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Appalachian folk step dance
Clogging is a traditional type of percussive folk dance which originates from the Appalachian Region of the United States of America, associated with the predecessor to bluegrass — "old time" music which is based on Irish and Scots-Irish fiddle tunes. Today, clogging has become a popular form of dance in many parts of the United States. Clogging is often found as a part of small town street festivals.
Despite the name, modern clogging is not performed in clogs. In Appalachia, this form of dance is known as flatfooting or buck dancing. In the United States of America, two forms of clogging can be found: traditional Appalacian dance and modern (precision) clogging.
In Appalachia clogging, live music accompanies the cloggers. Normally, the preferred music is either bluegrass music or music from a stringed band which may include guitar, banjo, and fiddle. Popularity for Appalachia clogging surged with the popularity of the Green Grass Cloggers in the late 1970's.
Precission clogging differs from Appalachia clogging in several ways. Cloggers dance to a varietry of recorded musics which may include rock and country western music. Shoes with jingle taps are worn while all cloggers dance in together with precision. This form of dancing is also popular in Australia.
Clog dancing was a common pastime in 18th century England. It is thought to have developed in the Lancashire cotton mills where wooden soled clogs were preferred to leather soles because the floors were kept wet to help keep the humidity high, important in cotton spinning. Clog dancers were a common sight at the music halls throughout the 19th century and into the early 20th century. Dan Leno became world champion clog dancer in the 1880's although records show that competetive clog dancing was a frequent occurrence throughout the 19th century.
Influences for this dance originated from several sources. Besides the English influence discussed above, traditional dance of Native Americans had an impact on the development of this dance. A surprising influence also came from the solo dances of the African Americans.
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