Clogging, also referred to as "buck dancing" or "flat footing," is a form of dance that began in the mid-1700s. It originated when settlers in the Appalachian Mountains of the United States combined their dance traditions from Africa, England, Germany, Holland, Ireland and Scotland. Clog dancing consists of three main characteristics: a rigid torso, fast footwork amplified by steel plates or taps on the shoes, and an up-and-down knee motion. The dance is performed in a group while individual dancers perform their steps simultaneously. Clog dancers once only performed to fiddle, country and bluegrass music, but today they also dance to pop, jazz and even rap.
Things You'll Need
- Clogging shoes
- Internet connection
Search for a website that offers training videos for beginning cloggers. The best instructional videos are those that are easy to follow, have clear instructions and break the steps up into manageable lessons or segments. Consider the credentials of the video's dance instructor. A professional who teaches clog-dancing classes or performs in dance productions regularly will be a better instructor than amateurs or hobbyists who publish how-to videos on websites such as YouTube.
Teach yourself the "Eight Basic Movements" of clog dance, adopted by the National Clogging and Hoe-Down Council on May 13, 1978, in order to standardize teaching methods, cuing and step notation. The eight movements consist of three heel movements (heel, step and slide) and five toe movements (toe, double toe, rock, brush and drag.) All traditional clogging steps consist of some combination of these eight movements. Keep in mind that all toe movements are performed on an upbeat and are followed by a heel movement, performed on a downbeat.
Practice the "Eight Basic Movements" with the aid of your instructional video. Once you understand these steps, play some music and practice without the video. Choose slow music in the beginning stages to help you focus on each step, then move on to music with a faster beat. Do this until you feel confident that you have perfected the steps.
Watch how-to videos for advanced clogging steps. Remember, these steps are just a more complex combination of the steps you have already learned. Again, play your clogging music and practice without the aid of a video, combining both your introductory steps and advanced steps. Start with slow music, then progress to something faster.
- Photo Credit Dutch clogs. isolated on white image by Accent from Fotolia.com
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