Saturday, March 10, 2012

Skyline Cloggers steps drill

I have posted on You Tube a steps drill by the Skyline Cloggers, made back in 1981.

We had a video recorder in practice one evening and filmed some routines and drilled on basic steps. Unfortunately much was taped over later. The only other thing left by the Skyline Cloggers is the Foggy Mountain Breakdown rehearsal that had the first quarter or so of the routine taped over. That has been on You Tube a good while. What taped over the practice session was video I made at Fontana in the spring of 1981 when I attended a Clog College. I filmed a good bit of the instruction and open dancing. When I am able to get it converted to digital, I will post it in excerpts on You Tube and mention it here. Among that video is footage of the Carolina Cutups when Burton Edwards introduced his "pitter patter" step. I think the clog college video has a lot of historical significance to anyone interested in seeing how clogging changed from the traditional style to the modern style.

My own style was influenced largely from two teams, the Avery County High School Cloggers, for their general style, and the Daniel Boone Cloggers, for their style and especially for their speed. Both of these teams are from the high mountain country of the Appalachian Mountains in northwestern North Carolina, an area largely settled by Scottish immigrants. I think the Scottish influence is present in the style of the teams from this area, particularly another team from the area called the Grandfather Mountain Cloggers. These three teams made up the nucleus of an awesome scene of clogging in the 1970s. I would say too, that my style was influenced by the Green Grass Cloggers, in that I liked their high stepping and kicks, as well as their choreography. Kay Wilkins, the director of the Avery County High School Cloggers, told me that she saw the Green Grass Cloggers and liked their high kicks too, and adapted some for her routines. Her style was less syncopated than those of the Green Grass Cloggers, and I pretty much followed the same style.

I have always been proud to tell people that early in my clogging career, up in Virginia at Ralph Stanley's bluegrass festival in Dickenson County while dancing around in the grass all weekend, an old-timer told me that I reminded him of the way some people danced many years before. This was many years ago, in 1977. So I never wanted to change my style of dance much.

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