Greenwood Step Clog Dancers
2017

Step Clog Dancing

Step dancing - the beating out of a musical rhythm with the toes and heels - is probably as old as hard soled footwear, but English Clog Dancing is a product of the industrialisation of the North of England in the nineteenth century, where the working classes wore shoes with wooden soles and leather uppers. It is said to have first been danced by girls working in the cotton mills. They beat out a rhythm with their wooden clogs to keep in time with the shuttle flying backwards and forwards across the loom. It soon became popular with both men and women, and began to include all the traditional hornpipe and reel steps which had been danced in England for many years.

Soon clog competitions began to be held, at which dancers were marked for their originality, and for the clearness of their beats, that is, the sound that their clogs made on the wooden floors. Clog dancing was popular also in the Music Halls and Variety Theatres in the North of England, and was danced in flamboyant style to popular waltzes of the day such as Daisy Daisy.

See also a French Version of this handout.

 






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