My first four weeks with Tapped Out, the world's clogging team.

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Clogging in my oh-so-glamorous unfinished basement is no longer a solitary pursuit, at least not on Monday nights. My new teammates in Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, and other faraway lands dance right along with me during Tapped Out class! 

When Joel Harrison of Capital City Dance Shack (Lincoln, Nebraska) opened this class to virtual participants with no previous affiliation with the studio, the clogging world was abuzz. The class was originally meant for their own former competitive dancers. Someone thought bigger when dancers who no longer live in the area expressed interest, and CCDS invited us all!

After messaging back and forth with Whitney, a dear clogging friend in Tennessee, we decided to join on a buddy system. Whitney had pretty much made up her mind, and she helped me get over concerns that the class would be WAY above my clogging level and/or be highly focused on hip hop.  (Not hating on hip hop, it's just not my thing...)

Class one

Borrow portable speaker from my handsome gentleman so I can hear over my taps - CHECK!

Exchange messages with Whitney - CHECK! She sent a photo of her computer screen as she prepared to couch clog during the live class. Her downstairs neighbor wouldn't take kindly to late night clogging overhead, so she will be dancing it another day.

Class began with agility drills emphasizing drag-slides. These will be great for improving my technique!

Much to my relief, the first routine is a fun traditional line. It's challenging and contains that dang twisty heel walk step I've been avoiding forever - time to finally learn it! 

The instructor messed with my head by teaching the intro steps last - my brain refused to place those two steps in front of the steps we learned earlier. My video feed also started freezing near the end. 

Plenty to practice for the week, but it's not overwhelming. I'm impressed, Tapped Out!

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Class two

I've put in some practice time this week. Twisty heels are not up to speed, but getting better.

Cool stuff in class: prize drawings! One dancer won a free month of Tapped Out class - congrats! Olivia Harrison of Shoes Plus donated two pairs of clogging shoes. One pair for a dancer in need (Tapped Out members can submit nominations) and one pair for a Tapped Out dancer. Heather Hughes won the drawing and generously donated her shoes to go to another dancer in need!

The folks at CCDS are clearly working hard to make this a good experience. One dancer suggested a quick breakdown video of the steps taught each week to make practice easier. The instructors promptly posted one. Great suggestion!

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Class three

Attending class tonight without Whitney on the line - BOO! She spent part of last week in the hospital and won't be home to watch live. I spent the weekend doing Clog Camp at my studio and didn't get as much practice time as I would like. Life happens. That's the beauty of having access to the class video; you can catch up whenever your schedule allows.

Still loving the dance routine and the progression of agility drills! The drills are teaching me new types of pullbacks. I'm confused about grab-offs; something isn't clicking for me there. Will research more later.

Great class, Tapped Out!

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Class four

Whitney is NOT quitting the team, but her gallbladder did! Three days post-op, she's attending class via computer and says she's "mentally clogging" with the group . She won't be physically clogging for four to six weeks, per doctor's orders.

We finished the traditional routine tonight! I have lots of work to do before it's at a performance level, but I'm looking forward to it.

Overview

At the time of this posting, there are 84 members in the online Tapped Out group. (Not sure how many of us are active members vs people serving as admins, etc.)

I am thoroughly impressed with the work CCDS puts in to make this a great experience! Joel even posted a quick video about the difference between grab-offs and double pullbacks when I couldn't figure it out! WOW!

I've been wanting to push myself and learn more clogging steps and techniques, but advanced classes at workshops are usually taught way too quickly for me.  I'm learning a great deal from these Tapped Out classes so far. They teach four to six eight-counts per week, plus there's usually something new in the agility drill. It definitely requires work, but one week of falling behind doesn't leave a dancer completely unable to catch up.

The feeling of community from attending the live classes adds far more fun that simply watching a random video on YouTube to learn new steps.

Even if the next routine is beyond my level,  there will still be plenty to take away from the class.  Tapped Out is lining up performance opportunities at upcoming clogging events - can't wait! I'll be in for the traditional routine at least!

If you've been thinking about joining, now is a great time. We'll probably be starting a new routine Monday night.  Current price is $24 per month. I feel the class is totally worth the money!

To all my Tapped Out teammates: See you Monday night! Wherever you are, know that you're virtually dancing in an Ohio basement.  :)

Thank you to Whitney for getting me started in Tapped Out. Wishing you a speedy recovery! That gallbladder had a bad attitude...

THANKS, CAPITAL CITY DANCE SHACK!

Are there any clogging steps YOU have avoided learning for some reason? I finally conquered apple jacks after the Florida Clogging Festival. Glad these classes are pushing me to get that twisty heel walk at last!