Archives for August 2005

I received this email this morning and thought you’d all like to know about it:

“I think that the double or jingle taps are worn by the people that do White Shoe Clogging, which is more related to line-dancing and cheer-leading. Our style of clogging is related to the West Virginian Flat Footing/Buck Dancing, where traditionally they wore hard soled shoes without any taps on. When I went to Cliff Top Festival when we were over they said that taps were only introduced when PA Systems started to amplify the bands so that the feet could be heard over the amplified music – the taps were just there to make the sound louder rather than to change the sound (which double, jingle taps do). I guess that is why we all wear single taps – makes for a more accurate reproduction to the sound the foot makes when it hits the floor.”

(This was an e-mail I received from my Wisconsin friend who forwarded it to me from the Firestone group from England. What do the rest of you think about the difference in taps, single versus double? Hit “comments” to reply!)

Where have you shared your clogging talent?

A question was proposed to about fellow cloggers sharing their talents around the world. This enthusiastic clogger wondered if cloggers have been to other countries to demonstrate the art of clogging. Well, have you?

Personally I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of countries to represent the USA Cloggers and folk dancers.

My first trip was to Poland as a Senior in High School. Our team had performed for 3 weeks at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri and had been seen by a man who was in charge of festivals throughout the world. He liked what he saw and invited us, with a bluegrass band, to tour Poland the next summer for 1 month. We would participate in a variety of Folk Festivals all over Poland and also have the chance to see the beautiful country. It was an experience I’ll never forget. I couldn’t believe how the audiences responded to our upbeat, high energy style. We were the stars of the show, generally performing last at festivals with 10 – 12 teams.

Not only did we get to share the clogging spirit with these people, we also got to meet teams from all over the world who shared their culture and dance styles with us.

As a freshman in college, I was able to visit Germany and Italy with our clogging team. This was another great clogging experience. The crowds were similar in their response – young children would flock to us to get autographs and USA memorabilia. We also had the chance to clog around a major square in downtown Rome. Granted, it was extremely hot, but our jingling taps lit up the audiences all the same!

Spain and Portugal were the next places I shared my clogging talent. We clogged all over Spain, including Barcelona, Cadiz, Sevilla, and Madrid. Four of us were invited to perform on Sevilla television at a “David Letterman”-type nightly talk show. The bluegrass music played, our country decor shined, and we pounded our feet for who knows how many people throughout Spain.

The final experience I’ve had sharing my clogging talent was in the Opening Ceremonies at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. Nearly 60 cloggers, directed by Jay Ledford, Ed Austin and others, represented the culture of Utah heritage as we welcomed the world to the upcoming events. We were a small piece of a big pie, but this was probably the most memorable of all my clogging experiences. I’ll never ever have that kind of opportunity again and don’t know many cloggers that ever will.

Clogging is an amazing cultural art form. Without clogging, I’m positive I would have never been able to meet the people I’ve met or see the places I’ve seen. For this reason I aim to Keep Clogging Strong!!

Interesting Wisconsin clogging information

This is a great comment I received from a fellow clogger in LaCrosse, Wisconsin!!

“Interestingly we were up in the Mpls. yesterday to see their local cloggers ‘Wild Goose Chase Cloggers’ performing with a group from England called ‘FireStone’-(both have web sites). They performed in an open park setting and their two hour performance was outstanding. They both have traditional Appalachian style clogging along with variations,… Wild Goose Chase Cloggers (3 hours away) wear single taps which we found interesting because that is what we wear, Rochester, MN groups (1 1/2 hour away) wear jingle taps. We have found double tap cloggers laugh at the single tap cloggers. We know 90% of the cloggers in the US have double/jingle taps, but we now know that in England they are wearing the single tap and clogging. FireStone explained that 25 years ago a clogging group from MN came and they were influenced by that group hence the single taps on their shoes. How may other cloggers in the US wear single taps??

Thought you would find this interesting.”


What do others cloggers think about this?