Joy: The Foundation of Dance

Each dancer is unique

Some are master technicians.
Some are born performers.
Some are excited about dancing with their friends.
Some are a bit shy.
Some are happy when they sweat with the music.
Some are eager to hear their feet making rhythmic sounds.

But, throughout my years of dancing and teaching, I’ve found there is one thing all lasting dancers have in common.

It’s something that grabs hold of them the very first moment they begin their clogging journey and doesn’t let go.

From the moment they put on their clogging shoes.
From the moment they hear the jingle of their taps.
From the moment they start clomping on the dance floor in their clinky shoes.
From the moment they learn to make wonderful rhythms with their feet.

I see it radiate from every part of them.
I see it in the smile on their face.
I see it in the sparkle in their eye.
I see it in the energy of their movements.
I hear it in the tone of their voice.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a youth student or an adult student.

When I see it in them, it’s truly magical.

What is it that I see?

I see joy.

Joy is so important to a dancer’s long-lasting journey, that it’s in everything our students do at Silver Creek Clogging.

Joy is in learning a new skill or technique.
Joy is in working hard to earn a pass-off button.
Joy is in the exhilaration of a performance.
Joy is in finding out the song for the next routine.
Joy is in friendships with teammates.
Joy is in the rhythms and movements.
Joy is in getting lost inside yourself when you dance.

The joy starts with a spark and, for the lasting dancer, it continues to grow into the knowledge that when they are dancing they are comfortable, happy, and confident; and they are fully and completely themselves.

And that – is when they truly shine with joy; when they are fully and completely themselves.Maryanne Williamson wrote, “We are all meant to shine. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

At Silver Creek Clogging, we believe…

…the deep-down joy you feel when you are on the dance floor is the heart of it all.

Our Studio Values

Here, at Silver Creek Clogging we have defined a set of studio values that guide, and also reflect, everything that happens at the studio; everything from events, to class curriculum, to how our students conduct themselves. 

The studio’s values are both progressive and cyclical; and they are also integral to everything we do at Silver Creek Clogging.

Coming up, we’ll be featuring in-depth spotlights on each of our studio values.  In the meantime, here’s a short introduction to our Silver Creek Clogging studio values:

  1. Joy: Joy is our foundational value and the common thread that runs through everything we do. It’s what lights you up and keeps you going – from your very first step to your hundred millionth step.  Joy is the foundation – the heart of it all.
  2. Community: Community starts with each individual dancer and radiates far beyond our studio walls.  From deep inside, you carry positivity, encouragement, and support to yourself, your teammates, the whole studio community and beyond. Together, we are able to accomplish great things.
  3. Courage: Courage is the deep-down, inner strength to do hard things; even things that might seem a little frightening at first.  We cultivate an environment in which you feel safe to stretch yourself to do the hard things and dare to dream of more than you might think possible.
  4. Challenge: The challenges for each dancer are unique, and there will be highs and lows along the way. It’s through the challenges that you can achieve your goals and discover what you are capable of – both individually and as a team.
  5. Growth: Here, the focus is on your growth, not just as a dancer, but in other areas too.  We foster a positive, team-focused, and empowering environment, in which you receive student-focused coaching / mentoring and an exceptional dance education. The groundwork is laid for you to experience a lifetime of growth at Silver Creek Clogging.

These are the values that guide everything we do at Silver Creek Clogging. We take them seriously.

Do you want to experience a dance studio environment unlike any you’ve experienced before?

Get started now.

You are a Real Dancer

Have you ever heard (or been told) that there are prerequisites to being a “real dancer”? 

That you have to learn this style of dance – or that style of dance – or you’re not a real dancer? 

Or, that thus and such style of dance is the foundation of all dance and that you’re not going to be a real dancer if you don’t learn it?  

I know I have.

And, I know many dancers have, at times, let that story deflate them, leave them feeling like they will never be able to become a real dancer, and even have them on the verge of quitting dance all together – and, sadly, some do end up quitting.

I know – I have been there.  Luckily I never quit dancing.  But, I spent time trying different styles of dance.  I bought into the idea that I would never be a real dancer because I wasn’t doing a certain style of dance and didn’t look a certain way — and it left me feeling deflated – and even ashamed. 

But, in the end, I always came back to clogging. 

That’s because clogging is the dance that really speaks to me.  It helps me be more in touch with the core of who I am than any other style of dance I have ever tried.

So, Please!

Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not a real dancer because you don’t do whatever style of dance it is they say is the “correct” style.

