About Clogging

Clogging is a true American folk dance whose roots are buried deep in the
Heart of the Appalachian Mountains, which run through the eastern states of

Georgia Tennessee North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia.  The word CLOG is Gaelic for “time”.  Gaelic is an ancient Irish and Scottish dialect. CLOG dancing, therefore is time dancing, with the heel being the time-keeper.

In the mid 1700’s large numbers of Scottish, English, Irish, and German immigrants settled in the Appalachians, bringing with them their traditional folk dances.  Midst the splendor of these mountains, CLOGGING was born as a meld of these folk dances.  Many CLOGGING steps are reminiscent of the Scottish Highland fling or the Irish step dancing, while others, with a distinctly military sound, are thought to have come from the Germans.

CLOGGING of old was done impromptu to the foot-tapping bluegrass music that also has its roots in the Appalachians.  As CLOGGING slowly moved out of the mountains to the flatlands, special taps were added to give the dance its distinctive sound.  In the last 10 years, CLOGGING has become increasingly popular in areas far removed from the Appalachians.


Traditional Appalachian-style CLOGGING, the original style, is distinctive from other styles of CLOGGING in that it is the most difficult and the most beautiful.  Emphasis is placed on body movement from the waist down and the smooth execution of a variety of steps.  The intricate steps of traditional CLLOGGERS are combinations of the eight basic toe and heel movements of the dance.  Traditional CLOGGERS do a constant shuffle (a dragging back & sliding forward movement) on the weightbearing foot while the free foot does something else.


Precision CLOGGING, all dancers doing the same step at the same time, seems to be the most popular aspect of CLOGGING for today’s traditional CLOGGING.  Routines may also be done as solos, duets, couples or they may be done in lines for line dances where partners are not necessary.

In recent years, competitive CLOGGING has become very popular, especially among traditional CLOGGERS.  The speed with which these dancers compete is literally breath-taking; 170 beats per minute is an average.

Regardless if CLOGGING is done for competitive or for pure enjoyment, it is a FUN, challenging and healthful activity that the WHOLE fmily can enjoy.  It’s rich history and exciting pace make it appealing to ALL ages.

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