American Clog dancing is steeped in a rich Appalachian history. Gaining roots from multiple cultures, clogging has been a mainstay of social and solo dancing in America’s Appalachia. In this video, you’ll catch a glimpse of the fun and excitement surrounding American Clog dancing at the National Clogging Convention.
Today we got machines that can separate the wheat from the chaff, but only a pair of eyes are needed to single out the real professional here in this group of Clogging folks. Someone in this video is a kick turn step above the rest.
At the National Clogging Convention, folks of all ages and sizes travel to compete, learn and watch American Clogging at it’s finest. A rich Appalachian history is present in these fun dance steps. Clogging is danced along to the unique musical instrumentation of a fiddle, banjo, guitar, and the fretted dulcimer.
These instruments combine to get people up off their feet and onto the dance floor. And at many social Saturday night gatherings, these hardwood floors are clogged with clogging.
Wikipedia discusses the roots of American Clogging seen in this video.
”American Clogging is associated with the predecessor to bluegrass—”old-time” music, which is based on fiddle tunes from the British Isles. Clogging developed from aspects of English, Welsh, German, and Cherokee step dances, as well as African rhythms and movement. It was from clogging that tap dance eventually evolved.“
As you watch the video, you will notice there is a standout amongst the group. One of these young ladies really has the right vibes and she puts an extra flare in her steps. This lady obviously excels at this dance. She is a natural, seemingly never missing a step.
The young lady in black takes center stage and rises above the rest. And a quick side note, it’s her proud mom behind the camera.
Her mom explains her daughter’s obvious skills in the YouTube comments …
”She has been dancing in various forms since the age of 18 mos. This video was from her second year at the National Clogging Convention with her friend Jacki. It was also the last year that she clogged. She spends more time with tap, contemporary, lyrical, and hip hop now a days. I can feel her soul speak when she dances. Thank you for watching!”
In some forms of clogging, there is a “Caller” who calls out the moves before the dancers execute them. The Caller can be heard in this video. The specific dance here is the “Hillbilly Dirty Dance,” and it’s named after the song of the same name by country music artist Tommy Townsend.
The Caller calls out specific dance moves like Bird Walk, MJ, and Cotton Eyed Joe. If you pay close attention you might just get up off your seat and learn this dance yourself. This video is a great “how-to.”
The pro in this video really shows how to get your whole soul into the dance steps. She swings her arms and whips her hair, with a huge smile showing that she is in bliss when dancing.
This young lady represents a new wave of Clog Dancers who add some stage presence and showmanship that is not present in traditional clogging.
If anyone has seen the Irish dancers dancing in the traditional Sean Nós style, their arms are straight down their sides, with very little movement of the upper body. The legs do all the dancing.
Sean Nós is very similar to traditional clogging, as it is a big influence.
Tap Dance is historically more of a full-body dance. Tap has way more arm movement and interpretive body movement.
Plenty of YouTubers are commenting about the young lady superstar.
“The girl in the black shorts and top is the best I’ve ever seen. She just flows with the music and is in step all along the way. I’ll give her ten thumbs up if I only had eight more! Great job!”
“She’s a natural very enjoyable to watch her flow with the music like a pro, put her on dancing with the stars.”
It’s a joy to watch someone dance like it’s in their nature. The music, the history, and the tradition of Appalachia are flowing through her.
Click the video below and get mesmerized by the dance moves!
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