Fancy Free Cloggers traveled to Maggie Valley, NC for our first competition of the year. Things have changed a bit since we last clogged at the Stompin’ Ground; Shindig in the Valley is now part of the United Clogging Association circuit. This means a different rule set, different group of competitors, and a new vibe.
Buckeye Country Cloggers know how to host a fun workshop AND pack it up into cute prize baskets! (More on that later.) I suspect they possess some ability to control weather, as their workshop weekend ushered in a welcome relief from sub-zero temps.
OFFICIAL COMPLAINT: If they control the weather with dance, the cue sheet is noticeably absent from my syllabus. Bummer!
Clogging at the Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, WV is a special treat for Fancy Free Cloggers. It isn’t even our gig; the Riverside Cloggers kindly share their quirky “home turf” performance with us each year.
Even without our fearless leader, the show went on for Fancy Free Cloggers at Hoedown Island this June. (Don’t feel bad for Evie; she was vacationing at the beach!) We trekked to Natural Bridge State Park (Slade, KY) for a cookout followed by a night of dancing.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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:
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.
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!
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!
You know you're a clogger when... you take a trip and it's easier to choose souvenirs for your clogging family than your actual family, ha-ha!
I recently returned from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Peru, including a hike up Machu Picchu Mountain and a visit to the beautiful Machu Picchu site.
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.