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.
Unbeknownst to the audience, the props we use on stage sometimes have a life all their own! As Fancy Free Cloggers made final adjustments to our routine for the Hee Haw show at Smoky Mountain Encore, the stuffed toy pig carried by one of my teammates was deemed too small to be visually effective. Our team seamstress has a pattern and can make one for future shows (we plan on using this dance throughout the year), but she didn't have time to create a custom pig before the trip to Tennessee...
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.
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.
The national dance list/fun dance challenge has left me with a dilemma: do I cut long, repetitive songs to better fit into performances, or leave them as they are so my teammates and I can nail the routines at fun dances?
"Pretty Little Angel Eyes" is officially in the repertoire for Fancy Free Cloggers! When's the next fun dance?
FFC enjoyed learning this bouncy routine as part of the national dance list/fun dance challenge. Many teammates already knew and loved the routine but hadn't performed it in years. The rest fell in love as soon as I played the music!
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!
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.
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!
If the combination of disco costumes, clogging, and the Smoky Mountains is wrong, I don't wanna be right! I'm totally cool with leaving out the bear, though!
Most of my team made the drive from Ohio to Tennessee on Thursday. 'Twas a fantastic day for a drive! (Yep, JT brought sexy back; I'm bringing the word 'twas back.)
Driving to Gatlinburg was actually my first excursion out of the house since surgery last week! My teen passenger was willing to take the wheel for a while if I needed a rest, but that wasn't necessary.
Happy days (and clogging workshops) are here again! Once the flurry of activities to begin a new year settles down, clogging workshops are a welcome excuse to get out and dance!
My first workshop for 2017 was Cabin Fever, hosted by the Buckeye Country Cloggers! This workshop relocated a short distance to Mansfield, OH for a bit more space after packing the school gym in Bellville, OH last year. Not sure where it will be next year after filling this new venue, too!
October is the perfect time to dust off that classic clogging routine to Credence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising". The song's spooky vibe sets the tone for a Halloween performance! Your team can also have a chuckle at the famous misinterpretation of lyrics: There's a bathroom on the right!
Imagine you wake up one morning to find a clogger's dream come true: the closet is full of dance shoes in every color! How will you decide which shoes to wear on any given day?
Grab a pencil and take this quiz, of course!
When you attend a clogging event, how many fun dance routines do you know by heart? (I mean REALLY know, without back-rowing it.) Twelve percent? Fifty percent?
If you're Nelson at the World of Clogging workshop fun dance, that number must be close to ninety-eight percent!
I have a confession. An embarrassing one, for someone who has been clogging for years:
I don't know the Rocky Top dance
Yes, the routine choreographed by JoAnn Gibbs that EVERY clogger knows. Every clogger except me. (Hanging my head in shame.)
Clogging steps are named after people, places, songs, and frequently, after animals. I happen to be hankering for a trip to the zoo, so here is a list of my top 10 animal steps:
A song is forever changed once you learn a clogging routine to it. Years later, that tune can come across the radio, and you find yourself marking steps because there's at least one part you still remember!
We love our clogging steps! Unlike the way it works with cats or children, it is perfectly acceptable to have a favorite clogging step or two.
Here are a few of mine:
Clogging workshops are great! You get to learn new routines, dance until your legs are killing you (and then dance some more), meet cloggers from other areas, and purchase a snazzy new clogging tee shirt or a pair of dance shoes!
The Clog Wild Cloggers of Alabama have a fun video making the rounds on the internet. Two of their dancers were kicking up their heels at a concert and the singer, Jeff Bates, brought them onstage to perform for the crowd!
The dancers, Kay Trimm and Jan Lankford, reacted as so many of us would in their situation: break into a round of Ida Red, then freestyle until the music ends!