I first found clogging on the Blue Ridge Parkway of Virginia, and I have loved to watch it ever since. A friend and I were driving on the Parkway and he knew of a store close to one of the mileposts. The sights and smells of the store turned out to be fascinating to a newcomer from the cold and ice of Buffalo (that’s me), and we had fun browsing for drinks and treats.When we emerged to go back to our car, some energetic people were setting up a portable stage for what turned out to be clogging. The women were dressed in brightly colored blouses and big skirts, the men is neat shirts and trousers, and they all wore tap shoes. There was canned blue grass music, the volume turned up high. It looked like a square dance to me, but the dancers were clogging, that is, performing heavy, stamping steps. The rhythm in this percussive dancing is catching. And I liked the way the dancers and onlookers grinned from ear to ear. You just can’t help it, when you’re around clogging.
Just a few months ago, I walked downtown to the square, and suddenly heard bluegrass. In front of the bank, cloggers had set up to dance. This time, it was anything goes, and as a CD played, everyone got into the act: an elderly man, a child of about three, two high schoolers, a middle aged man who was really good. They clogged away deliriously, while I stood in the heat and watched and enjoyed and grinned.
To get an idea of what southern clogging looks like in action, go to this link to YouTube. I found it recently. This is real, southern clogging, and this time, there are wonderful, old-time musicians.