Clog Dancing near Salem, Oregon… Really?

Have you ever tried clog dancing?

Try it once, and you’re hooked!

Today’s clog dancing is an energetic step dance. Some even say it’s a form of aerobic exercise. The roots of the dance are at least 700 years deep, and they’re no less interesting than the dance itself.

Yes, there are clogging groups and clog dancing studios all over America now – even near Salem, Oregon, right here in Silverton!

How clogging came to the USA

English, Scottish, Irish, and Dutch-German immigrants settled the Appalachian Mountains in the mid-1700s. The dances of each area collided and combined to create a unique foot-tapping dance style, which is the beginning of clogging we know today.

It didn’t take long for the “new” clogging dance to become popular. By the mid-1800s you could find cloggers in the mountains and flatlands, in urban and rural areas, and in both black and white communities.

Cherokee Indians, Russian Gypsies, and the African Blacks all accepted clog dancing. Clogging became a true ‘melting pot’ of various cultures and dances.

How team clogging started

Clogging was at first an individual dance. It wasn’t until the 1920s that team clogging became popular.

The town of Asheville, North Carolina, saw the first clog dancing team performance in 1927 when The Smokey Mountain Dancers appeared at the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival.

The next decade brought team clogging its own competition at the festival, and the winners, Soco Gap Dancers, got a chance to perform at the White House.

It was in 1939 during a presidential audience with the Queen of England. The performance, described by Queen Elizabeth as “just like clogging in our country,” brought clogging widespread recognition and respect.

Clog dancing continued to develop into more of a show form, and the following decades brought the development of precision clogging and the line dance.

The state of clog dancing today

The beauty of clog dancing is that its form is constantly changing yet remains rooted. The dance that began as a simple rhythmic dance evolved into a more complex form that requires preparation and cannot be improvised.

The steps are inspired by country dancing, jazz tap, breakdancing, and even street hip-hop elements. Clog dancing attracts young and both alike and there are numerous conventions and competitions across the country.

What are the different names of clog dancing?

Clogging inspired many different dancing styles throughout its history. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • Flatfooting – most similar to the mountain clogging style, although it has softer versions of the buck and shuffle
  • Pitter Patter – a very popular form of clog dancing with quickly executed modern, buck and tap steps
  • Buck – a specific style of clog dancing
  • Power tap – the modern name for clog dancing

How to get started with clogging in the Salem, Oregon area

Technology makes it a lot easier to learn your first clogging steps these days. Check this series of lessons for beginners online and start practicing today: Get started with clogging.

Our ancestors started this dance as a simple rhythmic movement and it continues to evolve into a more complex routine.  Who knows, you might be the one who will launch the next big clog dancing trend.

So get started now and Let’s clog!!!

A Brief History of Clogging

Some of the fondest memories I have from my childhood are of clogging workshops I attended with the likes of Tandy Barrett, Scotty Bilz, Jeff Parrot, Chip Woodall, and Jeff Driggs.  

When these greats were teaching, they were sharing more than just clogging routines and technique; their love for clogging permeated their instruction. They were passionate about sharing their love for clogging, and that passion seemed to give me permission to acknowledge my own soulful connection with the dance.  

Perhaps that’s one of the reasons I continue to be drawn toward Jeff Driggs’ telling of the history of clogging. The evolution of clogging is remarkable, and Jeff describes that journey in a way that makes his love for the dance apparent.  

That passion still greatly inspires me.

Are you ready for clogging in the Salem, Albany, and Silverton area?

Here’s a look at Jeff Driggs’ work: A Brief History of Clog Dancing. Get ready to awaken your own soulful connection with clogging!

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Clogging is Cool!

Energy… Excitement… Clogging!

Clogging?  What is it?  

Well, for a start, it may help to know that we are not talking about dancing with wooden shoes; and we’re definitely not talking about stopped up plumbing. We’re talking about a spectacularly energetic form of percussive dance!  

Clogging is engaging to watch and, as a dancer, even more exciting to participate in. It’s like drumming on the floor with your shoes; and maybe the best thing about it is that most anyone, of any age, girl, boy, woman, or man can do it!  

Clogging, also known by names like clog dancing and Power Tap, is relatively young in the Pacific Northwest. With its origins in the Appalachian mountain region of the Eastern US, it has been an art form in the US for over 300 years; it’s even the official state folk dance of North Carolina.

Traditional clogging incorporates the very lively “drag/slide” technique into its steps; this technique produces the pronounced up, down, bouncing energy that is considered classic clogging.

This traditional technique, taught at Silver Creek Clogging, brings a dynamic energy to the dance that makes it especially unique in its tendency to captivate audiences and performers alike, so that all who participate are left energized and wanting for more.

Because clogging originated in remote areas of Appalachia, the dance’s ability to spread beyond its rural roots in the Eastern US was somewhat inhibited. However, clogging has gained in popularity in recent decades and is now beginning to take off across the US as well as in other countries, including Canada and Australia.  

In the Pacific Northwest, social clog dancing clubs have been around for many years and contemporary clog dancing studios are starting to become more common.

Why not clogging in Salem, Albany, and Silverton? 

Today’s contemporary clogging studios, including Silver Creek Clogging, are bringing the art and love of clogging into the mainstream with up-to-date costuming, challenging footwork, modern dance moves, and routines performed to a variety of music genres including pop, hip-hop, country, bluegrass, and, really, most any music with an excellent beat – whatever the groove.

You can learn the basics about how to drag, slide, and get into the clogging groove by clicking here to sign up for our beginning clog dancing video lesson series.