High energy and lowrider trucks: UCA's Shindig in the Valley 2019

Fancy Free Cloggers traveled to Maggie Valley, NC for our first competition of the year. Things have changed a bit since we last clogged at the Stompin’ Ground; Shindig in the Valley is now part of the United Clogging Association circuit. This means a different rule set, different group of competitors, and a new vibe.

For a day, I clogged with Kings!

Still recovering from Smoky Mountain Encore, I made a much shorter drive to Columbus, Ohio for a rare opportunity hosted by the Yellow Rose Cloggers.

One Day Only: Clog with Josh provided a rare opportunity to learn from Josh King, an acclaimed clogging instructor who originally hails from Texas but will soon be returning with his family to Melbourne, Australia.

Even if you don’t know his name, you probably know some of his choreography. Does “All Shook Up” ring a bell?

It's a CLOG world after all: Smoky Mountain Encore 2019

Smoky Mountain Encore workshop in Gatlinburg, TN is a favorite for Fancy Free Cloggers. Many non-dancing family members tag along to enjoy a mini vacation while we clog our feet off. Our young dancers were particularly excited about this year’s Disney theme and the chance to dress up as princesses in the show.

New wallpaper and...a clogging stage? Homescapes game holds a fun surprise.

Regarding phone games, I haven’t progressed beyond Words with Friends. Shout out to high school classmate Aaron, my toughest opponent! However, a screenshot from Fancy Free Clogger Dustin expanded my gaming repertoire at least temporarily to include Homescapes.

Why? The game contains a surprise clogging reference!

Let the clogging choreo flow!

Who does the choreography for your clogging team? For Fancy Free Cloggers, it varies. We use routines learned at workshops (often with minor tweaks, such as cutting the music). We also have routines choreographed by a single team member. However, the dances we seem to love best are those we create as a team.

Cabin Fever 2019: You'd better (ripple x 3) put on your cloggin' shoes!

Buckeye Country Cloggers know how to host a fun workshop AND pack it up into cute prize baskets! (More on that later.) I suspect they possess some ability to control weather, as their workshop weekend ushered in a welcome relief from sub-zero temps.

OFFICIAL COMPLAINT: If they control the weather with dance, the cue sheet is noticeably absent from my syllabus. Bummer!

Betty's Bein' Bad! National dance list/fun dance challenge continues with some confusion.

The national dance list/fun dance challenge continues at Fancy Free Studios. Evie requested “Betty’s Bein’ Bad” as our next routine to tackle because she danced it years ago and loved it.

I never learned this dance previously but set to work preparing it for Tuesday night clogging class. My cue sheet states the routine was choreographed “before 1986.” The song was released in 1985 by Sawyer Brown, so this all checks out. Do yourself a favor and watch Sawyer’s video for this tune, if only to relive the colorful joy of 1980s clothing.

You can't plan this stuff; surprise artist visitor at clogging class.

Anyone serving as admin for a clogging team’s website or social media account is familiar with this story: A message arrives from a stranger asking about dance class. He or she obtains all the pertinent info, including directions to the studio. Sometimes they show up, sometimes they don’t…

I thought I was dealing with this scenario when I replied to Corinna’s inquiries before Fancy Free’s regular Tuesday night clogging class.

Come out of your shell at Hoedown Island! (Part ONE)

Even without our fearless leader, the show went on for Fancy Free Cloggers at Hoedown Island this June. (Don’t feel bad for Evie; she was vacationing at the beach!) We trekked to Natural Bridge State Park (Slade, KY) for a cookout followed by a night of dancing.

Dance book review: Daisy Tappytoes Dares to Dance

Sometimes, only the power of dance can save the day. If that dancing happens to be provided by a talking fawn wearing red tap shoes, so much the better!

Daisy Tappytoes Dares to Dance is part of the Magic Animal Friends series, written by Daisy Meadows. Does that name sound familiar? It's the same author (actually, group of authors) who brought us Tasha the Tap Dance Fairyfeatured in an earlier book review.

The Murphy marquee is a grand place to be!

The Murphy Theatre in Wilmington, Ohio is an absolute gem! My clogging team was honored to take part in the venue's 100th birthday celebration, which lasted an entire week. 

Renovation and restoration projects have been underway and are still ongoing to restore this theatre to its original glory. The progress made since we danced in the Christmas show is impressive!

Brave the heat and stay on beat at the county fair.

Cloggers and county fairs just go together! Somewhere between the pretty baby contests, the livestock exhibits, the booths of everything sugary and fried, we find a spot to plug in a sound system and dance. Why does it always have to be so HOT?!

Teams everywhere have been posting pictures and videos from their own fair shows. Y'all look great!

World of Clogging Workshop 2018, now with puffy eyes!

FUN FACT: World of Clogging instructors make fabulous babysitters. Jeff, Johanna, and Corinne should start Baby-sitter's Club: Clogger Edition. I would totally read that book series!

How do I know about their babysitting skills? From experience, unfortunately. 

Cheering for the "enemy": a great day of dance at Dollywood Clogging Classic 2018!

Dollywood Clogging Classic 2018 was a big deal for Fancy Free Cloggers. Three team members danced in their first ever clogging competition, another teammate returned to competition after an absence of many years, and yet another teammate hit the competition stage again following an injury last year.

We brought with us a crowd of spectators unused to watching clogging competitions. Not just family of the new folks, mind you; the allure of Dollywood put more butts in the seats from families of our veteran cloggers as well. 

Follow the butterfly road: a day to frolic at Dollywood Clogging Classic 2018!

Registration for the Dollywood Clogging Classic includes admission into the park for both Saturday and Sunday at a very reasonable price. Since Saturday competition was devoted to Amateur categories, Fancy Free Cloggers had a full day to roam the park!

One caveat: Laying out your tickets and then forgetting to grab them on the way out the door gets you a longer scenic drive. Ask Dustin about that, ha-ha!

Turn left after the 385th Cracker Barrel: journey to Dollywood Clogging Classic 2018!

The Dollywood Clogging Classic competition has a major advantage over many events because there is so much to do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! My carload also found plenty to do along the way.

The Mighty Cruze departed after Molly attended a meeting for her impending high school graduation. Seriously, Molly? Get your priorities straight! DOLLY is waiting.

Clogging Craziness Workshop may improve your sanity in unexpected ways.

I arrived at Clogging Craziness Workshop on April 14 with a bad attitude. My mind was filled with (non-clogging related) worry, and I was exhausted. Despite paying in advance, I almost stayed home.

BUT... my teammate was teaching a class, I want to support clogging events in my area, and I figured a day of dance might do me good.