Clogging family

Brave the heat and stay on beat at the county fair.

Cloggers and county fairs just go together! Somewhere between the pretty baby contests, the livestock exhibits, the booths of everything sugary and fried, we find a spot to plug in a sound system and dance. Why does it always have to be so HOT?!

Teams everywhere have been posting pictures and videos from their own fair shows. Y'all look great!

Cheering for the "enemy": a great day of dance at Dollywood Clogging Classic 2018!

Dollywood Clogging Classic 2018 was a big deal for Fancy Free Cloggers. Three team members danced in their first ever clogging competition, another teammate returned to competition after an absence of many years, and yet another teammate hit the competition stage again following an injury last year.

We brought with us a crowd of spectators unused to watching clogging competitions. Not just family of the new folks, mind you; the allure of Dollywood put more butts in the seats from families of our veteran cloggers as well. 

Follow the butterfly road: a day to frolic at Dollywood Clogging Classic 2018!

Registration for the Dollywood Clogging Classic includes admission into the park for both Saturday and Sunday at a very reasonable price. Since Saturday competition was devoted to Amateur categories, Fancy Free Cloggers had a full day to roam the park!

One caveat: Laying out your tickets and then forgetting to grab them on the way out the door gets you a longer scenic drive. Ask Dustin about that, ha-ha!

Turn left after the 385th Cracker Barrel: journey to Dollywood Clogging Classic 2018!

The Dollywood Clogging Classic competition has a major advantage over many events because there is so much to do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! My carload also found plenty to do along the way.

The Mighty Cruze departed after Molly attended a meeting for her impending high school graduation. Seriously, Molly? Get your priorities straight! DOLLY is waiting.

Riverside Cloggers celebrate a decade of dance!

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.

SAA-LUTE! Smoky Mountain Encore 2018

Fancy Free was in excellent company among the almost 1000 cloggers from all over (including the Czech Republic) making a journey to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for this annual dance workshop. There's also a clogging competition associated with this event.

Road to the crown: Miss Southeastern Clogger Pageant (PART TWO)

Interested in trying a clogger pageant? Kaley Conn and Summer Hanson from Clogging Connection (Florida) share the preparation techniques that helped them win crowns at the Miss Southeastern Clogger Pageant

Beauty and the beats: Miss Southeastern Clogger Pageant (PART ONE)

Anybody else clueless but curious about clogger pageants? I've seen ladies wearing crowns and sashes passing out awards at clogging competitions and that was pretty much the extent of my knowledge on this topic. 

Enter Kaley Conn, who was recently crowned Overall Queen for ages 12+ in the Miss Southeastern Clogger Pageant. One of Kaley's first missions as Queen is to spread the word about this pageant after she and a younger teammate both had wonderful experiences with the event

TWO are knighted Clogger of the Year!

Cloggers (and non-dancing folks) want their hard work and accomplishments recognized! Fancy Free holds an awards banquet to recap each year before a new one begins. It's also a great excuse to eat!

The audience doesn't know the half of it!

I feel sorry for the audience at big shows. Sure, they get to sit in comfy seats and get the best views of all the razzle dazzle, but they don't know the inside jokes that develop during rehearsal, the hustle and bustle of keeping performers and props where they need to be, the last-minute adjustments due to mistakes or malfunctions, or the goofy things we all do while waiting in the wings. The audience is missing out!

Holiday gifts for cloggers!

Even the savviest holiday shopper may find it difficult to check clogging relatives off the shopping list. It's not like you can camp outside the local clogging superstore on Black Friday and fill a cart with bargains. (We can dream about it, though!) Here's a list of ideas to get you started:

It doesn't have to be complicated.

Fancy Free Cloggers celebrated Halloween, which conveniently fell on our usual class night, with a simple party. Nothing crazy. Evie cooked up a pot of chili, everybody contributed a snack (My cheese ball was such hard work, ha-ha!), and we showed up in costumes, ready to dance and eat! Evie's Halloween decorations have been in the studio all month, so all she needed to do was set up a few tables. 

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

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! 

Clog. Search for monsters. Typical weekend, right?

Fancy Free Cloggers made our annual trek to West Virginia to perform with the Riverside Cloggers and enjoy the kookiness and spookiness that is the Mothman Festival. As usual, the town of Point Pleasant did not disappoint!

Walking 500 miles at NCHC Nationals...

The hotel was decorated for Alice In Wonderland, but "500 Miles" felt like the real theme at NCHC Nationals over Labor Day weekend. Dancers and spectators alike met their step goals for the day!

Why? The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is ENORMOUS! Don't bother being in a hurry to get anywhere. Just enjoy the experience; there is plenty to see while you figure out where stuff is.

The best-laid plans of cloggers...

Things were going so smoothly at FFC Studio! Recent rehearsals significantly improved our competition routines in preparation for NCHC Nationals in Nashville this weekend.

For once, Fancy Free Cloggers started the final practice without a list of last-minute changes in response to an injury or other emergency. We even finished competition stuff EARLY and started reviewing routines for an upcoming show with our friends the Riverside Cloggers!

Bring back your beginner fire!

Even the most enthusiastic veteran clogger benefits from a visit to beginner dance class! Remember when you first started, and double toes were AMAZING?! How you practiced EVERYWHERE, driving friends and family bonkers?  If those days and feelings seem far removed from your current outlook, hang out with a group of new dancers and remember the joy!

Return to Hoedown Island, with a surprise...

Fancy Free Cloggers made the trip to Natural Bridge State Park in Slade, KY for our annual cookout and featured night to perform at Hoedown Island!

This hidden treasure of the clogging world holds a fun dance every Saturday night during the season.

Clogging Connection in the Big Apple!

Clogging Connection brought Florida sunshine and impressive dance skills to the 11th Annual Dance Parade and Festival in New York City on May 20.

This parade began as a response to a New York Supreme Court case in 2006, which upheld an antiquated Cabaret Law from the 1920s, stating that social dancing is not a protected form of expression. The parade begins with a minute of silence for those around the world who cannot dance. This year's parade theme was "Dance for Peace."