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.
Regarding phone games, I haven’t progressed beyond Words with Friends. Shout out to high school classmate Aaron, my toughest opponent! However, a screenshot from Fancy Free Clogger Dustin expanded my gaming repertoire at least temporarily to include Homescapes.
Why? The game contains a surprise clogging reference!
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.
Clogging, then fair food! (Don't try it the other way around.) After eight workshop classes, I searched the Osceola County Fair for the perfect snack before settling in to watch the Florida Clogging Festival clogging competition.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
In this final installment of the Florida Clogging Festival story, we discuss the adventures of the Fancy Free Cloggers at the fair and the competition itself! Previous posts discuss our trip from Ohio to Florida for the event and my experience attending the workshop.
The Florida Clogging Festival took place at Osceola Heritage Park.
Camron Thompson's professional photos of the Florida Clogging Festival are all over Facebook this week! He managed to beautifully capture the moods and moments of teams and individual dancers throughout the competition day.
Let's back it up to the morning and talk about the workshop that took place before competition!
Fancy Free Cloggers became snowbirds for the weekend as we traveled to the Florida Clogging Festival! We admit to texting a few smug photos to friends and family - it was 22 degrees back home when we took the competition stage! As usual, the trip was an adventure, and we have many stories to share...
Headed to a clogging competition soon? Looking for something to amuse you during the downtime?
Take a screenshot or print out this BINGO card and see who on your team can BINGO first!
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.
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.