The only unwavering truth about dance is that JOY is, without a doubt, the foundation – the heart – the very core of dance. 

Do the style of dance that brings you joy. 

Because, it’s with joy that we really become and know who we are.

That’s what I want for you; to become and know who you are and be confident in yourself.

Follow your heart. 

If you have found a style of dance that makes you feel deeply and truly who you are, YOU ARE A REAL DANCER.

I’ll say it again…..


So, dance and be joyful.  That is the heart of it all.

In the words of some of our students: 

“I have loved clogging so much.  I have finally found a dance that is for me.” -Gaby

“Clogging is the only thing that made me break out of my shell and taught me true passion for life.” -Rianna

If you’re ready to join our uniquely joyful dance community, now is the time. 

Performing: More than Just a Time to Shine

At Silver Creek Clogging, performing is an important part of our dancers’ growth and progression, which is why we provide multiple performance opportunities throughout the year.

We know that, at their foundation, performances are an opportunity for each dancer to demonstrate what they have learned during months of dance classes, hard work and practice; in some ways, it’s like an exam in school.  And, because dance is so personal and soulful, it is both a very exciting and very frightening experience.

But it’s more than just a time to shine.  It takes a certain kind of preparation, and specifically courage, to perform in front of others.  And, there will be successes and failures.  Every performance is a learning experience.

While preparing for and participating in performances, each dancer grows individually and along with members of their team.  Lifelong friendships and memories are made.  Dancers grow in team work, technical ability, performance presence, and the ability to work under pressure; all while experiencing the unique joyfulness of clogging.  The individual and team growth that can be realized through performing can be quite powerful.

One type of performance opportunity available at Silver Creek Clogging is a dance recital.  We typically hold two dance recitals per year.  The dance recital is a formal performance that provides our cloggers a chance to dance on stage in front of family and friends.  It is full of excitement and anticipation, with costumes, fanfare, and backstage fun.  It is also an important time for the dance studio community.  This is the time when parents, families, and friends from our diverse community get to come together with one common goal; to show collective support and pride for our dancers.

At Silver Creek Clogging, we also provide our dancers the opportunity to participate in clogging competitions.  Competition performing is very precise and energetic.  In preparing for competition, practice focuses on precision and detail.  In competition, technical merit and artistic presentation are evaluated by a panel of judges.  This includes clarity of sounds, showmanship, choreography, synchronicity, and technical execution.  Competitions are extraordinary opportunities for individual and team growth.  At competitions, not only do dancers get to demonstrate their own abilities , they get to experience the thrill of winning awards, grow camaraderie with their team, and see dancers from other studios in action.  These are special, inspiring and exciting experiences for dancers.

Community performances are another very important part of Silver Creek Clogging’s activities during the year.  These performances are generally less formal events at schools, festivals, rest homes, and the like.  Often, at community performances, the dance floor is closer to audience members, which provides for more interaction between the audience and dancers.  Community performances give us the chance to build connection and share the joy of clogging with our community.  And, because clogging is innately energetic and lively, it has a remarkable ability bring dancers and audience members together in happiness and joy.

Practice makes perfect and performing isn’t any different. The more a dancer performs, the more comfortable they will be when performing in front of a group of friends or strangers.  The confidence gained through performing will affect other areas of a dancer’s life.  Sometimes, in ways they won’t immediately realize.

In the end, performing is an experience that completes the dancer’s understanding of their art and of their self.

The Family that Clog Dances Together

When a parent got in touch with me the other day and inquired about family pricing, I was pleasantly surprised.  The question nudged me to reflect on the good times I had growing up with clog dancing siblings.

Not every sibling in my family took up clogging.  But, those of us who did enjoyed dancing together. Over the years, we choreographed routines together and danced at family reunions.  These days, we video chat to share clogging steps and tricks.  It’s been a gift in my life to be able share clogging with my family; two things I love so much!

As a dance form, clogging lends itself to participation by all ages (boys, girls, parents, and grandparents).  It’s not unusual to see a whole family of clog dancers enjoying the experience together.  And, when shared with those you love, the inherent joy that is a part of clogging permeates the experience and enhances relationships.

The family that clog dances together is in for a lifetime of joy together!

To celebrate the family who clog dances together, Silver Creek Clogging is now offering a family recognition program for immediate family members living in the same household.

Clogging continues to flow as a constant in my life, both individually and in the culture of my family.  That is my sincere hope for our dancers too.

Here’s to a lifetime of joyful clog dancing adventures for you and your family!