Clogger's Dictionary: Call it (verb)


Let's add to our clogging vocabulary! Today's word is a verb, often uttered as a plea, common in clogging classes everywhere: call it. Synonym: cue it.

My official definition is as follows:

Call it (verb): The act of saying the next steps in a clogging routine aloud, generally about 2 beats before the step is to be performed, in order to allow cloggers in the process of learning said routine to get through the dance or a section of the dance for practice purposes.

That turned out to be way more complicated than I expected!

Calling it starts off as a perfectly normal step in the learning process for a dance. The instructor may teach the intro, then part A. By now, it's probably time to try that much with music so the students can get a feel for the timing.

Once a reasonable comfort level is achieved, the instructor repeats this process for part B, part C, etc. By now, the different sections and song sequence are probably a jumble in the students' brains, so the instructor will need to call it until the students are able to manage both steps and sequence.

Let's take a moment to appreciate the skill required to call it, by the way! In most cases, the instructor is performing the dance while giving cues. This requires him/her to dance the end of one step while calling another step and potentially dealing with a microphone cord AND watching students in the mirror to see which steps are causing the most trouble. Multi-tasking at its finest!

Workshop fun dances frequently include new "cue it and do it" routines, which allow every dancer to get out on the dance floor and give it a try, new and experienced cloggers alike!

However, there does come a time when an instructor must dish out tough love and declare "NO CALLS" to prepare for a show. This may lead to a few anxious run-throughs of a dance with multiple mistakes, but ultimately creates more confident dancers.

Thank you to the instructors out there who know when to call it and know when to implement no calls!

This post was inspired by the following reader email (posted here with her permission):

Hi, Sheila!  Enjoyed reading your blog!  Have you ever thought of “Call-it” for your journal?  When our “Beginner Clogging” classes start every Fall the new cloggers (and the old cloggers that haven’t been to class in awhile!) say “Call-it” when the music starts to make sure the instructor has the microphone in her hand!

Susan Carey, Cornfield Cloggers, New Castle, Indiana

Thank you to Susan for her suggestion! What word would YOU add to the Clogger's Dictionary? Reply in the comments or send me an email!