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!
I thought I found just a cute series of children's books about dancing fairies. Nope! I also found an explanation for my mistakes in dance class! There are over 200 books in the Rainbow Magic collection, which has been going strong since 2003. A new title came out in September of 2017, and a little online research revealed another series release scheduled for May, 2018.
You know you're a clogger when... you take a trip and it's easier to choose souvenirs for your clogging family than your actual family, ha-ha!
I recently returned from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Peru, including a hike up Machu Picchu Mountain and a visit to the beautiful Machu Picchu site.
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!
Even the most enthusiastic veteran clogger benefits from a visit to beginner dance class! Remember when you first started, and double toes were AMAZING?! How you practiced EVERYWHERE, driving friends and family bonkers? If those days and feelings seem far removed from your current outlook, hang out with a group of new dancers and remember the joy!
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.
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.
There once lived a girl who truly loved clogging. Her name was Ella, but no one called her anything but Cloggerella. She needed dancing as the bright spot in her life. After her dance instructor mother passed away, Cloggerella's father in his grief and loneliness married a clogging teacher from the failed studio one town over.
The stepmother wasted no time in taking over the household dance studio and making Cloggerella's life miserable.
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."
Fair season is upon us! Cloggers everywhere are making the rounds, putting on shows in pavilions, shelter houses, or wherever else there is a hard floor at the local fairgrounds. Fancy Free Cloggers danced two shows at our county fair on Tuesday, and we thoroughly enjoyed the sights!
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.
"I'm on a pole!" This was the announcement made by Jim Kimmerly, my 94-year-old clogging teammate, when he arrived at dance class shortly after Memorial Day. The real kicker: He wasn't kidding!
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.)
With summer weather comes outdoor festival season for cloggers. Commence happy dance! Many teams, Fancy Free Cloggers included, opt for denim and team tee shirts for such shows.
While it may not be as flashy as other costumes, this outfit comes with distinct advantages:
1. No pantyhose!
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.
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!