August 8th is the annual National Day of Clogging / International Day of Clog Dancing. This day has been reserved for cloggers to celebrate their craft and its community in honor of the late Bill Nichols, the Grandfather of Clogging.
The culture that clogging instructors cultivate through the dance can be a bond for bringing many diverse cultures together to share fun and friendship. Bill Nichols believed that the best way to reduce cultural bias is to show someone care, share a meal, share a laugh, share a photograph, and share a dance. By developing this culture during weekly dance classes, the reach into other areas of life can be extended. Dance instructors influence the minds and attitudes of those who dance with them.
The Ozarks has a long standing tradition of clog dancing thanks to its predecessor, jig dance, which you can still find throughout the hills. Locally, the Ridge Runner Cloggers, with both a youth and adult component, perform at events and participate in competitions. The group is led by Certified Clogging Instructor, Tamsyn Simon, and includes members from across North Central Arkansas and South Central Missouri.
“It’s a privilege to keep these traditions alive and share my passion for clogging. I love that you can travel throughout the country and see or hear it done just a little differently than you do it as regional influences come into play. Clogging is just plain fun - it’s a celebration of music and movement and community. It’s something the whole family can do together.” says Simon.
Through the National Day of Clogging on August 8, 2021 there will be a celebration of common history, encouraging diversity and inclusion, and create a brighter future for dancers. Joining forces can make a difference.
The Ridge Runner Cloggers will kick off their ‘21-’22 season on August 30th. Classes are available for ages four thru adult with opportunities to perform and compete. To join the group, register here.