What ripples? Altering clogging routines to fit different rule sets.


Once a team dances a clogging routine for a while, it's easy to overlook the components of the routine. Case in point: It took WEEKS for Fancy Free Cloggers competition team to realize we had not one, but THREE ripples in our open line!

FFC attends competitions sanctioned by different clogging organizations. The categories and rules vary for each, but our competition routines generally work for all with minor tweaks.

At one competition, FFC received a score sheet comment (and probably a deduction) due to an open line (aka formations line or line formations) containing a ripple. This is a category where rules vary between organizations, and we previously danced the routine at competitions where ripples or progressive movements are allowed.

No problem! We'll replace that little arm movement ripple at the beginning and the routine will be fine! No need to rush - our next scheduled competition was with CCA, where ripples are allowed in open line per CCA rules. We'll wait to change it after that!

The day arrived to change the routine. Evie suggested a simple turn to face front as a replacement for the arm movement ripple, which happens before the beat kicks in. A couple trials with music to determine exact counts for the turn fixed the dance, or so we thought...

I believe it was Bob, one of FFC's instructors, who pointed out a couple weeks later that our ending also contained a ripple. It absolutely did! How did we miss that? A minor adjustment eliminated the ripple. Done.

Nope! Another week or two passed before we found yet another quick ripple in the middle of the routine! That one was a great match with the music, which is probably why we overlooked it. The ripple felt like part of the song! A 4-beat step now takes the place of a 2-beat step each line performed separately.

I'm feeling confident we caught all the ripples now, ha-ha! It amazes me that it took so long for an entire adult team to find them. This particular dance will be retired from competition after September. We'll likely continue to perform it in shows, maybe with that middle ripple added back in. We're excited to create a new open line for our adult team to compete next year.

If your clogging team plans to compete with different organizations, be sure to double-check and triple-check your dances for compliance with the rules. Then, check one more time...

Have YOU adjusted a dance routine to meet different competition or performance requirements?