videos out there of me playing Banjo and dancing right now. You want to see me playing Banjo and dancing? It’s not that good, but…
Michelle Khouri 31:36
I do. I do!
Hillary Klug 31:54
I have a video of me, like, my first try. I’m like, “Hey, I’ve never done this before. This is my first try putting together the dance and the banjo. Here goes, we’re gonna roll this camera and I’m going to give it a go.”
Michelle Khouri 32:07
Alright, well all of those tasty links are going to be in the show notes. So if anybody wants to find them they’re going to be up at culturedpodcast.com. And without further ado, Hillary, thank you for being here. We are ready to see you shine girl.
Hillary Klug 32:21
Okay, my question is “What do we want to hear?”
Michelle Khouri 32:25
Hillary Klug 32:27
I’m going to do an original off of my CD. This is called Le Petit Chat Gris.
Michelle Khouri 33:32
Oh my goodness. Ah! There’s something about the fiddle, y’all. I mean, I am as Latina as they come, but the sound, the frequency of a fiddle really, really hits my heart and it just gets me moving. Okay? You know I was dancing while she was performing. Alright babies, until next time, you know what to do. Keep it classy. Keep it curious. Keep it Cultured.