How do cloggers refill the tank? Five tips...


We’ve all been there: Practice is not even close to over. There are still 5 more songs to go in the show. Sweat drips down your forehead into your eyeballs. You are drained.

How does a clogger keep up the energy and get it done?

1. Start a team spirit ritual for difficult dances

The tweens/teens on my team are working on a new competition routine, the toughest one they have ever done. A fun routine, but also an energy zapper. (I’m learning it as a fill-in, and it does wear a body out!) A couple practices ago, we took our places facing the back to try the dance yet again. As the intro music began, 13-year-old Jasmine called, “Team clap on three! One, two, three!” We all gave a clap, chuckled, and performed the dance one more time (and one more time again, ha-ha) with smiles on our faces.

Jasmine continues to call a team clap when we are tired, but she only does it for this specific dance. I now look forward to it when lining up. My favorite part is that she took the initiative to start this herself. She knew her teammates were fading, and she stepped up to keep us going. Thanks, Jasmine!

2. Use the buddy system

My childhood clogging team performed many dances where you move around the circle and switch partners ("Ragtime Annie," etc.). My favorite partner for these routines was Corky! Each time we made it around the circle to dance with each other, a friendly competition ensued to see who had more energy left. It kept us both going around the circle! ("Corky" and her family moved away and I don't know what her last name was. Wherever you are, Corky, - she probably goes by Courtney now - I remember you fondly and thoroughly enjoyed dancing with you back in the day!)

3. Let the audience pump you up

Some dances have an applause moment built in; use it!

Last year, my teammate Dustin choreographed an awesome routine to "Uptown Funk". It is another high energy routine that the audience loves. The choreography builds up beautifully to a point where all dancers form a straight line across the stage for double doubles. This is a guaranteed crowd reaction! When I feel my energy failing, the applause gives me a boost to finish out the dance properly!

4. Dance it for the one who loves that routine

Every routine is somebody's favorite, and you always have energy for your favorite dance! Find out who loves each routine, and try to match that teammate's enthusiasm.

My teammate Krista (age 12) LOVES "Banjo" as choreographed by Jeff Driggs. She is ready to dance it at any point during clogging class. I thoroughly enjoy the routine myself, but dancing it with Krista is even more fun - when she is dancing her heart out, I have to give my all to do her favorite routine justice!

5. Smile at the inside jokes

Funny things happen at practice. Someone sings the wrong lyrics to a song, someone messes up in a hilarious way. Use those laughs to get through a routine when you are exhausted! Ask any of my adult teammates about the Roxanne Incident during "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree."  I was NEVER able to perform that gallop without smiling ever again!

Whatever method works for you, keep up the energy, cloggers! That's what we do!

What tips help YOU refill the fuel tank when you need to keep clogging?