Gary Larsen Takes Clogging to a Whole New Level

I watched this and all I could say is WOW!

Having know Gary Larsen for almost all my clogging life, and also knowing his history in dance, including Tap, Irish Hard Shoe, and French Canadian, what you see here is a master piece.

A few questions I have for Gary:

  1. What type of clogging shoes are you wearing?
  2. What about the style of dance taps – they don’t sound like a jingle or buck tap?
  3. Is there a steel flange on the toe of each tap?
  4. When can I start clogging again and be your apprentice? 🙂

What do you all think of  this new clogging style? or is it really clogging at all – maybe a new form of percussive dance?

ClogOn Interview – Brian Bon on Clogging

Who is Brian Bon?

Brian Bon has been involved in clogging full time for 25 years, beginning in Utah with 5 years on national championship team, The Steele Family Cloggers, along with his well known family group, The Bon Family Cloggers. Since then he has spent his time trying to expand recognition for clogging as a legitimate art form by redefining the public’s perception via 1000’s of performances in contemporary settings with his professional company, POWERHOUSE!!!, which has done various TV and film projects and is currently on a 73 date performance tour, continuing to grow each year.  His student group, The CA All-Stars, is one of CA’s longest existing teams.

1. What’s the difference between clogging and tap?

Mainly style differences separate similar footwork elements in various percussive dance styles like clogging, tap, or Irish step.

Clogging is an aggressive style of percussive dance with various sub-styles. Mainly however, contemporary clogging is much more aerobic, with dancers generally dancing in a low “seated” position with bent knees and on their toes.

Tap dancing also has various sub-styles, including “Broadway” tap or hoofing. “Broadway” tap is very lifted and presentational and generally not as intricate. Hoofing is generally very loose in the upper-body with little or no arm choreography and extremely intricate footwork.

2. Why should I get in to clogging, I’m already in tap, jazz and ballet?

Any time you can cross train in various dance forms it makes you a more competitive and stronger dancer.

3. What’s better, nail on or glue on taps?

Nail on taps stay on MUCH longer than the glue on type.

4. What do you prefer, the split toe clogging shoe or the stomper?

I never tried the split toe shoe. The dance class stompers are okay. They are not as sturdy as comparable tap dance shoes (which are also very often built up).

5. How long have you been clogging?

25 years

6. Where has clogging taken you?

Clogging has been with me every day of my life and everywhere I’ve been since I was 14 years old. It has given me my career and a large part of my personal identity. It helped me develop into a much more well rounded individual.

7. Why do you recommend clogging to EVERYONE?

The answer is simple: clogging is an amazing talent that nearly everyone can do. It doesn’t typically have size or age limits. Nor is it delegated to one sex or the other. Clogging allows people who might not otherwise be dancers to be just that.

8. Who has been the most influential clogger to you?

Bryan Steele

9. What do you think of traditional clogging vs. the new hip-hop/jazz type clogging?

It’s great as long as it’s done well.

Clogging Director Interview: Tamsyn Farmer Simon

From time to time, likes to interview the people that have a huge roll in helping us “keep clogging strong!” – the DIRECTORS of cloggers all over the world.

Thanks to connections we’ve made on the ClogOn Page on Facebook, here’s a recent interview we did with Tamsyn Famer Simon from – home of the Harrison Hoedowners in Harrison, AR.

1. How’d you start clogging?

I used to go with my grandparents to clogging classes and play with toys. When I started walking I started shuffling around (18 months) and clapping to the beat; and low and behold, I was recruited (the Cedar Bluff Hoedowners – 5 yrs old)

2. Where has clogging taken you?

I’ve danced in MO, OK, KS, IN, TN, AR, LA, TX, IL, and GA –  never out west yet 🙂 I also competed in Miss American Clogger twice!

3. Who has been the most influential clogger to you?

Pat Skinner Boshe who was my first clogging teacher.  The Southern Belles clogging team has also been very inspiring and influential – I love watching their precision.

4. How long have you been a clogging instructor?

Since I was 16 (in the dance studio world). I started my 1st studio on my own when I was 21; 25 now – 9 years plus

5. What’s the best thing about being an instructor?

Watching the little fire ignite in new cloggers – it clicks and then they love it forever, they get it, they go to competition, it’s exciting – it’s so fun to see the kids compete.

6. What’s the biggest challenge?

I could write a book about the challenges 🙂 – retaining students after the beginning class is probably the toughest challenge; keeping the teenagers has been tough – I’ve had a hard time with teenage cloggers who get involved in variety of other activities.

7. What style of clogging shoe do you prefer?

(The split toe clogging shoe, the stomper, the scoop (for women), or something else?)

