Ten years of clogging calls for a party! (And cake!) Riverside Cloggers of Point Pleasant, WV spent St. Patrick's Day celebrating their first decade as a team. The official anniversary was March 10, but most of the dancers were in Gatlinburg for Smoky Mountain Encore that weekend.
Team director Erica Haning and helpers decorated the party room beautifully, including this memory table showcasing important Riverside history. A smaller display at the entrance featured a guestbook and photo album.
Erica reports that becoming a clogging director was one of her childhood dreams. She prepared herself by taking on leadership and administrative roles while dancing on other teams. The experience Erica gained while teaching, booking shows, and keeping treasury books helped make Riverside Cloggers a reality.
(FUN FACT: Riverside's director loves clogging so much, she sports a clogging tattoo!)
Mothman even joined in the fun! Instead of being a harbinger of disaster, he opted to don some green and greet guests on their way to the party...
(FUN FACT: "Mothman Cloggers" was in the running as a possible name for this team, but it didn't stick.)
This photo was taken well before everyone finished bringing in food contributions. If you left this party hungry, it's your own fault! Special thanks to whoever was responsible for the amazing BBQ sandwich and the oreo "dirt" pudding! I ate too much, yet not enough of both dishes.
Well-known clogging writer Barb Elko of Pennsylvania brought congrats from the Pioneer Cloggers. I was happy to represent Fancy Free Cloggers from Ohio in sending love and well-wishes to our sister team.
Friendship, smiles, and a love of dance ruled the day for Riverside Cloggers.
A Riverside Clogger mom commissioned Dixie Layton-Walker to make the cake as shown in the cover photo. Check out the detail in this clogging shoe cake decoration - wow!
Energized by a good meal, these cloggers hit the dance floor! "All Shook Up" was one of the first numbers.
Cloggers huddled around the computer screen to watch a video montage of Riverside through the years. A photo of departed teammate Shirley smiled over the proceedings like the guardian angel she is.
Erica invited everyone who has ever clogged in one of Riverside's shows to join the group photo.
The future looks bright for this fun group of dancers! Erica's plan for Riverside Cloggers are to keep working hard, grow more and more as a family, and basically just continue doing this dance we all have a passion for.
She cautions any aspiring team directors that it is a lot of work, and your heart absolutely has to be in it. Patience is also a huge factor. Her advice is to keep your focus on the path you want your team to go and not let anyone try to change that path.
Watching her team perform is a great source of pride for Erica, going all the way back to the very first Riverside Cloggers show. A local nursing home invited them to perform at a family event before they even had team tee shirts. Not wanting to turn the nursing home down, the group decided on a dress code of blue jeans and create-your-own-team-shirt! Riverside has come a long way since then, but that first show is a perfect example of their "can-do" attitude.
It was no surprise to find Erica's mom proudly sporting a Riverside Cloggers tee shirt. Lookin' good, Cathy!
Clogging family can include actual blood relatives like Brenna and Josie, grandma/granddaughter members of Riverside, but matching smiles and eyes are not a requirement. Erica considers every member of Riverside Cloggers to be part of her family, and she feels this is the most rewarding part of being a team director.
Congrats on your first ten years, Riverside Cloggers! Keep dancing!
Erica concluded this interview with life wisdom we all can take to heart:
"Everyone should always remember not to take clogging, your team, or your teammates for granted. They're usually always the type of people you need in your life to give you confidence and support, not only in clogging...but also in life!"
Thank you to Erica Haning and the Riverside Cloggers for sharing their special day and contributing to this post.
What anniversaries or milestones does YOUR dance team celebrate?