Shake, wattle, and roll: a clogging turkey contest!


It started with an afternoon of simple practice drills. One of our dances for upcoming Christmas shows requires a group including several less-experienced cloggers to enter the stage doing triples as they move to their assigned spots.

We set aside practice time to focus on the concept of covering distance while performing accurate clogging steps. After several rounds of triples traveling across the room, we moved on to turkeys. That's when the real fun began!

I explained how folks at workshop fun dances sometimes exaggerate the turkey steps in "500 Miles" or "All Shook Up" to the point where neighbors face serious danger of being run over!

The class was game to try it and displayed impressive flapping turkey wings, gobble sound effects, many giggles, and a new variation on the turkey step by the time this practice exercise was done.

We decided that a turkey contest should take place during the class before Thanksgiving. I would provide appropriate music and Evie (team director) would provide a prize. Dancers would each be allotted 20 seconds to perform. Dancers could use the 20 seconds however they chose, but there must be recognizable turkey steps in the performance.

By the next practice, rumors swirled that some cloggers were including costumes in their contest preparations!

Gotta love iTunes for making it easy to find crazy music! We did "The Turkey Pokey" as performed by The Kiboomers to set the appropriate mood. The song is exactly what you would imagine it to be...

Song choices for the actual contest included "Turkey In The Straw" by Phil Rosenthal (I rarely hear a version with lyrics and was pleased to find this one!) and "Any Turkey Can Tango" by Silly Sally.

Our two judges (Evie and her husband, Ivan) ended up with a difficult job - the contestants were hilarious! It was a wing flappin', tail feather shakin', gobblin' good show!

Tough judges! Evie, Ivan, and the turkeys (plush and frozen).

Tough judges! Evie, Ivan, and the turkeys (plush and frozen).

At last, Elysia, who wowed us with her energetic performance AND an adorable turkey headdress she created with feathers in her hair and 2 wobbly eyes glued to a headband, was named Grand Champion. If something goes terribly wrong with your turkey preparations on this Thanksgiving Day, you may want to swing by her house: first prize was a frozen turkey breast!

My favorite part about this contest is that it began with cloggers just having fun at practice. I may never look at the turkey step the same again!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Does your team have any strange contests?