Clogging is a truly American dance form that began in the Appalachian Mountains and now enjoys widespread popularity throughout the United States and around the world. Clogging is a dance that is done in time with the music - to the downbeat usually with the heel keeping rhythm.
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, the beginning of clog dancing as we know it today. With influences from Cherokee Indians to African Americans and to Russian Gypsies, clogging has adopted many different traditions to become truly a "melting pot" of step dances.
For the most part, clogging evolved as an individual form of expression, with a person using his feet as an instrument to make rhythmic and percussive sounds to accompany music. Clogging today is less impromptu and more complicated. New influences are creeping into the dance because of popular culture. Tap dancing, Canadian Step Dancing, Irish Hard Shoe and even street dancing and hip-hop influences are seeping into the style of steps and dances performed today.
Clogging Competitions across the country bring together teams from the east and west to vie for trophies, honors and cash prizes. In 2003, clog dancing was included as a competitive dance sport in the AAU Junior Olympics. Clogging group "ALL THAT" placed second in the nationally-televised talent contest "America's Got Talent," and cloggers are now being spotlighted on television and major motion picture projects.
*As told by Jeff Driggs, editor of the Double Toe Times Clogging Magazine