Pee-wees can use stompers or taps on tennis shoes, teams wear split-soles, adults wear stompers, soon to be in scoops (hoedown and traditional line).

8. If could do one specific thing to help “keep clogging strong”, what would you recommend?

Stay close to our traditional clogging roots. Teach people the history of clogging and how important it is to learn traditional clogging. Move to contemporary later on. Keep the family involvement close too.  To me, this is one of the best things about clogging – the family affiliation.

Ms. Tamsyn has been clogging for over 20 years and describes her love of clogging as a passion. Having studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, and gymnastics, as well as acting, vocal, and modeling, Tamsyn has a deeply rooted love for the stage and entertaining. She has trained/performed with the Springfield Ballet, Dancers Image, Cedar Bluff Hoedowners, Pat’s Clogging Studios, Ozark Mountain Gymnastics, Southwest Missouri Children’s Choir, in several Branson venues, and at numerous pageants. Tamsyn has won many awards in clogging and dance competitions, as well as pageants, as a soloist, team member, and choreographer/instructor. She is alumni of Lead Hill High School and University of Arkansas. Tamsyn is married and they have one daughter. She serves as a committee member for Fridays on the Square, Chairman of Harvest Homecoming, and is involved in pageants.

Kristine Handy – Clogging Instructor in Burley Idaho

Kristine Handy

Burley, Idaho Clogging Instructor

Who is Kristine Handy?

Kristine Handy was born and raised in the small town of Burley, Idaho, a “suburb” of Boise (only 2 and ½ hours away:)). She began clogging and other international folk dances in 1974 as a collegiate member of the Brigham Young University International Folk Dance Ensemble. Here she was introduced to the traditional Appalachian clogging style, and her excitement for clogging grew and grew from there. Like most avid cloggers, after seeing clogging for the first time she couldn’t get enough.  Denis Cobia had a small children’s group which performed in and around the Provo, Utah area, and she loved watching the talents they shared. After over 30 years of involvement in clogging and other dance forms, her impression of clogging remains extremely positive: “It is a great alternative to the hip-grinding studio jazz teams.  It is a great outlet for guys.  The athletic coaches in our area encourage the team members to clog…[I] love the fact that is has American folk roots…Clogging has opened many doors in my life.  We’ve been able to perform in Branson, Missouri six summers and take teams to six international festivals around the world…Clogging has [been] met with great enthusiasm in our area.”

Where has clogging taken her?

After graduating from college, Kristine and her husband Clay Handy, who she met during her involvement in clogging, moved back to Burley, Idaho where they started their own studio.  Countless hours were spent teaching clogging; it became a “family activity” for many people in the area.  She directed many teams, including the Dynamic Dozen (1987-1997), a nationally famous team who competed and performed all over the world.  This team was “…a hardworking group of young people [who] consistently won at a competitive level.”  Kristine’s teams have taken her to places such as Silver Dollar City, Dollywood, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Missouri, Poland, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, and Taiwan.

Top Success in Clogging

After all of Kristine’s clog dancing success, she attributes her biggest success to her five dancing children.  Melissa Handy Morgan, Clayton Donald Handy, Lucas Gordon Handy, Hillary Hapi Handy, and Branson Kenneth Handy have all been actively involved in clogging, making clogging literally a “family activity” for a lifetime.

How to “Keep Clogging Strong”?

Kristine is constantly striving to “Keep Clogging Strong”.  She is “…always trying new things.  I figure any rhythmic expression works with clogging.  We’ve learned Irish, Hungarian Boot Dance, Steppin’, and our latest Pattin’ Juba.”  In order to Keep Clogging Strong for her young men dancers, Kristine understands that “boys have to feel comfortable about the dances and costumes.  You can’t demand [boys] to choose between sports and dance or you lose.”  The Dynamic Dozen has been one of her greatest testimonials:  it consisted of six boys and six girls.  Each boy on the team was extremely involved in high school athletics.  Kristine understood that in order to create a win/win situation for her young clogging teams, each member had to have specific goals in mind – a special trip, a big competition, or a spectacular show.  These goals were motivating factors to maintain team unity, excitement, and ultimately, fun and success on the clogging floor!!  She believes guest choreographers also help the students have a more rounded dance experience.

Clogging Advice?

When asked if there was one piece of advice Kristine Handy could give to the up and coming cloggers or even those who have been clogging for some time, she said, “Don’t let yourself get muddled down in the negative.  Stay positive with the kids.  Build great people as you build great dancers.  Be proud or your profession!”

Kristine Handy continues to “Keep Clogging Strong” in Burley, Idaho.  If you live in the Mini-Cassia area and would like to find out more about clog dancing opportunities, contact us at

Special thanks to Kristine for her time and the amazing impact she’s made on cloggers all over the world.  Keep Clogging Strong!