FREDERICKTOWN — To clog correctly, it doesn’t hurt to have good lung capacity due to the aerobic requirements needed for a show, and being well-coordinated and nimble afoot is a big plus, too.
A dozen members of Bellville-based Buckeye Country Cloggers put on a foot-clicking good performance Friday evening on a wooden platform in front of the Fredericktown Tomato Show main stage. They had to follow the highly popular Baby Crawl, but there were still plenty of audience members seated in the bleachers along North Main Street when the cloggers took to the platform at 7:30 p.m. They clogged away to recorded music from a robust speaker system, getting off to a good start with “Rocky Top Tennessee,” followed by “Little Red Riding Hood.”
Buckeye Country Crawlers were formed in 1980 by Paul and Ruth Williams of Bellville, said their grandson, Brian Dion, who at 34, has been clogging away since age 5, a total of 29 years. He describes himself as a high-intermediate level clogger. His grandparents, who also enjoyed Western-style Square Dancing, had found out about clogging after attending a Square Dance event in North Carolina.
“They brought their love for it back to Bellville,” Dion said. “My grandfather really, really loved clogging, and my grandmother too.”
Despite good lungs and some coordination needed to succeed at clogging — which has lots of turn-around moves and others where one leg or the other is lifted in the air — anyone can pretty much succeed at clogging, Dion said. It just takes some practice and long-term dedication. The musical passion known as clogging began in Appalachia and has spread throughout the world, he said. All you need is some shoes with leather soles and metal tips.
“Clogging is fast-paced but children can do it as young as age 2 and on up to ages 90-plus,” he said. “Clogging has been influenced by a melting pot of followers, and there are cloggers in Ireland, Canada and of course Appalachia,” Dion offered.
Buckeye Country Cloggers has about 20 members, who perform about 20 shows a year. “And we do a lot of performances for nursing homes,” he said.
Next up for Buckeye Country Cloggers will be the Bellville Street Fair on Thursday, September 11, 2019.