Clogging travels

Friendly competition at the World of Clogging Championships!

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.

Good sportsmanship is alive and well in the clogging world!

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.

Costumes hangin' on the line: Dollywood Clogging Classic 2017, PART TWO

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!

Dancin' at Dolly's house: Dollywood Clogging Classic 2017, PART ONE

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!

Time to Disco: Smoky Mountain Encore!

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! 

Smoky Mountain Encore Clogging Workshop: disco and clogging and bears, oh my!

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.  

Dancin' on Sunshine: Florida Clogging Festival 2017, PART THREE

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.

Saturday Fair

The Florida Clogging Festival took place at Osceola Heritage Park. 

Dancin' on Sunshine: Florida Clogging Festival 2017, PART TWO

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!

Dancin' on Sunshine: Florida Clogging Festival 2017, PART ONE

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...

Cabin Fever Clogging Workshop 2017!

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!

The clogging team that stays together, um, stays together...

On a recent trip to Chicago, my clogging team tried something new for accommodations: Airbnb!

We normally do the hotel thing, sharing rooms to cut down on cost. That works fine, but we aren't all together, we're usually cramped in a small room, etc.

During the planning process for this trip, one of my teammates spoke up about her experience with Airbnb. She offered to research options through that service.

Favorite quirky place to clog: Mothman Festival!

While I enjoy clogging at fall festivals in general, I have a special love of the quirky ones. The kind where people watching is every bit as fun as the sanctioned events. Mothman Festival in West Virginia tops my list! 

This show isn't even my team's gig; Riverside Cloggers (our "sister team") hails from Point Pleasant, and they always invite Fancy Free Cloggers to join one of their performances. Please keep inviting us!

In search of clogging at Jungle Jim's...

Folks who participate in other sports have no problem randomly finding items related to their hobbies. Soccer, basketball, football - there is STUFF everywhere! Clogging? Not so much!

My mother-in-law and nephew are visiting from Florida this week, and one of our activities was a trip to Jungle Jim's International Market in Cincinnati, OH. I decided to go on a search for clogging-related merchandise! 

Five clogging competition truths.

My team attended Shindig In The Valley clogging competition last weekend. In addition to some awards and great memories, I walked away with a few observations:


I am the person on my team who packs EVERYTHING in her clogging bag. Need duct tape, shoe polish, band-aids, a granola bar? Sure, it's in there! However, once each team cycled through a costume change, it was unnecessary to dig in the bag. The carpet was covered in discarded bobby pins and safety pins! 

Clogger's Dictionary: Nursing home show (noun)

Today's clogging vocabulary lesson involves a type of performance almost every team does: the nursing home show.

Get ready to move tables and clear some space in the facility dining room!

Here's my formal definition:

Nursing home show (noun): A clogging performance where the dancers bring entertainment to an audience who may not be able to get out to attend other events. Synonyms include retirement home show, rest home show, etc.

What's in your clogging bag?

Let's face it: Clogging requires STUFF. Stuff you need to carry and keep organized. Stuff you want to have at the ready without thinking about it.

Over time, most cloggers will accumulate a personal set of essential items to keep in the clogging bag. I actually have TWO clogging bags, depending on the situation.

This clogger LOVES the festivals of fall!

Fine, it wasn't technically autumn until yesterday. I'll argue that fall festival season starts with September, so it's already in full swing!

Fall festivals usually bring comfortable temperatures for clogging performances and savory treats at the food booths. While you may be able to provide examples to the contrary, I find fall festivals to be a bit more quirky and fun than the summer festivals.

Pack your bags! (And don't forget ANYTHING...)

It's competition time for my team! I will be headed to Bristol, Tennessee for the Dance Matrix event next weekend.

No matter how the awards fall, competitions always leave us with new inside jokes and special bonding moments. It will be a great time once I get there! BUT...

Does anybody else freak out about packing for competition?!

The magical island of hoedowns, turtles, and (usually) rain!

Last Saturday was my clogging team's annual trek to Natural Bridge State Park in Slade, KY. This park is home to Hoedown Island, billed in the park brochure as the "clogging capitol of Kentucky."

Hoedown Island (actually a peninsula) is host to dancing every Saturday night during the season.

And the odometer rolls on...

The drive home from my friend's beginner clogging class Monday night was terrible! It was pouring rain AND the road is under construction in multiple places (lines not really visible, including the center line, long waits at a traffic light where the road is down to a single lane, no streetlights to help visibility). Driving along at a snail's pace, tense and hunched over, trying to see the road, silently cursing oncoming big trucks who throw water all over my windshield, I thought about the miles driven in the name of clogging: