Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Clogging or Buck Dancing?

Yesterday I mentioned the cloggers at Saturday's Frozen Head State Park Heritage Festival. For some reason, clogging wasn't a part of my youth; I didn't discover it until I came to Tennessee. But I now know it was, and is, practiced in West Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Wikipedia has a succinct article on it, which added to my knowledge as I prepared this posting.
Somewhere along the line I learned to call it clogging when there was a group that danced in unison, and buck dancing when the dancers each did their own steps. I'd call this buck dancing.
Part of the function of any heritage festival is to pass the culture on to younger generations. We got to see that happening on Saturday, when one of the dancer's grandchildren joined her onstage.
We also got to see what happens when youth, athletic ability, and threat of losing the spotlight converge. Yes, I'm envious.


  1. hey, clogs are wooden shoes where I come from and clog dancing was performed at fairs, outdoors, of course. My father still wore clogs as a child on weekdays. I had a pair too, but they were more for decoration than wear. They hurt my feet, delicate little flower that I was.

  2. Yes, that's where the term comes from, Friko. I found that out on Wikipedia as I was preparing the post. It turns out the history of clog dancing wasn't at all what I expected, but this is America, so what should I have expected? We are a mixed lot! Jim

  3. There's an excellent history of clog dancing in the UK on http://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/ClogDancing.htm