Putting their best foot forward

Rhythmic tapping will soon echo in Vernon

Clogging comes to Vernon, thanks to the Okanagan Square and Round Dance Association

Something new for you to discover in the way of recreation is coming to the North Okanagan.

Vernon residents will be hearing some rhythmic tapping originating from the Halina Centre this Sunday. The synchronous sound will emanate from dancers participating in an Introduction to Clog Dancing.

Although there was a time when wooden shoes were used for clogging, today’s style of the rhythmic dance form utilizes double stainless steel taps. That will be revealed during the Sunday introduction taking place from 1 to 3 p.m. The public is invited to experience the fun. The two-hour event is on a drop-in basis for a $5 admission at the door.

The introductory session will teach the basic steps but the inclusion of taps on your shoes can come at a later date once you’re ready.

No previous experience is necessary and casual attire is welcomed; just wear  comfortable shoes with firm backs — no slides. Dancers are encouraged to bring drinking water to stay well-hydrated.

“Persons of all ages can enjoy clogging and it’s particularly attractive to singles because you don’t need a partner,” said Lynda Colautti of Kelowna.

She’s teaching the orientation to the percussive activity and, as a Certified Clogging Instructor (CCI), is well-qualified to do so. Her study of the clog dance included exams in the state of Texas.

Under the dance club moniker “Got 2 B Cloggin,” Colautti already instructs Central Okanagan clogging sessions in West Kelowna and Peachland.

While it’s a true North American folk dance, this is contemporary, precision style clogging. The moves are cued or called live.

Clog dancing can be done with high energy but Colautti promises that lots of fun will be had at the intro session to a wide variety of music, saying “this will be a no-bounce, low-impact introduction.”

The distant origin of clogging can be found in Europe but in North America it was introduced in the Appalachian Mountains by settlers of European origin. They blended the folk dances of their homelands to include an impromptu foot-tapping. At country dances, farmers once hammered nails into the thick soles of their big shoes to accent the tapping sound.

Colautti encourages the public to come to the introduction to discover, as she emphasized, “a really great social activity.”

The Halina Centre is located at 3310-37th Ave., in the Vernon Recreation Centre.

For more information, please call Lynda Colautti at 250-718-3088 or email got2bcloggin@gmail.com

This event is presented by the non-profit Okanagan Square and Round Dance Association in which clogging clubs hold memberships.

Brian Elmer is volunteer communications and marketing representative for the Okanagan Square & Round Dance Association.

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