Clogger's Dictionary: Step notation (noun)


How does a clogger explain a step without video or demonstration? Step notation! A common synonym is step breakdown.

Here's my official definition: 

Step notation (noun): A written method of describing clogging steps so that a dancer can learn the step from scratch or recall the step later. 

Try to watch when a class of beginners are handed their first cue sheets. I don't what they expect, but their eyes get big when they receive something like this:


The example above illustrates two types of step notation commonly found on clogging cue sheets. 

The first description of the step designates a line for the left foot and a line for the right foot, with each portion of the step placed on the appropriate line.

The second description style lists the entire step on one line, while the foot performing each step segment appears on the line below.

Both methods require patience and attention to detail to type accurately. Respect to all you choreographers who put in the effort to make your cue sheets clear!

Those beginners who are puzzled by their first cue sheets soon learn to make sense of it all, and then there's no stopping them from learning steps and routines from all over!

Do you remember the first time you tried to read step notation on a cue sheet?