Think harder

To cut, or not to cut a long song?

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?

What ripples? Altering clogging routines to fit different rule sets.

Once a team dances a clogging routine for a while, it's easy to overlook the components of the routine. Case in point: It took WEEKS for Fancy Free Cloggers competition team to realize we had not one, but THREE ripples in our open line!

FFC attends competitions sanctioned by different clogging organizations. The categories and rules vary for each, but our competition routines generally work for all with minor tweaks.

Home Sweet Studio!

My youngest nephew hopped on a plane from the Sunshine State to the Buckeye State last week for a visit with Aunt Sheila Jo and Uncle Handsome Gentleman. Yes, you read that correctly: he LEFT the land of Disney for vacation!

Having out-of-state family around always makes me appreciate my local area more. Things I take for granted because they're always around become special again when viewed through other eyes.

What's on the soundtrack to your clogging life?

Everything has a soundtrack; why not your clogging life? After much debate, I came up with mine. It dates me, and I care not one bit! Curious to see what others come up with. 

8. Walking On Sunshine (Katrina and the Waves)

This song SCREAMS happy! Reminds me of how a new clogger feels, falling in love with the dance. You do double toes EVERYWHERE - the grocery store, school hallways, the gas station, whatever.

(I did a quick search for my 5th or 6th grade clogging picture to add here, but was unable to locate it. Will post later if it turns up.)

Clogging lets my feet do the singing! (You're welcome, world...)

True story: I am SUCH a bad singer, a receptionist at work once created an office rule that I was not allowed to sing. An accompanying rule stated that she was not allowed to dance...

This lack of talent in no way stops me from singing terribly in the car, so beware if we ever carpool! It does, however, give me a great appreciation for the singing talents of others. Last weekend, my schedule was filled with music!

New year, new clogging goals!

Happy new year, cloggers! While it is appropriate to take stock of where you are and where you want to be all year long, the new year just begs for a little self-reflection. When my clogging team returned to classes on Tuesday after a holiday break, many teammates were willing to share their clogging goals for 2017. (Thanks!) 

If you are still determining goals for the new year, you may find some inspiration here!

Clogging for a cause: Diabetes Dance Dare!

Have you heard about the Diabetes Dance Dare? If not, let's get you caught up - it is all the rage with cloggers who want to support a good cause!

According to the American Diabetes Association, someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes every 23 seconds. The dare is to post a video of yourself dancing for 23 seconds, make a donation to the association, and challenge 3 others to do the same.

Celebrities such as Shaq and Usher have created videos in support of the campaign, but I honestly never heard of this challenge until Kay Trimm and the Clog Wild Cloggers posted a video and challenged fellow cloggers to support the cause!

How you feel while clogging vs how you actually look...

Clogging feels awesome! I am bouncy and energetic and full of confidence as I make lots of noise with my taps! THEN, someone displays photos or video of my performance and ruins it all...

Okay, it doesn't really ruin things; it helps you perform better in the future. It's just SO awkward and painful in the moment. 

What's the big idea? Give your teammate's clogging idea a chance!

Not every suggestion for a clogging routine is a great one. Sometimes, an idea that shows promise is just not right, due to a lack of time or other resources.  Other times, only one team member has a vision for a particular plan, so it quietly dies.

The next time that happens, hear the clogger out! Otherwise, you could miss an amazing adventure.

I only recently learned this lesson.

Signs you are maturing as a competition clogger...

Those healthy enough and lucky enough to compete as cloggers into adulthood know that the game changes with time. (Not necessarily a bad thing.) Here are 10 signs that may indicate you are THERE:

10. All costumes must be planned around your most supportive bra - no exceptions!

9. On competition day, the timing of your Aleve/Tylenol dosage is considered crucial strategy.

The feet are willing, but the brain is full...

Face it: there is a limit to how many clogging steps/routines a person can absorb at once.

I find this fact to be particularly annoying during workshops. "Afternoon fog" is a term bandied about to describe the phenomenon. Basically, your mental fatigue and physical fatigue combine to make a step sequence or entire routine WAY more difficult than it would normally be. 

Have you complimented a clogger today?

Have you attended a well-run dance class or workshop lately? Watched a clogger nail a routine in competition or a demo? Is a dancer on your team working hard and progressing quickly from beginner to intermediate level? Did someone bring tasty snacks (no bake cookies, perhaps) to clogging class?

 

From the mouths of babes: 2016 clogging goals

I showed up to our first clogging class of 2016 with notebook in hand and invited my teammates to answer the following questions:

1. What are your clogging goals for 2016?
2. What is your plan to achieve each goal?

It was no surprise to see the kids flock to the table to share their goals. The surprise came the next morning when I read their responses and found plenty of advice to apply to my own life!