Get Serious about the Clogging Essay

13 Dec

This thing is all but due, and I am still in the brainstorming stage.  I need to get busy.  Like yesterday.  To do:  Answer the question (see below), shorten the essay, and provide showing statements about the characteristics I want to convey.  Easy peasy.

Knowledge or creativity in a field: Describe any of your special interests and how you have developed knowledge in these areas. Give examples of your creativity: the ability to see alternatives; take diverse perspectives; come up with many, varied, or original ideas; or willingness to try new things.

tongue, Muscle of the tongue

 

At least I didn’t have to do the above dissection and anatomy & physiology study of every animal species.  OK, I can DO this.  Writing is the easy part of school.  And writing about a topic of my choice, about me–should be the easiest thing ever.  Do it, do it!  And honestly readers, I just wanted to use this photo because I just found it again, and I think it is awesome.

You will quit pasting the snippets you already wrote in different orders, and answer this question!  Here goes:

Knowledge or creativity in a field: Describe any of your special interests and how you have developed knowledge in these areas. Give examples of your creativity: the ability to see alternatives; take diverse perspectives; come up with many, varied, or original ideas; or willingness to try new things.

I was a rebel just for trying clogging.  My school friends were all involved in the more socially acceptable, and notable endeavor of ballet.  They wore pink tutus and displayed careful femininity.   I was always different, and my choice of dance genre reflected that.  Cloggers did not wear sheer, pastel wrap-skirts or practice soft body-lines and decorum.  Clogging, a dance with Appalachian roots, featured stomping on double taps.

While my friends were able to take dance lessons in our small town, my mother and I drove a half hour, working on that week’s spelling words and eating a dinner of string cheese and an apple as we went.  Once inside the larger city’s blue two story Pinkerton’s Studio of Dance, all of the lean and graceful ballerinas could be seen leaning nimbly on the benches in the hallway.  Jazz dancers in black spandex pants and soft shoes stretched on the floor.  The tap dancers with their shiny black shoes did homework on the stairs between classes.  And then there were us cloggers.  We had a hardier build, and were loud compared to the lithe, graceful dancers within Pinkerton’s walls.

I walked into the mirrored room and put on my worn, white practice shoes, tying the purple sparkled laces extra tight.  The toes of my shoes were black from working on my buck steps and a hole was just starting to form on the ball of both shoes, since the majority of the steps required slamming the ball of my foot to the floor.  Since most of the other types of dance required leotards for practice, the studio was uncomfortably warm for my tee shirt and gym shorts.  I was sweating already.  Our teacher switched on a country song to warm us up.  It sounded extra loud and twangy over the soft, classical echoing down the hallway.  We had to have loud music to hear the beat over our tapping.  We danced “Twist and Shout,” one of the first songs you ever learn as a clogger, and went into “The Sign” by Ace of Base.

Though it was no fun to be the only girl in my peer-group that was not a ballerina, I do not regret my enthusiastic participation in clogging.  While my friends were pointing their toes, I was working my calf muscles and strengthening my lungs by doing a series of fast double-steps, stomps, and windmills.  Instead of learning the strict choreography of the Nutcracker year after year, I was using my mind to memorize not only countless steps, but a wide variety of songs, as well as designing novel routines.  By missing that extra time with my schoolmates, I was learning to work with a diverse group of people in a team, adapting to variable audiences throughout the Western United States, and taking instruction (and criticism) from clogging teachers and judges.  Being an individual and participating in an alternate form of dance as a student, show dancer, competitor, and instructor for eight years enabled me to accrue many more life skills than sticking with the group in a more acceptable past-time.

symphony hall 3It needs more work, but this may be the track I will follow.  It answers the question at least.  I am just finding it very difficult to edit anything out, because clogging was such an important aspect of my school life, and it all seems imperative and telling about my character.  We’ll see if I still like this one tomorrow.  Maybe next year I’ll randomly write all of my essays based on clogging so I can include everything!

 

 

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