Clogging travels

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.

Clogging Craziness Workshop may improve your sanity in unexpected ways.

I arrived at Clogging Craziness Workshop on April 14 with a bad attitude. My mind was filled with (non-clogging related) worry, and I was exhausted. Despite paying in advance, I almost stayed home.

BUT... my teammate was teaching a class, I want to support clogging events in my area, and I figured a day of dance might do me good.

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.

Get out and clog! Cabin Fever Workshop 2018

Cooped up cloggers in Ohio are ready to dance! Approximately 162 of us came out for the Cabin Fever workshop at Baku Grotto Hall in Mansfield. There was even a clogger from Canada in attendance! Fancy Free Cloggers brought three dancers to this event, one sporting a "spectator" armband due to a recent knee injury.

Get out and clog! Cabin Fever Workshop 2018: THE PREQUEL

Nothing cures winter doldrums like a clogging workshop! It was my privilege to join approximately 161 delightful folks in Mansfield, Ohio last weekend to dance it out at Cabin Fever, hosted by the Buckeye Country Cloggers.

Every trip has its challenges. Same as last year, I drove the 140ish miles to Mansfield the night before Cabin Fever. The difficulty came in trying to eat dinner Friday.

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

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!

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.

The early clogger gets the discount hotel rate...

Lesson learned. Do NOT hesitate to book your hotel room for a clogging competition or workshop!

My team will be attending the NCHC National Clogging Competition in September. It will take place at the Opryland Hotel! Of course, there are discount hotel rates for cloggers. Of course, there are limitations on those discounts.

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."

Grace is NOT my middle name...

While Grace is a lovely name, my mama was wise enough NOT to bestow it upon this clumsy clogger...

At Melissa Pack's teach of "Old Time Pickin' " (advanced traditional with buck), I managed to slice my lower shin with a heel tap. Close examination of the cue sheet reveals no such move in the choreography.

Friendly competition at the World of Clogging Championships!

Yes, I am an adult who competes in clogging. One problem with this is a shortage of adult teams. While performing in front of other cloggers and getting feedback from judges is always helpful, it isn't exactly impressive to display a bunch of trophies you won because you were the ONLY team in your age division...

This was not the case at the World of Clogging Championships in Cincinnati, OH this weekend! Clogging Premier from Minnesota gave Fancy Free Cloggers excellent competition all day long.

Good sportsmanship is alive and well in the clogging world!

The dressing room of a clogging competition is a crowded, hectic place. Costume pieces flung about during quick changes, bobby pins and safety pins everywhere, dancers making sure they have every piece of the next costume on, a crowd around the mirror, and the smell of hairspray in the air...

The dressing room is also a place to make new friends, and frequently, to witness acts of good sportsmanship.

Costumes hangin' on the line: Dollywood Clogging Classic 2017, PART TWO

Sometimes, a dancer just has to take one for the team. I saw examples of this all day long at the Dollywood Clogging Classic, starting with my own director.

Evie opened her garment bag at Sunday's competition and was surprised to discover a wet costume on top. She dug through the bag to find every costume soaked. Remember how it rained all day Friday and Saturday? Apparently, Evie's car had a leaky trunk!

Dancin' at Dolly's house: Dollywood Clogging Classic 2017, PART ONE

Fancy Free Cloggers were on the road again last weekend with a trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to compete in the Dollywood Clogging Classic! Added bonus: Dolly was in town!!!

I had the pleasure of making this road trip with Jim, our 94-year-old clogger. He is a hoot! We of course sang the chorus of "Rocky Top" when we passed those exits. (I suspect Jim turned off his hearing aids when this happened...) We also made a game of counting Cracker Barrel restaurants; they are EVERYWHERE as you approach the Pigeon Forge area!

Time to Disco: Smoky Mountain Encore!

Smoky Mountain Encore Clogging Workshop is worth the drive from Ohio to Tennessee! Or the flight from Florida, or the drive/flight from Canada! 

Not only do you get the chance to enjoy Gatlinburg, you have up to ten classes to choose from at any given time during the workshop! 

Naomi Fleetwood-Pyle taught an intermediate-level routine to Carrie Underwood's "Dirty Laundry."  If you did not take this class, pull out your syllabus NOW and read part C of Naomi's cue sheet!