A heel good time: cloggers step out in WoodburyThe sound is unmistakable once you take a step inside Royal Oaks Elementary. In a rhythmic pattern, you hear “clack-clack, clackity clack.”
By: Mike Longaecker, Woodbury Bulletin
The sound is unmistakable once you take a step inside Royal Oaks Elementary.
In a rhythmic pattern, you hear “clack-clack, clackity clack.”
And so it is announced: cloggers are in the house.
Each Tuesday through this week, Royal Oaks has been home to clogging instruction through District 833 Community Education.
Instructor Jean Morgan – an experienced clogger since first learning the steps in 1989 – shows beginner and intermediate cloggers the way.
“It’s a lot of fun,” the Hudson woman said.
The dance form, according to an article published by the editor of the “Double Toe Times” clogging magazine, originated in the Appalachian Mountains in the mid-1700s after the area was settled by Irish, Scottish, English and Dutch-Germans, who brought with them their respective folk dances. The styles blended into what became known as clogging.
Over the years, clogging has evolved into an expressive dance form, where dancers use their feet as a percussive instrument to complement music. Clog dancing has since fanned out from the Southern states across the country and evolved into group activities like the ones Morgan attends in South St. Paul twice a month.
To the untrained ear, the dance form might sound more like tap dancing at first. Morgan pointed out, however, that the shoes cloggers wear include a loose “double-tap” toe piece that creates a more unique sound.
She also noted that tap dancing is rooted in clogging.
“Ours,” she said of clogging, “is more fun-oriented.”
For a video of Woodbury clog dancers in action, go to woodburybulletin.com.