Meet Skeeter at Dolly Parton’s Stampede in Pigeon Forge, TN, one of the most memorable characters in the Smokies!
Skeeter is sure to put a smile on your face when you visit Dolly Parton’s Stampede in Pigeon Forge, TN. We sat down with Lee Revis “Skeeter” to learn what makes this funny guy laugh.
Direct from the horse’s mouth… read about Skeeter!
Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Did you have horses as a kid?
A. My name is Lee Revis, but everyone calls me Leroy. I was born and raised in Mars Hill, North Carolina. I grew up on a tobacco and cattle farm. We didn’t have any horses, but we did have a pony mule that my papaw farmed with; his name was Charlie. Charlie was rumored to have lived to the ripe old age of 50. I also attended Mars Hill College, now Mars Hill University, where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts in 2012.
Q. Do you truly love making people laugh?
A. I have always loved making people laugh, but to explain why, as they say in the theatre, “comedy derives from tragedy”. When I was 8 years old, my dad was diagnosed with malignant melanoma skin cancer. At that age, my dad had to sit me down and tell me I had to be the man of the house to help take care of my mother. So through multiple years of recurrences, surgeries and treatments, my father is a walking miracle. The good Lord has blessed my family, my dad has been with us 20 bonus years, praise God. But during those tough times, comedy and laughter in the Revis household were how we healed the wounds of sadness. I love making people laugh, especially children in the show, because I didn’t have a typical childhood. So when I see families having a wonderful time at Dolly Parton’s Stampede and laughing at Skeeter, it fills my heart with joy knowing no matter what has happened outside of Stampede, I’ve given families laughter and happiness.
Q. What is your role at Stampede?
A. I play Skeeter in the show, but I also dance, drive wagons and trick rope in the show.
Q. When did you start working at Stampede?
A. I started working at Stampede March of 2013 where I met my beautiful wife Kayla. She is one of the Equestrian riders at Stampede.
Q. Did you ever come to Stampede as a guest before you worked here? Any special memories from that visit?
A. I had only been to the show one time before starting Stampede. But I remember that the show was awesome and I really enjoyed the Skeeter character in the show.
Q. What is your favorite part about being in the show?
A. As I have said before, I love making people laugh, especially children in the show. I love to see families having a great time at Stampede and laughing at Skeeter. It fills my heart with joy knowing no matter what has happened outside of Stampede, I’ve given families laughter and happiness.
Q. We know you were recently in Europe for an International Dance Festival, could you tell us a little bit more about it?
A. I recently went to the Festival OP Roakeldais Warffum in the Netherlands, where I danced and represented the USA with the 26 Time National Championship Clogging Team, the Bailey Mountain Cloggers. Along with Bailey Mountain Cloggers, there were multiple countries represented from around the world. We all came to the Festival OP Roakeldais Warffum to show our culture and heritage in dance and music. This opportunity was very important to me because this was the first time my wife Kayla had ever seen me clog before, and to be able to see her smile while I was on stage is something I will never forget.
Q. How long have you been clogging?
A. I have been clogging for 22 years, and at the age of 6, I had the dream to dance with the Bailey Mountain Cloggers. From the age of 6 to 22 I trained in clogging, going to hundreds of competitions, winning team awards, and multiple 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and overall male solo competition awards. When I attended Mars Hill College in 2008, my dream was fulfilled and I became a part of the Bailey Mountain Cloggers. From 2008 to 2012 I traveled around the USA to multiple competitions and festivals, and traveled to Salzkotten Germany for my first International Dance Festival. While the Bailey Mountain Cloggers prepared for competitions, we would learn 13 routines in a matter of two weeks, and compete them all the way to Nationals at the Stomping Grounds in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. While I was with the Bailey Mountain Cloggers, we won 5 National and World Championships, and in the last 15 years, I am the only past and present clogger from the Bailey Mountain Cloggers that was in every routine that won those championships, a huge honor that I am very proud of. 2012 was a big year for me as I became team captain of the Bailey Mountain Cloggers, and I was also honored to become a representative of the 2012 class of America’s Clogging Hall of Fame, an All American Clogger. Once I graduated from college my competition days were over, but I still love to clog here and there and get funny looks in the grocery store.
Q. What is the most challenging thing about clogging?
A. There are a lot of challenging things about clogging, ranging from rhythm, sound and style. You have to put your mind to it and work through the pain sometimes. But the hardest thing for me was the day I graduated from college and the team. My whole life I worked to fulfill my dream to become a Bailey Mountain Clogger. They were my family and it was hard to leave them. But unbeknownst to me, 3 months later I would start a new journey in life at Dolly Parton’s Stampede, and all those years of dancing and acting helped me prepare for Skeeter.
Q. Was this your first International Dance Festival?
A. This was not my first International Dance Festival. In 2011 I danced in Salzkotten Germany with the Bailey Mountain Cloggers. Now going to Festival OP Roakeldais Warffum this past June was the second time I have represented the USA overseas.
Q. Do you have any plans to continue clogging?
A. I would like to get back into clogging as a judge for competitions, or maybe one day I’ll compete again. But if I ever get another opportunity to travel overseas to represent the USA again, I would say YES in a heartbeat!