From May 2010, this page is no longer being updated. All of our news is being posted on Facebook.
In April 2005 we were joined for the evening by Heather Dowler from the Silver Soles Clogging Group of Canberra, Australia. The club is just over 6 years old and has a large membership of adults, children and some 'Kinders' (3-5 years). Heather had brought with her lots of material, including the Australian Clogging Association's (ACA) syllabus, some teaching videos and music.
It was really interesting for us to see a completely different style of clogging. Heather was surprised to see that we wear black shoes to dance - Australian cloggers, like American cloggers, wear white shoes with heel and toe taps. The style of dancing was modern, danced to any kind of music, with steps being called (something we tend not to do). Heather explained that the dances can be done with any number of participants and that there is not much interaction between the dancers. This is very different to our style, which is based on set dances with movements that come from country dancing. Heather commented that a lot of the group's members, including herself, had started off by learning line dancing but had then progressed to clogging as it presented much more of a challenge.
Heather took us through two dances - 'Real Good Feel Good' and 'Battle of New Orleans'. We actually knew quite a few of the steps, but we know them by different names!!
Jan Kudlacek from Prague visited us in May 2005 while he was in Edinburgh on a school visit, and bowled us over completely with a virtuoso display of clogging. It turns out that he is a clogging champion in his home country! Jan has been dancing for several years and does solo work and duets (with his sister, Radka). Again, his style was more modern, danced to modern music, some of which he had composed himself (in order to avoid copyright problems). Jan also wore white shoes with heel and toe taps.
The names Michael Flatley and Ira Bernstein spring to mind when it comes to describing John's style and abilities, and his will be a name to watch out for in the future - he can only get even better! Jan and Radka dance with a group called Klepeto.
Jan and and his sister Radka visited us for 10 days in late May/early June 2007. We recorded a few of the performances they gave and you can see these on our video page at MySpace. You can also see some of the buck dancing steps that Jan tried to teach us ('tried' being the operative word!).
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