the first European immigrants moved into the mountainous areas of the Eastern coastline of
the USA (The Appalachian and Smoky Mountain areas) they began to share their cultures and
dances with each other. Clogging is a blend of a number of different folk dance styles
that were brought to the USA with these immigrants in the 1700,s. The strongest influences
on the development of clogging were from the Irish, German, English, Dutch and French.
However, later African American and Canadian Step dancing added to the percussive down
beat typical of clogging.
started to the foot tapping beat of the traditional folk music of the mountains, which
transformed itself into a new style of music called Bluegrass, played on banjos, guitars,
fiddles etc. Clogging continues to evolve. About the time of the second world war,
the more modern style of clogging started to develop, and about that time tap dancing
developed. More recently cloggers added special double taps to their shoes, which
emphasise the regular rhythmic sounds characteristic of the modern dance form. Cloggers
dance to all kinds of music, including rock, pop, oldies, rap, bluegrass, country and
gospel, in fact any music that has a good (and often fast) dance beat.
has become so popular that it has spread throughout the USA as well as Canada, Europe,
Australia and Japan. You may have even noticed a clogging segment in the opening ceremony
of the Olympic games in Atlanta in 1996. Even though clogging continues to evolve, the
reasons for doing it will stay the same; for people of all ages to get together with other
people and have a great, fun, time dancing to wonderful music.
Clogging started in Australia in 1984/5.
There was Keith Lethbridge then Gina Zaragoza in (WA), then Edith Sandy in Gympie (QLD), and Pauline Elliott in Adelaide (SA).
The first club in NSW was the Hillbillies Cloggers, started in April 1988 in Sydney, and run continuously since then, by Vickie Dean