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.
Smoky Mountain Encore workshop in Gatlinburg, TN is a favorite for Fancy Free Cloggers. Many non-dancing family members tag along to enjoy a mini vacation while we clog our feet off. Our young dancers were particularly excited about this year’s Disney theme and the chance to dress up as princesses in the show.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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 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."
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.
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.