What is Clogging?

   It's a lively, foot-stomping, percussive dance that can be danced by people of all ages and abilities.

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   As immigrants settled in the Appalachian Mountains, they brought with them their native dances, styles and music. Some of the dances blended and mixed with other dances to form new styles and dances. Clogging emerged from a mixture of Irish jigs, English country dances, German dances, possibly some Cherokee and most certainly African dances and rhythms.

   Characteristics of clogging is the rhythmic beat that the dancers' feet are continually making. It can involve fewer than ten basic movements but these combine to make quite a variety of steps. New steps and styles from other dances are often incorporated into otherwise traditional clogging steps.

   Originally clogging was only a dance performed solo. As it (and other dances) became more acceptable, clogging worked it's way into the Appalachian square dance, also known as big circle dancing. Now big circle dancing is done either with or without the fast footwork of clogging.

   Today the most popular form of clogging is the line dance. there are all kinds of line dances from easy level up to advanced. A sequence of steps is choreographed to fit a particular piece of music. The step sequence is usually cued, so dancers only have to learn terms and don't have to memorize long sequences.

   Traditionally cloggers danced to bluegrass music, and often do today. However many kinds of music, from rock and pop to country western are used for clogging dances these days.

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