Welcome …… Before We Get Started

 

Whether you are a seasoned dancer or trying Clogging for the very first time, I’d like to welcome you and thank you for visiting The Northern Jewels Cloggers.  As with any form of exercise and dance, the main goal is for everyone to enjoy themselves in a supportive and non-competitive environment.  My promise as your instructor is to teach with enthusiasm and encourage you to do your best at a pace that works for you.

 

What Is Clogging?

 

Unlike step-dancing, which has its roots in Canada and the British Isles, Clogging is a truly American dance form that began in the Appalachian Mountains. As the Appalachians were settled in the mid 1700's by the Irish, Scottish, English and Dutch-Germans, the folk dances of each area met and began to combine in an impromptu foot-tapping style, with African and Native American step influences;  the beginning of clog dancing as we know it today.  Accompanied by lively fiddle and bluegrass music, clogging was a means of personal expression in a land of new-found freedoms.

 

The word "Clog" comes from the Gaelic meaning to keep time and is danced to almost any kind of music with a strong beat.  Country and traditional bluegrass  are very popular, though we will also clog to pop, rock, Irish, disco, reggae or hip-hop to please everyone's taste !

 

Clogging resembles tap, line and Irish dancing in appearance as we wear soft leather shoes with hard soles and taps (or clickers) on our toes and heels however, unlike tap and Riverdancing, clogging is done with a relaxed upper body movement.  Clogging is a singles dance so you won’t need a partner and  is usually danced in lines because there is a better social group feeling when you can see your new friends are dancing the same routines as you.  I encourage you to develop your own personal style as you'll see some dancers are very flamboyant and energetic while others are more sedate.  Just be yourself !

 

What Clogging Has To Offer?

 

Clogging gives you the opportunity to be out enjoying a great social activity while getting fit at the same time.  Some of the health benefits include:  improved muscle tone, flexibility and coordination, increased circulation and lung capacity, improved memory and concentration, relieved stress, raised confidence and …it burns about 400 calories per hour!

Not to mention….it’s a fun night out to kick up your heels and forget about your responsibilities for a while! I sincerely hope you enjoy yourself and learn to love Clogging as much as we do!

Julie MacLeod

Instructor