Clogging is an art form and very much a part of our
It began in the Appalachian Mountains brought to America by
Irish, Scottish, English and Dutch Germans who settled there in the mid 1700s.
Our Native Americans, African Americans as well as today’s Canadian, tap and
jazz dance influences have influenced it.
The word "clog" means "time" in Gaelic.
Clogging is danced keeping time with the downbeat.
Many people think clogging is a dance performed in wooden
shoes. English dancers do wear wooden clogs with leather uppers.
Irish dancers do wear leather-soled shoes (the Hard shoes now sporting
fiberglass tips and hollow heels) and cloggers wear taps. Cloggers did not
wear double taps until the 1940s. Tap shoes have a single tap attached to
the toe and heel. Clogging taps have another piece rivoted to that piece,
therefore considered "double taps" and make more of a
Clogging is one of the few dances considered a sport,
forming teams and competing in area, state and national events.
In the Ozarks we relate clogging to jigging and hoedowning.
Some may call it flat footing or buck dancing.
Clogging differs from tap dancing in one basic way.
In clogging, the heel keeps the downbeat. In buck dancing, steps are done
on the balls of the feet following the melody. Canadian Step dancing has
no drag-slide motion, but instead has a continual up and down hopping motion.
Irish step dancing differs greatly
in that instead of the feet being side by side they are placed one in front of
the other, toes turned out as in 5th position (ballet). Foot and ankle
movement adds to the beauty. Body carriage is natural, upright and
relaxed. Arms and hands should be kept flat against the sides. See Celtic Fire Irish Dance Co.