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Clogging, which is a Gaelic word meaning "time," began in the Appalachian mountains in the mid 1700's as a merging of different cultural folk dances. At the end of their work days, settlers would gather to dance and socialize at hoe-downs. They performed impromptu step patterns and made quick sounds with their feet, accompanied by mountain fiddle music. This was the earliest form of clogging.
The Soco Gap Cloggers

Clog team dancing started in western North Carolina in the 1920's when Sam Queen formed the Soco Gap Dancers. After seeing one of their performances, the Queen of England said it reminded her of clog dancing from her country. The media picked up on the term and "clogging" received its name.

Taps were added to the shoes during the 1920's and the first team competition was in 1927. By the end of the 1930's, clogging had become a universal term. In the 1940's, teams began to wear costumes as clogging became much more stage-oriented. Clogging became more precise with less freestyling.

The Green Grass Cloggers, a team in North Carolina, created their own unique style in the1970's. This form of clogging combined old steps with high-energy kicks, which is still a popular style today. In the 1980's, Burton Edwards of Maggie Valley, North Carolina spread the popularity of "buck" style clogging in competitions. Buck dancing differs from clogging in that the weight is carried on the balls of the feet and the steps are more complex because of the heel-ball motion. The Green Grass Cloggers
Today, clogging continues to be influenced by a variety of different dance styles. Elements of Canadian step dancing, tap, African, Irish hard shoe, and even hip-hop can be seen in contemporary clogging. Competitions and organizations like America's Clogging Hall of Fame aim to encourage creativity and new styles, while still preserving the traditional aspects of clogging.

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Paraphrased from:
Driggs, Jeff. "A Brief History of Clog Dancing." Double Toe Times. 4 May 2007. <>.