Monday, July 13, 2009

What's clogging? shaggin? contradance and all

Well, dancing... since the 1700s, clogging has been the dance of the mountains of NC. Maggie Valley is the capital of all this, but you can find clogging about anywhere here. I particularly like Sims Country Barbeque near Granite Falls where you can dance and learn how too. Here is a sample from Sims of what clogging looks like. Here it is at Mast General Store. You can find it like this at Reddings Country Kitchen on the service road along 421 on the way to Wilkesboro here on Friday nights- real folks just dancing.

Here is more contemporary clogging. Here it is a little more sedate but great detail- don't miss the last minute or two. Everyone can clog and it is exercise believe me...

Contra Dance also has a great following in NC. Here's one from New Bern. They evolved from English Country Dances. Now, this you can learn on the fly. The caller explains the moves and you practice one time. Then everyone dances the routine in a line and then changes partners and does it all again. So the dance can last a very long time and you dance with every partner in the room. EXERCISE!!! In Boone there are always Appalachian State University students in the group. Guys in kilts on occasion. That's pretty cool. Winston-Salem and Charlotte also have great groups.

Lastly, on the coast and where I grew up near Raleigh, there was shagging to beach music. The shag is the state dance of South Carolina. It rose in the 1940s, was hot in the 50s and 60s and is still danced everywhere to the same kind of music. When I was in college, of course we were in the discos by then BUT Carolina girls and guys all learn to shag as a right of passage. Here is the classic "Carolina girls" by General Johnson and the Chairman of the Board. This is a whole collection of music to shag to...

And to all you Brits listening in...its not what you're thinking!!!

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