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.