Clogging class

National dance list/fun dance challenge!

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! 

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. 

Clogger's Dictionary: Step notation (noun)

How does a clogger explain a step without video or demonstration? Step notation! A common synonym is step breakdown.

Here's my official definition: 

Step notation (noun): A written method of describing clogging steps, so that a dancer can learn the step from scratch or recall the step later.

How do cloggers refill the tank? Five tips...

We’ve all been there: Practice is not even close to over. There are still 5 more songs to go in the show. Sweat drips down your forehead into your eyeballs. You are drained.

How does a clogger keep up the energy and get it done?

Twist and shout! Microphone cords are NOT my friends...

Some instructors make it look SO easy: they break down complicated clogging steps without having to stop and do the step in its entirety over and over to figure out the next instruction to give, they transition seamlessly between calling out counts/step names/portions of steps as needed, and they effortlessly run the music and microphone with no glitches whatsoever. Their hair still looks good after teaching all day, and I suspect their forehead sweat doesn't run down into their eyeballs.

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!

Get back into the swing of things!

Christmas/New Year's break is almost over! It will soon be time to return to dance class!

Don't know about you, but I'm expecting to feel a little rusty.

While my studio took only two weeks off (I guess it's technically three, since the last class before Christmas was our awards banquet), we were focused on routines for Christmas shows leading up to the break.

Shake, wattle, and roll: a clogging turkey contest!

It started with an afternoon of simple practice drills. One of our dances for upcoming Christmas shows requires a group including several less-experienced cloggers to enter the stage doing triples as they move to their assigned spots.

We set aside practice time to focus on the concept of covering distance while performing accurate clogging steps. After several rounds of triples traveling across the room, we moved on to turkeys. That's when the real fun began!

Clogger's Dictionary: Call it (verb)

Let's add to our clogging vocabulary! Today's word is a verb, often uttered as a plea, common in clogging classes everywhere: call it. Synonym: cue it.

My official definition is as follows:

Call it (verb): The act of saying the next steps in a clogging routine aloud, generally about 2 beats before the step is to be performed, in order to allow cloggers in the process of learning said routine to get through the dance or a section of the dance for practice purposes.

It's about so much more than double toes and cotton-eyed joes.

One of my teammates celebrated her 16th birthday at clogging class this week. It was neither a belated nor an early party; it was THE milestone day, and she chose to spend it dancing with us. It was a privilege to share this special time with Michaela, although she may have regretted her choice once we started singing Happy Birthday! (Yep, most of us should stick to dancing only.)

It's amazing how those who stand beside you in clogging class also stand beside you in life.

Please stand by: Technical difficulties in clogging.

"We've got a problem."

These words greeted me upon entering the clogging studio for dance class this week. One of our tech-savvy dancers was already  hunched over the computer, looking frustrated.

The computer with our music, which worked fine for Hoedown Island practice 2 days ago and worked fine for yoga class just the night before, was now crashing every time the music player opened.


Remember the joy!

If you have been clogging for years, do yourself a favor and go to beginner class!

I recently attended the very first beginner clogging class at a new performing arts/entertainment center (Congrats to a member of my clogging family on starting his new business!). It was fun to watch wide-eyed students work on finding the beat, learning the difference between a step/stamp/stomp, and cautiously attempting a (gasp!) double toe!

Class number three included considerably more happy noise: SHOES!