Make the most of your clogging workshop experience!


Clogging workshops are great!  You get to learn new routines, dance until your legs are killing you (and then dance some more), meet cloggers from other areas, and purchase a snazzy new clogging tee shirt or a pair of dance shoes!

This weekend, I will be headed to my first workshop for the year (Cabin Fever Clogging Workshop in Bellville, OH). To make it even more fun, a few teammates will be joining me, including a teen who has never attended a clogging workshop before. While thinking about a few helpful tips to prepare him for the event, I ended up with a whole list of workshop advice!

1. Be ready for a busy day

Get a good night's sleep, sing along to some peppy music on the drive to the workshop, drink some fancy coffee - whatever you need to do to get going in the morning!

2. Wear comfortable clothes

You will be sweaty and gross all day. Dress accordingly. Bring a sweatshirt or long-sleeved shirt for the lunch break or other times when you may cool down quickly.

3. Take classes from as many instructors as possible

Sure, most of us have our favorites. Go ahead and take some classes from those instructors, but take a chance on someone new, too - you may find another favorite!

4. Listen to the music in advance

This doesn't apply as much to the small workshops, which may offer only one teach at a time, but it can be a big help when choosing classes at a larger workshop. (I'm not the only one who looks at a schedule and doesn't know most of the music, right?) Sometimes, I'll be able to eliminate a class right away because the lyrics are not appropriate for the types of shows we do. Sometimes, I will discover a new tune that I can't wait to dance to!

5. Challenge yourself

Take at least one class that is your humbling experience for the day. It's okay if you can't keep up for the whole dance; if you walk away with one new step or technique, it's a win. If you normally stay in beginner classes, try at least one intermediate. Intermediate dancers, try an advanced class. Advanced dancers, you can still learn a thing or two!

6. Talk to folks

Strike up a conversation with that person tying her shoes beside you. Make a new friend! I have a workshop friend I see a couple times each year; we have a standing agreement to partner up for the turns/hoedown/partner dance classes if we don't have a teammate in the class. (See you at Encore, Michelle!)

7. Prepare for pain

Some of us are no longer spring chickens. When attending a two-day workshop, pack whatever supplies are needed to recover from day one: heating pad, Epsom salts, foam roller, etc.

8. Go to the fun dance

Who cares if you know the dances or not?! Find a spot on the dance floor and follow somebody! Back-row those dances all you want! Learn some crazy new variation of a step!

9. Hand out some compliments

Did you have a favorite dance or instructor? Let that person know! Was there a special feature about the workshop that you loved? Share that with the person in charge! It takes work to organize and run these events. Let those hard-working people know that their efforts are appreciated!

10. Take something home

Find time to teach something from the workshop to your teammates. It will help you learn the material better, and give the whole team something new to perform.

What advice would you give to a first-time workshop attendee? What workshops will you be attending this year?