Clogger's Dictionary: Back-row (verb)


Every hobby comes with its own vocabulary and clogging is no exception. Today's focus is a common clogging verb: back-row.

You will not find this listed in any dictionary as a verb (apologies to all of my former English teachers), but you know what it means.


I don't know that dance very well, but I can back-row it!
After missing a few weeks of dance class to recover from an ankle sprain, I had to back-row everything except Fishin' In The Dark.

If you MUST have a formal definition, I'll take a stab at it.

Back-row (verb): The act of dancing a routine you sorta kinda know only when you can follow a dancer who is capable of front-rowing the routine.

(It should be noted that this doesn't require actually standing in the back row, and dancers in the back row may not be back-rowing a dance. You can, in fact, front-row a dance while standing in the back row. Clear as mud, right?)

You will find me enthusiastically back-rowing several clogging classics at any workshop fun dance. The key is to find someone who clearly knows the routine, but isn't fancying it up too much. Try to get directly behind that dancer and keep your eyes glued to his/her feet until the dance sequence starts to make sense. When in doubt, throw in a couple basics or shuffles!

There's no shame in back-rowing a dance. It implies a level of effort and a go-for-it attitude, placing you way ahead of the dancers with their butts in chairs.

Of course, there are times when it is inappropriate for a dancer in any row to back-row a dance. Performances and competitions require EVERY dancer to front-row the routine, regardless of position on the dance floor. No excuses!

At the next fun dance,  get behind me to back-row Ida Red - I've got that one!

I'll be lookin' for someone to follow on Callin' Baton Rouge...

What word would YOU add to the Clogger's Dictionary?